Sunday, 25 November 2012

First glass painting class: fun!

My first glass painting class with Brian Waugh was last week, and I've been so busy I haven't had time to tell you about it. Well, first things first: it was really fun! Brian is an excellent teacher, and was very patient even when I was being especially thick.

Brian works out of a studio that hosts several other glass artists. The studio space also has ceramics folks, so I'm betting if I wanted to get my hand back into the ceramics game, I'd probably be able to. Which is nice to contemplate, although I have to say, what with learning this new aspect of glass art, my plate is pretty full!

So, on to the glass painting. Even though it was an all-day class, it became obvious very quickly that 8 hours only allowed us to scratch the top few snowflakes off the iceberg. I've got a lot to learn.

With glass painting, you do a firing for every different layer. It's really painstaking, kind of like painting with watercolours, only glass painting is a way more lengthy process.

First, you mix the powdered paint on a palette with water, then brush it on in a very thin layer as a base colour. You use a badger brush to smooth the paint and get an even matt finish.  After that dries, you fire it. After the first firing is done, you do the line work. This is like a line drawing, only done with a thin brush instead of a pencil or pen. Then that layer is fired.

Then you lay on successive layers of paint, glazes and enamels to create a 3-D effect. Each new layer has to be fired. Before you fire each layer, you use different types of brushes to take away dried paint on the highlighted areas, and it ends up looking kind of like really detailed etched copperplate prints.

You can see what I'm talking about in this one by Harry Clarke (a stained glass artist who I totally worship!)

"The Consecration of StMel, Bishop of Longford, by St. Patrick," by Harry Clarke. You can see the "etched" looking parts of the faces where a brush took dried paint away.

Fortunately Brian has a kiln that can do a firing in 1.5 - 2 hours, which I guess is unusual - most glass artists have kilns that can only do 1 firing a night, which seems bonkers to me. How does anyone get anything done??

I'm meeting up again with Brian in 2 weeks, and I have to have a design done for a larger piece by then. I'm working on drawing a concept I thought up, but so far it's only in the very early stages. If the finished piece comes out how it looks in my head, I'll be pretty happy. (But then, how often does that happen, really?)

Ah well. All you can do is your best. And it helps to have a good teacher! Pin It Now!

1 comment:

  1. This is very nice! I hope i can also paint on glasses but, i don't have this talent. :) - www.jordonglass.com