If you are ever in Savannah, GA and feel like going on to the beach, hop on Highway 80 and head East. Highway 80 dead ends on Tybee Island, Georgia.
Before or after you hit the beach, take a few minutes to visit Atlantic Beacon Gallery. It's right on 80, close to Arby's.
Last summer, my mother-in-law, who is also one of my biggest fans, went in the Gallery to look around and gave them her "you really should see my angel from heaven, daughter-in-law's breathtakingly beautiful fused glass pendants" speech. The next thing I know, the nice people there had agreed to carry my work in their gallery. I would like to thank them, as well as my mom-in-law for this arrangement. I have a tendency to be too timid to do this kind of thing in person, but hopefully It will get easier with practice.
On our recent trip to Tybee, I restocked my pendants there, and even sent down some of my new enameled sea turtles last week. I also got a request from them for a little information on how these are created. So, below, I am going to put step by step photos of the creation of a FusieDoozie Sea Turtle named Tybrisa.
I use a glass scorer to "cut" out several glass shapes that make up the turtle's body head and flippers.
I put a little dab of regular school glue on each of these parts.
I add the shell - a piece of glass with "rounded" corners.
Using Glassline Paint (this paint can withstand the 1550 degree firing temperature inside the kiln), I begin to paint on details that make my turtle resemble a turtle.
I allow the paint and glue to dry completely. It is now ready for the kiln.
The pieces are placed on a prepared kiln shelf inside the kiln. I turn on the kiln, and the temperature begins to rise.
I monitor the firing progress through a small window on the top of the kiln.
Once the kiln reaches about 1550 degrees, the pieces will begin to fully fuse. Once this happens, I open the kiln to flash cool the pieces into the 950 degree range. The pieces must stay in the range for a little while for the glass to properly anneal. The hot, red glow will fade and color will begin to come back into the pieces as they cool.
I allow the pieces to completely cool inside the kiln. Once they are cool to the touch, I can remove them and affix the pendant bail.
Presenting Tybrisa - a lovely little fused glass sea turtle, soon to be on her way to the beach and Atlantic Beacon Gallery.