Creating a niche in handcrafted glass. After receiving a bachelors degree in the fine arts in 1988, glass artist Brock Madison of Golden Colorado, set out searching for some sort of niche in the arts. Years later, on a fine fall day, glass blowing came his way. Glass blowing was exciting! Brock’s first handcrafted glass took numerous forms, such as in glass vases in all colors, shapes and sizes. In addition too vases, Brock handcrafted a lovely assortment of glass table & pendant lamps. Eventually though, a need and desire to create some larger and heavier works such as glass sinks and large glass sconces arose. As a result, that quest led Brock on a path to discover Glass Fusing. In 2002, there weren’t too many places in America teaching this method of glass work. Therefore, Brock boarded a plane and flew across the country to complete course work at the renowned Corning Museum of Glass, in up state NY.
Handcrafted glass by way of fusing, helped Brock through some doors previously not possible with blowing. For instance, now Brock could create some larger and thicker items such as table tops and glass sinks for bathrooms. In fact, a lot of the glass work Brock Madison completes these days is for home remodeling projects, such as bathroom remodels. In addition to functional glass for the home however, the glass artist plans to create some one-of-a-kind glass work such as sculptural forms.
What Is Glass Fusing?
To Fuse glass, Brock combines glass on top of one another inside of a glass kiln. The glass is then heated to the point where it softens and melts sticking everything together. The temperatures often used for fusing his glass, fall between 1200 to 1475 degrees fahrenheit. Working with different temperatures, gives you a degree of control over how much the glass melts. These different heat zones produce different textures. For instance, if a thick sheet of glass is heated to just about 1300, it softens the edges, but retains most of its profile or edge quality. At higher temperature the edges start to collapse and flow outward and thus the glass becomes flatter and textureless.
Fusing and Slumping
To give the flat fused glass some form like a bowl for instance, Brock needs to perform a second process called slumping. In this step, Brock lays the flat piece of fused glass onto or into a mold inside the kiln, then slowly and carefully heats the kiln again. Once the glass is hot enough, it softens, loosing its rigidity and falls into or over the mold. Some of Brock’s glass work may need to undergo many cycles of fusing or slumping into order to get the desired results.
Characteristics of Fused and Slumped Glass
Along with unique and interesting textures that Brock Madison can accomplish with fused glass, other interesting effects can occur naturally. Layering glass in order to achieve thicker glass, for instance, results in “Bubbles” Bubbles are natural and present in most of the glass artist work. These bubbles are unique and add a special interest, a certain sparkle, or as Brock likes to put it,.. “life” . They also remind us that its handcrafted.
Fusing Glass History
Glass Fusing, has actually been around for some time. Roll the clock back 4500 years, and you’ll find the ancient Egyptians melting glass in ancient ovens. Including beads, early Egyptians, made glass for drinking vessels and various decorated items. Around the year 100 AD, the art of glass fusing was forgotten and almost vanished in history due to the rise of glass blowing. Today, a new generation of modern glass artist like Brock Madison, are rediscovering this fascinating ancient art form of fusing glass together.
A Different Type Of Glass
The sheet glass selection that Brock creates with, are hand-made by glass artisans in the USA.
The unique handcrafted glass that these artisans create, is an age old method of producing sheet glass, the old fashion way, by hand. Molten glass is poured out onto a thick steel table, called a “marver table”. Upon cooling some, the glass is transferred to a “annealing” oven, where it will slowly cool to room temperature.
These micro glass factories, ship the glass sheets all over the world. Utilizing these amazing sheets of glass,Brock madison creates these one-of-a-kind works of art.
Please click on these links below to see some glass work
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