This is the first time I had the pleasure of participating in the Warm Glass Magnet Exchange through www.WarmGlass.com . The exchange has been taking place since 2002, where 120 (!) glass artists exchanged small glass magnets with each other. As a participant, you agree to make as many Magnets as there are participants, and submit information on “How it was made”. In return it’s like Christmas all over again when, in late March, you receive all your glorious samples that each participant created. Not only do you learn from performing your own experiments, but you benefit from all the lessons that others have learned while making their glass goodies as well. Beyond cool!
For the 2013 Exchange, we had to make 49 Mags. For my simple entry, my inspiration was the Bumble Bee as they have enchanted me for quite some time now. It all began when my daughters took great interest in the catch and release of bumble bees off of my rose-bush a few summers back. When I saw how fearless my daughters were in their efforts, and realized how focused the bees were on simply doing their own work rather than resorting to stinging their antagonists, it began opening my eyes to their remarkable world. Since then, I have enjoyed chasing bees around in an effort to develop my macro photography skills. I just can’t get enough of observing them and have not been stung yet!
I took a favorite photo from last summer which I altered in Photoshop Elements, and submitted it to Amy at http://inplainsightart.com/files/decals.html to have printed out on waterslide decal paper to be fired on glass. It was exciting to merge two of my creative outlets into one project.
One slight drawback to these decals, I discovered, was they do not use the color white in printing. As a result, I had to rely on white substrate to allow for any white details in my imagery to show up (in this case the bees wings). A thin white base was absolutely essential and in fact, some of that POP of white was lost in the translation from the original photo to this application on glass.
For the tile on the left, the decal was fired directly on white, then clear capped on a second firing. You will note some trapped bubbles and a dulling of the pinks. The tile on the right was actually done in a single firing. The decal is on gold iridized face down on thin white. The shimmery backdrop, though hard to really see in this photo, gave it a really nice sparkly effect that is visible through the wings and parts of the flower as well. In my experiments I made the pleasant discovery that the magenta pinks from my picture stayed most true and popped more when fired directly on an iridized surface. (Sorry not pictured…)
For this magnet exchange I pre-fired the base tiles. Thin white was topped with gold iridized face up.
Next I applied the decals per the instructions found on Inplainsight Art’s page. Thank you Amy! : http://inplainsightart.com/files/decals_apply_fire.html
What I learned:
BEE sure to take a picture of the finished product! In an effort to submit my magnets it before the March 7th deadline, I forgot to take a picture!
BEE true to thyself: Even though the use of decals feels a little bit like “cheating”, I am satisfied with the results of merging my multiple interests of glass, bees & botanicals, and photography while also trusting my instincts.
BEE Ever Curious! I wonder what the decal would look like fired on an iridized white background with clear cap? What other technique could I employ that would effectively communicate the sweet light that was on the bee’s wings?
BEE Thankful! I’m thankful for all I learned and for the opportunity to share this experience with 48 other glass enthusiasts. I’m looking forward to receiving my little box of treasures in the next couple of weeks!
Here’s a Lovely and Informative Blog post about Bumble-bees. Did you know male bumblebees don’t have stingers? http://nativeplantwildlifegarden.com/bumble-bees/