Thursday, May 2, 2013

Featured Member: GetGlassy

Hudson Valley Etsy Team's April featured member shop is GetGlassy, the fused glass creations of Patti Ursel. Congratulations!
her booth at the 2012 Fishkill show
One busy April evening, I got a chance to speak with Patti about her wonderful works in fused glass!  I certainly learned a lot about the process, but first a bit of background on this lovely lady.  Patti has always been a crafter, starting with crocheting when she was only 7, from there going on to knitting and then everything from polymer clay to stained glass.  So how did GetGlassy get started? Patti had spent years working for an advertising firm in NYC before moving to the Hudson Valley and taking an early retirement.  She promptly got bored and started taking a stained glass class.  Through this, she learned much about glass but was continually drawn towards the fused glass process, eventually breaking down, buying a kiln, and becoming a self-taught fused glass artist. And thus GetGlassy was born in March of 2007!

Fish (SOLD) by GetGlassy

Fused glass itself is an interesting and relatively new practice especially when compared to the long histories of blown glass, lamp work, and stained glass.  It involves cutting different types of sheet glass, then layering and fusing them together inside a kiln to create the desired effect.  Glass kilns run a bit cooler than ceramics kilns, going from 1,300-1,500 degrees Fahrenheit depending on how melted you would like the glass to become.  When preparing the glass to be fused, you have to be careful what types of glass you use.  If you mix the wrong types of glass, cracking and other disasters could ensue.  You also have to run the kiln for approximately 24 hours without peaking, as glass needs slow temperature changes to prevent cracking.

getting ready to fuse!

Once the fused glass is done and out of the kiln, cold work must be done, like grinding, molding, and placing it in jewelry settings.  Also, on occasion when the kiln is done, you open is up and everything has gone wrong.  Patti compares opening the kiln to Christmas morning, the excitement she gets to see all the glittering colors she may have created but sometimes she ends up with coal.  When that happens, she has to repair the pieces and then put them back in the kiln.  I was intrigued to hear that glass work has such incredibly low waste; every little piece can be used for something.  There are even frit artists who use the tiniest shards of glass to create their works. 

Blue Green Link Bracelet by GetGlassy
So what does Patti love most about fused glass?  Definitely the color, she says.  There are just so many different choices and gorgeous combinations.  I’m personally a fan of how shiny Patti can get her jewelry. She does this by using Dichroic glass which was developed by NASA. The shiny effect is caused by the various fumes the glass is subjected to. 

Filigree Ring with Dichroic Fused Glass Stone by GetGlassy - Looks like space to me


Patti loves creating pieces with nature themes, inventing new designs, and finding ways to work the glass that no one has tried yet.  She even does lamp work beading for accents for her fused glass pieces, so, if the unthinkable happened and she lost her kilns, she wouldn't have to stop working in glass.  She also keeps up her knitting and crocheting, as you can see in her other shop GetTangled, which she creates on the train as one drawback of glass work is you can’t really work on it outside of the studio! 

Fused Glass Cheese Board in Warm Ambers by GetGlassy


So I hope you enjoyed learning about Patti and her fused glass! I know I did.   Keep an eye out for her at local craft fairs for goodies you can’t find in her etsy shop, including large fused glass pieces on canvas. She’ll be at the Hudson Valley etsy team Fishkill show on June 2nd (and so will I, so don’t miss out!).  And don’t forget to check out her creations at her shops GetGlassy, GetTangled, and GetGlassySupplies, like her on Facebook, and stop by her website. I’m sure you know someone who needs a little glitter in their life!

Enjoy!
Amber


5 comments:

Marilyn (Pulp Sushi) said...

Such beautiful work! :)

HuzzahHandmade said...

Congrats, Patti. Such fine work and interesting to see the process.

a Studio by the Sea said...

I hadn't seen your glass fish before! They look really lovely! It's so nice to hear the story behind your work.

Jaime said...

Beautiful work. Such talent!

Jaime said...

Beautiful work. Such talent!