These lessons provide an introduction to kiln-glass and a chance to sample our online subscription program.
Overview of Kiln-Glass
Glass is a unique art-making material. In this lesson you will learn about the fundamental properties of glass, the basic forms of art glass and their uses, and how art glass is made at Bullseye Glass Company.
The range of objects that can be made in kiln-glass is extensive and involves a variety of interesting techniques. Learn about the types of glass projects commonly created in a kiln and how you can begin making them.
As kiln-glass becomes more and more popular, increasing numbers of types of glass are appearing on the market. So how does a beginner decide which glass to use? This lesson suggests some of the criteria to consider as you investigate your choices.
The term “kiln-glass” covers an enormous range of working methods and types of work, including everything from simple platter-like forms to cast sculptures, painterly panels and architectural installations.
This lesson introduces Tom Prochaska, Rafael Cauduro, Catharine Newell and Jeff Wallin, four artists who draw with glass, exploring the unique opportunities provided by the method.
Kiln-glass can be used as light fixtures, furniture, staircases, room dividers, public art and other architectural features. Bullseye Glass Company partners with design professionals to develop and install architectural-scale kiln-glass works.
Substances like dusts, oils and fingerprints must be removed from glass before it's fired or they may be visible in the finished work. In this lesson you will learn how to clean glass properly to avoid problems caused by surface contamination.
With the proper tools and techniques even beginners can produce clean, accurate glass shapes for kilnforming projects. In this lesson you will learn everything you need to get started cutting sheet glass.
Rudi Gritsch demonstrates how you can use the G-Manu Cut 1 (and Cut 2 Extension) to make quick and accurate cuts of a variety of shapes and patterns. The savings of time and material are limitless, meaning this tool can pay for itself in the course of a few projects.
Many kilnforming methods are based on fusing, the heat bonding of separate pieces of glass. In this lesson you will learn how to fuse together layers of glass on a kiln shelf, while exploring glass as a unique art-making material.
Hot glass will adhere to kiln shelves if not prevented by a separator. In this lesson you will learn how to use Bullseye Shelf Primer, an affordable and highly effective separator.
Kilnforming Concepts & Operation
Many artists assume they need to rent a dedicated space to work on kiln-glass projects. But you can accomplish a lot in a home studio with just a kiln, a table or bench, and some basic tools. In this lesson, we set up a home studio around a Paragon BenchTop-16, a compact top-loading kiln used in many home studios. We cover basics like tools, furniture, and other equipment; where to place your kiln; and how to prepare for your first firing.
What if you wanted a panel to look as if it were floating in front of a wall without any hardware obstructing the view? In this lesson, you'll learn how to design and calculate basic requirements for a French cleat hanging system, what materials and tools you'll need, how to set up the work area, how to apply and cure the adhesive, and how to hang the piece.
A simple and effective way to add graphic impact to kiln-glass projects is to incorporate fusible decals by Milestone Decal Art. They come in a variety of images and colors, providing a wide range of design possibilities. In this lesson, you will learn the basics of working with Milestone decals. We'll cover information about the decals themselves, tips for applying them to sheet glass, and how to fire them for the best results.
A segment slab is a multicolored glass block used in one approach to the pattern bar technique. The segment slab is composed of sheet glass strips that are tack-fused together, cut into parts, and fired within a containment system until the glass flows and forms an internal pattern. In this lesson you will learn how to create a segment slab, cut it into cross-sectional pieces to reveal the internal pattern, and use the cross-sectional pieces to design and make finished work.
The Sentry Xpress 4.0 is a three-key controller manufactured by Orton Ceramic. It's found on many kilns, including Paragon's BenchTop-16 and Caldera. It can be configured to program in Fahrenheit or Celsius. We'll be working in Fahrenheit. In this lesson, we'll cover how to enter a basic program, as well as some commonly used programming options.
Derived from Ted Sawyer's talk at BECon 2009, the following 20-minute presentation focuses on the theory and process of getting the stress out of fused glass work and acts as an introduction to the new annealing cycle recommended by Bullseye.
Firing crushed glass powders on sheet glass allows one a direct method to create imagery, pattern and nuanced shifts in value and hue. In this lesson you will learn about the tools and techniques involved and will get a broad overview of the ways glass powder can be used in art and design.
Artist Talks and Lectures
Artist Sibylle Peretti talks about her 2016 residency at Bullseye Studio in Portland, sharing information on her background and explaining "what's going on behind and beneath the glass" and why she chose this material to translate her ideas.
In this lesson, artist Miguel Unson demonstrates his signature “Zen Organico” approach: glass stringers placed vertically in a bed of frit are allowed to melt, fall, and transform themselves at will, representing a playful balance between chaos and control. And thanks to Bullseye’s specially-equipped kiln, you will see the entire process unfold. Unson describes the various steps in the process including preparation, composition, material selection, and firing considerations.
Klaus Moje's influence on Bullseye Glass cannot be overstated. He was the first artist who came to us with a need for compatible glass. In the decades that followed, he showed the world that kiln-glass could be art, and then taught and mentored many of the medium's finest artists.
In this conversation moderated by Bulleye Projects director Lani McGregor, Moje and Bullseye founder Daniel Schwoerer recount the history of a foundational and pioneering relationship between an artist and a manufacturer. (Recorded April 1, 2012.).
How does a young, self-supporting artist build a career in kiln-glass? Nathan Sandberg explores the possibilities in this Artist Talk, presented 14 October 2012 at Bullseye Resource Center Portland.
Narcissus Quagliata focuses in this presentation on the perception of color as a key to understanding culture, art, and ourselves. He concludes with reflections on the nature of light as the color that profoundly affects the soul.
The relationship between color and material seems obvious, yet most color theories ignore this critical topic. Common theories conceive of color as abstract, pure color in swatches or wheels. Color, however, is physical and this gap in the theory needs to be addressed by any artist who moves between materials.
"Like most accomplished abusers of information I incorporate multiple levels of deceit, manipulation, and both feigned and true ignorance." So begins the description of this session originally submitted (late) by artist Richard Marquis.
“In the beginning was black. Then Isaac Newton's new order of colors marked a chromatic revolution and ever since a dual symbolism has accompanied the color black.” Rainey's starting point is the human experience of loss. Combining that with the physicality of the color black sparked his investigation into the symbolism and the visual elements of this dark dense matter.
What can we learn as artists and educators in observing children creating with color and glass? What makes this particular material—glass—and this artmaking method—kilnforming—so powerful in the development of a child’s vision? How can kilnforming fit into a larger educational program?
In this talk, author and art critic Richard Speer offers analysis spanning the realms of philosophy, literature, linguistics, gender studies, music, film, advertising, and the wider arena of popular culture. He also offers strategies for artists, particularly those who work with glass, to harness color's transformative power, both in the studio and during the course of everyday life.
Where does Bullseye Glass Co. get ideas for new hues? Are there some colors that are impossible to produce in glass? How can artists work with Bullseye to develop glass colors? In this freewheeling session, Bullseye's Product Development team (Dan Schwoerer, Sam Andreakos, Ted Sawyer, moderated by Mary Kay Nitchie) shares stories about the origins of some of the company’s most interesting glass colors and discusses the challenges involved in creating colors that are unique, yet also scalable, repeatable, and compatible.