The blueprint of... Red Cross 9.26.08

6 min read

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By Myana
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The blueprint of... is an article serie where we’re taking a closer look on an Artisan Crafts deviation and how it's made.

Today we are dissecting Red Cross 9.26.08 by UniquelyYours

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First off, please introduce yourself?

Hi... My name is Carol Kinast. I live in Geneva, IL (about 50 minutes west of Chicago, IL) and I teach art (Jewelry and Drawing) at a wonderful high school in Naperville, IL called Neuqua Valley. Even though it’s my eleventh year teaching, and I am twice the age of my students (34), they keep me young, inspired and happy.

Please explain what we are viewing.

A dichroic glass fused pendant.

Can you describe for a layman how it’s made?

It’s important to note that all the glass I use to fuse has a COE (coefficient) of 90. This means that it has the same melting and cooling temperature. If I were to use a different COE one layer could melt and cool faster than another, therefore cracking the glass. The glass I use also guarantees a beautiful color and sturdiness that a stain glass cannot offer under the intense heat of a kiln.
When I decide to fuse glass jewelry it’s a big production as I will pull out all of my glass and cut for an entire day. (Around 100 pieces) I focus on cutting the glass with a runner to make a “glass sandwich” of 2-3 layers. Although the glass is “square” I can make the edges round or keep them firm depending on the firing schedule I use.
The next day I will clean and set up the glass on kiln shelves. In general, the glass is fired up to 1500 degrees with different holds* and flashes** along the way. This firing takes about 17 hours because I use a larger kiln.
The next day is like Christmas because I am so excited to see what happened over night. Some pieces will be ready to go and others will need to be grinded into a cleaner shape and then refired. (And of course, there are those pieces that just don’t work)

* A “hold” keeps the temperature frozen at one temperature for a timed durations.
** A “flash” is when you open the kiln to instigate a quick cool

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What tools did you use?

A glass runner, dragon pliers, a grinder and a kiln. (Shelf and furniture included)

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What was your inspiration in creating this?

Color... I love color!!

How long time did it take you to make this?

There are a few stages in making fused glass: the cutting, assembling/cleaning and firing topped off by more cleaning and assembling, and then finally inventorying and displaying. When all is said and done the piece takes about 20-30 minutes in compressed time, and 2 days in real time to complete the firing, cleaning, and assembling.

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Did you run into anything unexpected while creating?

These pieces worked out perfectly! But I usually expect that only 40-60% will come out balanced the first time. (The more I practice, the higher the percent) The majority of time I have to go back and reshape (grind) the pieces which means it also has to be refired.

Are you happy with the result?

Yes! These are my favorite colors so the piece speaks vividly to me.

Where have you learnt your skills in this area?

My Dad was a retired construction worker who took a class at a local college. After seeing what he was producing I decided to take the class myself where I fused plates, casted and sandblasted glass.
After I completed the course at the college, Neuqua invited a guest artist come in to demonstrate fused glass to the students. Because the glass is expensive I had students make smaller pieces: jewelry. I was instantly hooked and went to a glass distributer to buy some glass and bought WAAAAY too much! When the bill came I knew I had to do something so I started to make pieces and sell them to local shops.

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Do you take your own photos? Any tips you want to share for presenting your work?

I do take my own photos. Through the years they have become better because I have slowly found better cameras. My current camera is my favorite yet, Canon Power Shot... it has a macro that allows for clearer colors and details.

What is the best tip you can give to others wanting to test this craft/material/technique?

Try to find a place where you can try it before you buy it. This is expensive! Also, experiment with programming a kiln. This art is based on a lot of science. I have 3 kilns where I work and depending on which one I use will depend on the firing schedule that I program. Keep a diary when testing temperatures. I found a book called “Warm Glass” gives me a nice start when experimenting.

Are you selling your work?

I am selling my work through local businesses. “Cold-calling” was difficult, but now that I have some loyal costumers I feel very satisfied with my small business. When I began I put a lot of pressure on myself to sell, so much so that I had to sit myself down and ask myself if I wanted a business or hobby. Since I already have a job I am relieved that I can enjoy my glass as a hobby. Taking off the extra stress makes this a very satisfying craft.

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Thank you UniquelyYours for participating and taking the time to answer my question!


I'd love to recive suggestions for next "victim" to interview! Note me with a link to the deviation you'd like to know more about and I'll contact the deviant.

Also, let me know if there are any questions you are missing in this type of interview!

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Artsee1's avatar
I'm not even sure this is possible, but you change UniquelyYours to Artsee1 when you have time? I'm just trying to reconnect with old faces and think it might help. Thanks :) Hope all is well-
eProductSales's avatar
Awesome! Her work is so gorgeous, she is sooo talented! All her work is wonderful. :)
EssiesJewels's avatar
brilliant!!!!!!!!!! 2 dear friends of mine delivering a seriously brilliant article.. and hey i ain'y prejudiced ;-)
cl2007's avatar
another great interview in an excellent series :clap:
UniquelyYours's avatar
Thanks for making me feel good... this is so heart warming and means a TON. You're awesome-
Myana's avatar
:blowkiss: So are you!
AngelofGod87's avatar
dang... NIICE work... :clap:
k-Kai's avatar
nice works ;]
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