Corallite Creations: Fusing with Powder, Molds, and Flame
5/10-13, 2019, 9a-4p daily.
Nikki O'Neill, Guest Instructor.
Explore methods for creating spaces, layering, and manipulating dry glass powders to create small and large organic sculptures suggestive of the rich colors and forms of coral and reef creatures. Students will create several different kinds of glass elements to use in composing larger and more complex sculptural forms. These include making anemone-like stringer rods, powder dough structures such as sea sponges, dual sided sgraffito glass powder disks with visual depth, vessels with complementary powder relief patterns, faux sea glass, and segmented seaweed. There will also be plenty of time for experimentation.
While creating the vessels and sculptural forms, students will gain an understanding of how heat, time, and surface tension work together with powder placement, gravity, mark making, and the physical properties of glass color and transparency. During the creative process, a little bit of magic always seems to occur, along with delightfully unexpected discoveries. We will make and modify some elements by flame working, and use cold working processes to finish and then slump or sag our work. Creative hanging and mounting techniques for the assembled Corallite creations will be demonstrated using different adhesives, professional hardware, and earth magnets.
Nikki O’Neill has over 30 years of experience working with glass, and currently uses innovative kiln-forming techniques to create sculptures and vessels from glass powder and from recycled float glass. She found her passion for working with glass while earning her PhD in biology. Since retiring as a research scientist, she works full time as a studio glass artist and educator, applying art and science to the exploration of life origins and nature’s creatures in marine habitats. Nikki finds inspiration from the continuum of life and death, and the evolution of organisms from primitive, marine organic origins, to complex forms evolved over millions of years. She hopes that her work will increase awareness of the incredible beauty and intricacy of nature’s life forms, and our responsibility to prevent and repair the devastating effects of humanity on ocean life. Nikki lives in Maryland and exhibits her work and teaches her signature classes nationwide.