July 06, 2020
Removing a rim off of a drop ring vessel is a skill everyone can learn. It is one that takes practice. I produce a number of drop ring vessels in my studio and you can see many of them on this website. This is a reproducible way to remove the rim off a drop ring that uses a wet tile saw. A wine bottle or any used glass bottle will work as a practice tool. Go slow and enjoy the process.
The first time I tried this, it was a disaster. Even after attending courses, I was still searching for a technique that worked for me the majority of the time. Originally, I was taught to score the outside, or inside of the vessel with a glass cutter and then to run the score by tapping with your finger or by tapping of the rim with a very small hammer. This often produced some surprising and crazy good/bad results. Next, I tried using a diamond saw on a dremel/foredom tool. This required 2 people. Someone had to keep the diamond wheel wet while balancing the vessel and the cutting saw. So after many failures and searching, I came up with this process.
After talking with other glass artists who shared their struggles, this video was born. I share my tricks, and a few of my photographs of the lake where my studio/home is located. Nature is a powerful stimulus for much of my work. A good video/blog does not replace a good course and instructor, with one on one instruction. I have given you the data so you can work this out, but do not be afraid to ask for help. It just takes practice. Then it becomes fun and meditative.
If you do 10 practice cuts over a week, you will have this down. I make a warm up cut on a bottle before cutting my actual finished drop vessel. Try a small vessel first before moving to a big vessel. This works with very thin rims or thick rims on large vessels.
Please use all the safety guidelines I have mentioned. Especially, only do this when you are rested and not at the end of a day or distracted. Eye and ear protection are a must.
Sometimes we all experience "heavy gravity days" where no matter how much we try things don't go well. This is not something to do on those days. Be rested and take your time. I must credit Pat Flynn, a good friend and goldsmith/metalsmith extraordinaire, with this term and concept. It is so true. It took me several years to recognize it, and to celebrate the wonderful flows of life.
I also use a dressing stone on my diamond saws blades and flat laps. It is simple and quick and gives me a much better cut. There is a good video from HIS Glassworks. It makes my diamond blades cut better and cleaner. Here is the link to that video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-jFJd07yTA
My last tip is to have the area clean where you stand and are using you saw. Remove the clutter. You need to be able to move around. A clean and sharp tool is a must. Use plenty of good light and have fun. Please share your experiences with this technique on my blog in the comment section.
Thank you for your time. I hope this helps.
July 06, 2020
July 06, 2020
I am an artist who practiced spine surgery for many years. The serenity of nature inspires me, and I seek to express a healing presence and tranquility in my art. My work communicates a feeling of peace, harmony and a profound respect for nature and humanity. I use of color, and light to create a visceral response.
I also use my artistic voice to explore the social issues we face as humans and as a society. My works relate to the recognition and acceptance of the many wounds that have been present in our society for far too long. We all need to work together so that we all have equal access to the law, education and healthcare no matter what our race or color.
Defined by time and skill, my artistic practice demands intense patience and attention to detail. The magical pieces in glass and enamel, glow with fabulous color and depth, indicating a lengthy and intricate process, not evident by the casual viewer. When enameling, utilizing a metal substrate of gold, silver, or copper provides a foundation for the piece. Once fabricated, I apply enamel powders to the metal, then fire them at around 1300 to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. The high temperatures allow the enamel to melt until it is smooth. After they cool, I finish the pieces using diamond wet saws and flat grinders in the cold working process.
Producing my glass vessels requires the use of glass sheets, as well as, glass powders therefore, the glass provides both, the support for the piece and the decorative color. Fusing these materials can take from 24 hours up to 5 days. Some pieces demand many different fusing/cold-working steps. The more colors or different types of glass used in the piece; the more steps involved in creating the final product. My work can be very complex depending on the different colors, textures and glass powders used. I try to make this extremely laborious processes appear seamless in the end.
My journey to the world of art came late in my life, in fact, I always believed that healing was my natural calling. When I was younger, I went to pharmacy school, then, to medical school where I learned to hone my healing abilities. This led to a twenty-five-year career as an orthopedic spine surgeon where I helped many people with broken and injured spines, stand up straight and regain function.
But, like the body with a bad back, life never follows a straight line. After a strenuous medical issue of my own, I found myself challenged to develop a new paradigm for life. I chose art as my new vehicle for my emotional and spiritual healing practice. Now my true passion, on my best days, it provides nirvana, peace and ecstasy. On bad days, a meditative internal mind therapy. Problems and roadblocks stimulate my creativity as I explore color, form, texture and light. I now have a new mechanism for healing through art. Not only have I healed my own body and soul, but hopefully, inspire the healing power in others through my art.