Category Archives: Kiln Formed Glass

2016 Periscope Pitch

Just a quick post to share my Pitch experience as part of the 2016 Periscope Class.  This is only the beginning of my new journey: I have a great start on better defining myself as an artist, a new body of work (albeit small, but more to come) and I’ve made lifelong connections with a whole new group of awesome friends from many disciplines. Thanks a million to Casey Summar and Amber Buker of ABC Nashville  for creating this opportunity and their tireless work, and to John Murdock for his on-point, entertaining lectures.  I will miss spending time in the Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s state-of-the-art facility!  Thanks also to my group leaders, painter Karen Seapker  and Audra Harvey of Abrasive Media for their insightful guidance.  Another heartfelt thank you to Tennessee Craft for the professional development scholarship, my sponsor and mentor, the talented (and very patient) Kim Barrick, the judges and advisers who gave so generously of their time and knowledge like James Szuch and to everyone who came out in support.  I learned a lot and discovered new things about myself, like how much I enjoy a captive audience! Click here to see my slide presentation and scroll down to see my part of the email blast from Arts & Business Council.  Enjoy!

Arts and Business Council of Greater NashvilleFinal round of our three-part email series introducing the Periscope artist entrepreneurs who will be featured at next week’s Pitch!  

Our talented artist entrepreneurs will put their training to the test when they take the stage in September to pitch their arts businesses to the community at this capstone event for the Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training program.

     Alice E. Shepherd

A maker since childhood, Alice is a native Nashvillian and an MTSU Summa Cum Laude graduate with a business background and the passion to create. She sold wall sculptures made of lightweight metals and industrial parts before beginning her self-education into kiln formed glass. Arts at the Airport holds one of her glass works in their permanent collection and she has shown at Oz Arts Nashville, Seed Space and ARTable 2015. Her tabletop lamps and decorative pieces are available at Picture This and in a juried exhibit at Centennial Arts Center. She plans to develop larger glass and metal works with an industrial, metropolitan aesthetic and is looking to explore relationships with metal-smiths, galleries, interior designers and home staging professionals to help bring her work into homes, businesses and public spaces.

 

 

2016 Mission: Bringing back the METAL!

What a head-banging start to the new year already!  We’re on a mission to bring our passions with a vengeance: hard rock, heavy metal and motorcycle riding culture back into our lives and art. Big dreams and plans for new designs that come full circle to where this journey started: wearable and sculptural kick-ass art from Artwork Cubed! Speaking of, here’s are are some of my coolest custom pieces:

We started by checking out a set by metalcore band, Play the Victim, to welcome into the family our new 19 year old, vocalist nephew.  Great set at Rocketown in Nashville and proud to have another metalhead in the clan! Check out this track  http://playthevictimtn.bandcamp.com/track/catalyst and show ’em some love on their facebook page.  Gotta keep an eye on the up-and-comers!

This week we raged on at Lamb Of God’s “Sturm und Drang” tour with the mighty Anthrax at Marathon Music Works.  KILLER show that also included the band Power Trip who put in a thrashin’ performance.  Next month, the relentless, “Repentless” SLAYERRRRRR!!!!! https://www.wmarocks.com/events/detail/slayer-2016-wma. Shout out ya’ll to let us know you’ll be there and we’ll hook up!

We’re on the prowl for future show dates and scheming ways to connect with YOU…we and 68 Artwork Cubed initiates did some major connecting at the July 2015 show.  Here’s the coin (logo on reverse) they all got and me, post-show, with a sample of some of the love…washable ink stamps of my logo, one for them…68 for me!

We need you to continue to connect and inspire with us to create awesome new designs to bring to the Nashville metal community. We know you’re out there! Help us bring the 2016 metal evolution and let’s ride!

 

 

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” Emily Brontë

I kicked off the new year by creating a piece I started in 2011 that was originally intended as a wedding gift for our nephew Daniel and his talented wife Eden (Eden Frangipane Photography). Things were going splendidly when suddenly the muses fell silent. Something was missing, elusive, beyond me.  Maybe I would finish it for their third anniversary, but no, still it was not yet time.                                                                                                                                                                               Until recently….

Fused Glass

Here is the fused glass component as it was in 2011, (double layer kiln formed glass with mica letter inclusions and transparency of their photo), patiently awaiting the right moment…

Then the moment came.  The couple has brought forth a new soul, their first child, daughter Basil.  And the muses sang, now they are three!

 

 

 

Wedding materialsThe concept and design are inspired by their enchanting ceremony/reception, and are distilled from their lovely, organic wedding materials: the photo (included in the wedding invitation), the rehearsal dinner invitation cover (copy seen here, original now permanently affixed to the back), the shape of the leather hang tag from the envelope address label…

now with the addition of an element that literally ties the entire piece together: the tricolor braided wire to symbolize three souls now woven into one.                                 (Click for larger pics; Detailed description at bottom of post)

Serendipity graced us when I presented it yesterday: with Basil’s parents, grandparents and great grandparents all present on Mimi’s birthday (her great grandmother and my loving mother-in-law)!  I was delighted to meet and hold sweet Basil and, as icing on the cake, the piece coordinates with the decor in her room so they plan to display it there.  All things in good time, indeed.

The muses are smiling.  I am happy and thankful.  It is one of my favorite pieces.

(Glass suspended by braided copper wire (through channels in glass) in painted wooden box padded with white leather and trimmed in torch fired copper. Hand tooled and aged leather tag, quote from original rehearsal dinner invitation written in the hand of Daniel’s creative mother, and my signature on back. Stands on rubber feet or hang.)

 

 

 

Fused Glass Mosaic Chosen for Permanent Collection!!!

12"d Sunburst Mosaic; Astral Musings Collection, 2015

12″d Sunburst Mosaic; Astral Musings Collection, 2015

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that during my presentation at ARTable last Saturday night, one of the pieces from my new “Astral Musings” collection was chosen to become part of the permanent collection for Nashville’s “Arts at the Airport“!

I am deeply humbled by this privilege. My sincere thanks to Deann Bradford (Exec Director, Leadership-Donelson Hermitage) and Matt Fischer (Chair, Metro Nashville Arts Commission) for this honor.  And uncharacteristically at a loss for other words to express my gratitude and excitement!  Stay tuned for more info and pics of 2015 ARTable!!!

The Birthstone Collection – Now Available Online!

Hey Cube’sters!

I have two exciting things to share:  First, my Special Edition Collection of kiln sculpted glass is on display for purchase at Picture This Creative Framing and Gallery.  The new location is celebrating a grand re-opening on Dec 4th from 5:00p to 8:00p and I look forward to seeing everyone!   The works are also available for online purchase at http://www.picturethis-gallery.com/alice-e-shepherd-kiln-formed-glass/ thanks to Matt Fischer!  Be sure to click on the “View Details” button in the “Quick View” window to get the whole story.  I do love a good story, don’t you ?      🙂

Say hello to Turquoise Sky, the birthstone of December.  The visual effect of the mix of brilliant blues and sunset colors made it easy to choose her name.  And there’s a piece for every month of the year!  These substantial bowls weigh 22 ounces and are approximately 8-1/2″ in diameter by 2-3″ deep.

Dec - Turquoise Sky

Dec – Turquoise Sky

AND if that isn’t enough…I am just back from setting up at Treasures for the Holidays at Gaylord Hotel and Resort (https://www.facebook.com/treasuresfortheholidays) with the “Birthstone Keepsake Collection”, mini versions (5″ diameter) of the gallery pieces complete with the most precious little “hat box” you’ve ever seen!  It has self-threaded, replaceable ribbon.  You just tie the bow and voila!  Gift!  These are perfect for bedside, bureau, or sink-side as a safe place to hold your valuable rings, earrings and other jewelry while you get on with your busy life.  You might say they’re “Gems for Jewels”!

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I love it when a plan comes together.  Stay tuned for updates and enjoy your holidays!

Sapphire and Moonstone Bowl

Hot out of the kiln this morning! The second in my Birthstone Series: Sapphire and Moonstone for September.  It measures approx. 8 1/2 diameter by 2 1/4 deep and features iridized glass in both sapphire and clear as well a sprinkling of dichroic on top.  An alternate shot appears at the bottom of the post:

Bowl on Reflective Black   And a close up…Close Up-Sapphire Moonstone Bowl

As usual, for my kindred, Cube’ster spirits interested in how things work I present a sketch of the process.   Being quite literally unable to let precious, gorgeous remnants go to waste, first comes the re-purposing of scrap glass:

Workbench

Next the “gemstones” (technically referred to as “frit balls”) are formed in the kiln.  It took several firings to get all the colors done that follow:

Frit Balls in Kiln

 

Frit Balls

After which they are fused together to render this:

After Fusing in Kiln

Then another round of firing in a mold to slump into the bowl shape:

Bowl on white

I am grateful to always be genuinely surprised and delighted by these outcomes.  Although this glass is System 96 (because that’s what I had on hand), I thank the folks at Bullseye for sharing this technique on their website (http://www.bullseyeglass.com/).

Success with the Kiln-Pressed Glass Technique!

In my last post, the first of the year, I promised to do and THEN talk about it.  After several months of home renovation which put both my in-home studio space AND my garage workshop (and ME) out of commission I am FINALLY putting the pieces back together .  So without further ado I bring you —  drum roll please:

Finished Bowl

This 10″ diameter, vibrant bowl was created using the “Kiln Pressed Glass” technique generously shared online at http://www.fusedglass.org.  This multi-step, high temperature process is decidedly NOT for the faint of heart but the results are rewarding.  To my knowledge there is no other way to get this watercolor effect in kiln-formed glass.  For kindred spirits interested in process a picture(s) is worth a thousand words…

DAY 1: First comes the cutting and the weighing.

Assembly on 5.75 inch clear base

After cleaning the glass bits they’re set up in the kiln. Diameter starts at less than 6 inches:

Layup in Kiln 1st Firing

And here’s the “pressed” part: loads of weights are stacked ON TOP OF THE GLASS.  Yes, what you see above is indeed UNDER this:

Under Weights 1st Firing

With breath held and fingers crossed, the lid is closed and the firing cycle is programmed. Target temp is 1500 degrees with a lengthy hold.  Entire cycle lasts nearly 24 hours.  The result is over 8 inches in diameter, nearly 3 inches larger than the start:

After 1st FiringBut wait, there’s more…

DAY 2:  After soaking to remove stuck on kiln wash, coldworking both surfaces with diamond hand laps then re-coating the kiln shelves and curing those (WHEW!) comes more glass cutting, cleaning and weighing (see step one) and THEN…

DAY 2 1/2:  back in the kiln with the additional glass for the second firing:

Layup in Kiln 2nd Firing

It, too, is completely covered with loads of weights:

Under Weights 2nd Firing

The next day…

After 2nd Firing

The piece that started at somewhere between 5 1/2″ – 5 3/4″ is now 10 1/2″D with an overall thickness averaging just under 1/4″ according to my trusty calipers.

DAY 3:  Next the piece went back into the kiln for a “Fire Polishing”: a lower temp and less lengthy process but basically adds a work day to the project.  This provided a glossy top surface and a satin bottom (see pics at end).

DAY 4:  Time to slump.  The piece was centered and leveled on a bowl mold inside the Jen-Ken fiber kiln.  Now when riding my motorcycle I endeavor to keep the shiny side up.  But in this case I decided to go shiny side down and satin finish up top:

Leveled on Slump Mold

DAY 5:  Here’s what I got when I opened the kiln:

After Bowl Slump

And here are alternate snapshots of the finished piece which hopefully show at least a little the glossy exterior vs. satin interior finishes I achieved:

Finished Bowl on Stand_Glossy Exterior_Satin Interior14 Finished Bowl Satin Interior REDUCED

I am thrilled with the results and can’t wait to see how this technique will figure into my craft as a whole. Thanks for reading and stay tuned, Cube’sters!