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Everyone’s heart has a story…My mended hearts series suggests within ones contemplation of their hearts journey that they have found a peace and strength within the ups and downs. There are very few perfect stories of love. A love that can be perfect is the love you have for yourself. It is a cliche, but a true one nonetheless, that you must first love yourself, before you can love someone else. The mended heart is one that has felt pain, but can move on and move forward from the experience. A mended heart is one that knows its strengths and weaknesses, doesn’t assume to be perfect, but is full of beauty, fused and stitched back together, full of wisdom with a history full of laughter and tears, and a heart that will be stronger because of it. A mended heart is a real heart, true, and honest.
The glass pendants I’ve made to honor the woman’s heart that has a story are previewed below. If you’d like to order a pendant to honor your journey please call my store, Love Life Live Life. Contact information is listed in the contact headline of my blog. Please remember, you cannot control how others treat you in life, but you can control how you treat yourself…be gentle! Love, Kimberly
Fused Glass, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the technique, is a process where glass is fired in a kiln to achieve a desired result. There are basically three stages in glass fusing that will help you achieve your desired results. Slumping, a technique used to make things such as glass vases results at temperatures between 1100-1250 degrees fahrenheit. Tack fusing, where glass is stacked and fused, yet still textural, is heated at temperatures between 1250-1350 degrees fahrenheit. Fully fused pieces are fused at temperatures above 1350, but not exceeding 1700 degrees. Fused glass is referred to by people who work with glass as warm glass, whereas glassblowing is a hot glass technique where a flame is used. There is evidence of glass fusing amongst the Egyptians, however Romans were the first to be prolific glass workers.
The pendants shown above, excluding the pink pendant, are all tack fused pieces. You can clearly see the separate layers of glass that were used to make the pendants, and the pendants have more defined shape and texture than pieces that are fully fused. The pink pendant is simply a nice chunk of stained glass that was fused to round the edges. The other pendants pictured above are a combination of stained glass and dichroic glass. Dichroic glass, used by glass artists, is made by vaporizing a coating of metal oxides onto glass in a vacuum. Dichroic glass often has an initial visible color, yet another color that reflects when light hits a piece. The dichroic glass in the pieces above is the shiny, textured, and patterned glass. If your interested in any of the pieces above simply double click the photo for further information about each pendant!
My mother has always been the glass artist in the family. Up until now I have focused mainly on painting and making beaded jewelry. Recently having opened Love Life Live Life in Gatlinburg, Tennessee it became apparent to me that I too would have to learn how to fuse glass to keep up with the demand for unique pieces of jewelry so desired by my customers.
About one week ago my mom lent me her kiln and supplied me with some glass to get started and I was off to the races.
The first time I fired this piece, admittedly, I forgot I was running the kiln. The design that I had in mind was lopsided, marbled, and fully fused, which were qualities in the piece I wasn’t, at that time, inviting. I continued to fire the piece two more times placing a base color of blue glass behind the charcoal organic center, followed by a firing of green frit onto the pendant. The end product is powerful, organic, and beautiful and truly is a happy accident.