News / Arts & Entertainment

Students Fuse Art from Shattered Glass

Students Get Creative with Fused Glassi
X
January 11, 2014
Lynda Slayen first learned about fused glass about 10 years ago and has been making glass objects with this technique ever since. Now she teaches it to adults and children so they too can create delicate creations of their own. VOA reporter Julie Taboh attended one of Slayen’s workshops at her studio in a Washington suburb to see firsthand how the artist inspires a group of children.
TEXT SIZE - +
— When Lynda Slayen first discovered fused glass about 10 years ago, she immediately fell in love with the technique.

“I’ve always loved glass. I collect glass. I have a lot of antique glass…and then I went and I saw some fused glass and that was it," Slayen said. "I took a class and that was it.”

She became a fused glass artist, which involves fusing multiple pieces of glass together to form a single object. Her vibrant, one-of-a-kind art is both practical and aesthetic.

Sharing the passion

Five years ago Slayen decided to share her passion by teaching others the technique. She holds fused glass art classes at local schools as well as in her home studio both for children as well as adults.

Brothers Luka and Hugo Bryne, ages 12 and 9, showed up at one of her workshops on a cold winter afternoon recently, eager to make some fused glass art for their family. Both had taken the workshop before.

“Here I can express and be free and I don’t have any rules to follow,” said Hugo.

Luka likes wearing the safety goggles. “It makes you feel macho.”

Creating art

On this day, the brothers and four other young students will each create at least one glass object during the hour-long session.

After they choose a piece of glass, they cut or hammer other, smaller pieces of glass and combine them to make a design.
 
Some of the young artists will use ground glass or glass rods to decorate their pieces.

Once they finished designing, the students will glue down their pieces and get them ready for the kiln, a heating chamber like a type of oven used to transform materials at high temperatures.

The students today have made candle holders, dishes and paperweights. And with Valentine’s day approaching, some of the students have also made objects with a heart theme.

Mia Fontana, 8, made some glass hearts that can be used in a pendant.

Longtime student Zoe White, 11, made a dish with a heart on it for her mother in Lynda Slayen's class. (Photo by Gary Slayen)Longtime student Zoe White, 11, made a dish with a heart on it for her mother in Lynda Slayen's class. (Photo by Gary Slayen)
x
Longtime student Zoe White, 11, made a dish with a heart on it for her mother in Lynda Slayen's class. (Photo by Gary Slayen)
Longtime student Zoe White, 11, made a dish with a heart on it for her mother in Lynda Slayen's class. (Photo by Gary Slayen)
​Zoe White, 11, who’s been taking Slayen’s classes for the past five years, made a dish for her mother with a heart on it.

“And I made her two sets of earrings that were pink and red and white. I usually like making glass for my family; like my grandparents and my uncles and aunts because they like getting them and they love that it’s homemade,” she said.

Finding inspiration

Teaching children inspires Slayen.

“Because they’re so creative and they’re not inhibited and they’re willing to try anything they’re like ‘Oh sure, let’s do this and let’s do that,’” she said. “Whereas adults feel it has to be perfect.”

Sophia Fontana, 11, got creative with pastel-colored glass for her dish.

“I like making the glass with different colors and then seeing it after it melts,” she said.

Evelyn Gregory, 11, created this butterfly paperweight under the guidance of fused glass artist Lynda Slayen. (Photo by Gary Slayen)Evelyn Gregory, 11, created this butterfly paperweight under the guidance of fused glass artist Lynda Slayen. (Photo by Gary Slayen)
x
Evelyn Gregory, 11, created this butterfly paperweight under the guidance of fused glass artist Lynda Slayen. (Photo by Gary Slayen)
Evelyn Gregory, 11, created this butterfly paperweight under the guidance of fused glass artist Lynda Slayen. (Photo by Gary Slayen)
​“I really like having the anticipation of knowing how it turns out,” said Evelyn Gregory, 11, who has been a regular participant in the workshops.

During the day’s workshop she made several colorful pieces of glass art, including two pairs of earrings, a butterfly paperweight and a small dish.

Slayen also enjoys the anticipation.

“Every time I open the kiln, it’s a total surprise,” she said. “You never really know what you’re going to see and how the colors and how everything comes out.”

That surprise ending is part of the reason the students keep coming back for more.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

With over five million records sold worldwide, singer-songwriter MIKA is best known for his hit single “Grace Kelly.” MIKA joins "Border Crossings" to perform live and to talk with host Larry London about his latest CD “The Origin Of Love.”