News / Arts & Entertainment

Students Fuse Art from Shattered Glass

Students Get Creative with Fused Glassi
X
January 11, 2014 12:19 AM
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.
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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

"Soul Lounge" host Shawna Renee catches up with soul singer and songwriter Russell Taylor to hear what he’s been up to since winning the VH1 "You Oughta Know" title in 2013. She also convinces him to share a few songs from his album "War of Hearts."