DECEMBER 27, 2011 7:28PM

Art for Art's Sake: Perspectives

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Welcome to Oso Remote Studios


Martha Youdin - Designs in Glass


This is a three-part piece: 2 circular dishes and a sphere (marble). The designs you see are varied inclusions

You sandwich odds and bods between two layers of glass, mindful of both additive and subtractive theories of color, and use the kiln to fuse it all with a minimum of unintended bubbles.

This series (3 so far) was received well in a crafts fair environment. Folks couldn't help but put hands on to achieve a more perfect alignment. Yet somehow each left that same task to the next visitor. How Zen.


This time, a square a circle and a sphere. Inclusions can be things like bits of foil and wire, fusable decals, glass stringers and frit and so on.

You may recall a third piece of the set which was featured in an earlier post.




A set of 4 translucent fused tiles. 

Opaque tiles are also possible.






We have an idiomatic expression for the ones that go off for sale though we'd rather they hung at home.



(Someone paid way less than $300.)

These hangings were among her best sellers, along with things like necklace/earring sets and ornaments.







Stained Glass

The stained glass of your memories of English cathedrals and so on is colored (coloured?) textured glass divided up by lead came.

A more modern technique utilizes adhesive backed copper foil. If you've ever soldered a flexible braided wire, you would know how hard and stiff it becomes. Same thing here. You wrap each piece, flux the exposed surfaces and then run the heated solder all over, thus forming the same kind of channel system. 

This hangs in the living room.

Vines & Butterflies 


This piece combines the warm glass techniques of the kiln with the stained glass techniques just described.


All these pics have linked back to Martha's flickr storage page, from where she collates images for brochures, entries, etc. One may use the actions menu to "view all sizes" which helps get you the largest available.

From the standpoint of being her photographer, I can relate to you how hard it is to capture such shiny and reflective surfaces. You should forgive me for selecting the least problematic for this post, but you are invited to peruse the entirety by clicking through.



A Taste of the Process

And the number one reason the cats have never set one paw inside the studio is...



I asked Martha to give me a heads up when she was going to start a new project involving slumping, fusing and some nice visuals. These images link to my page because of the larger storage available there.

Requiring less heat than fusing, slumping is the process which heats glass just enough to relax and re-fix it in the shape of whatever is underneath. Where these pieces wind up is still a work in progress, but what you'll be seeing is the weaving of glass strips which involves both those techniques.

First, strips are laid across ceramic forms which are treated to resist sticking to the glass. This image is a composite of the small kiln's base unit, side unit, and top

This one makes the meter run about like a toaster oven.

To borrow from weaving terms, this is the warp being slumped.
The assembly, with more flat strips becoming the weft, gets a trial run on the light table.

Notice the thin glass rods to be sandwiched with the weft pieces during the fuse.
Then, it's on to the big kiln, joining another woven work already in place.
The 2 pieces sit on a ceramic shelf lined with "shelf paper," a material which acts like the liquid form of kiln wash in preventing sticking.

This one makes the meter run like a chopper blade.
The rewards.
I hope to show you where these have wound up; perhaps a media mix with fiber arts. We'll just have to see.

The OS savvy reader is getting a jump on Martha's second career. You teachers will appreciate that she's only in her second year of retirement. I expect big things, but at the pace that keeps it satisfying to the artist. For now it's all "high clearance vehicle" and "by appointment."

I don't mind if you call it "art for art's sake."

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Stacey, lots of talent in your household (of course, I already knew that from before)! I had envisioned a huge propane fired kiln and am quite surprised to see how small a footprint the equipment has. For those thinking about creating glass art pieces this should whet their appetites! (I can picture the electric meter spinning very fast as you mentioned in your text as I can run a few things here and easily get the same effect!)
D - I am often brought up for assuming my experiences are also others'. I included those additional descriptors for rhetorical purposes, but now appreciate them more like an unprevoked jazz riff. Thanks for that!
That's a neat and tidy studio, and the technical steps are illuminating. Her art is so nice, whimsical, balanced, and colorful. What a tour, congratulations on 2nd year of "retirement."
I LOVE this. How often does one see something totally new AND love it.
Just beautiful.
hey, that's some gorgeous stuff! and i laughed at the $300 inside joke. we all have those, don't we? i'm a huge fan of glass art, and there are some beauties here - she has an excellent eye. more, please! :)
Martha has always been an amazing artist! Glad her things are selling. I keep going to fairs around the country and thinking, "Martha's glass would do really well here!"
These beautiful photograph are only half-downloaded. I'd expects these exquisite expressions to sell like morning hot cakes with maple syrup.
Last Sunday in Shepardstown, Wesy Virginia I went to a Seasonal Art Bizarre.
My eyes were transfixed on a young artist who did wands (Harry Potter).
I could not resist purchasing a boomerang shaped Wand. It had symbols.
The artist burned into the Wand ancient Egyptian Sketches. I must research.
The artist went on and on explaining Wand History and the ancient Sketches.
Wizard Works by Michael A Dye
24500 Gorman Road, SE
Oldtown, Maryland 21555
301 478 5610
He said he just began`Wands.
THe price was very reasonable.
He had many various designs.
You cause me to wish to go
up into my wood work shop
I get lost in time as if eternity
dianaani - I think all those adjectives apply as well. As for the neat and tidy studio, I think we'll share a chuckle over that. She asked me not to include any wide shots of the "organized chaos."

Roger - I am really glad this found some resonance with you. Cool.

Candy - one year in kindergarten, she organized "The Kids' Museum" which began with slide shows of masters like Magritte and Picasso in a whole group setting, then several months of inspired projects across the grade level, leading to an "opening" in the evening for the kids and parents. Not surprisingly, there was some great work.

Susan - Nice to have your affirmation from years of friendship. Seems like only yesterday she learned the craft of ojos de dios from Gloria in Ribera and added her take which was to use found wood instead of dowels. Her art minor at Silver City exposed her to the formalities of fundamentals and process though you're right, she had already done amazing work by then. When we visited with a glass artist at The Torpedo Factory in Alexandria recently, she was overjoyed to have work/gallery space that allowed her the luxury of leaving the shows and fairs behind her. My sense is that Martha's limited experience with fairs does not leave her hungry for too much more. Props to those who make it work for them.

Art James - I'm delighted to learn you waited patiently for images to download. And I know firsthand the wondering whether to refresh the page or not when several images fail to load. I wonder if Michael A. Dye could fashion a wand for that? But the best part is that this draws you to your shop. I love the description "lost in time." Yes.

Thank you everybody for your great comments.
How beautiful. I have a special love for light thru colored glass.
Hi Blue - thanks for that.

Myriad - we're almost cross-posting, if there is such a thing. I have just returned from reading more about that special love.