Sarah Nelson

5 piece(s) in the gallery

ARTIST Q & A

What size kiln do you use to create your art glass?
I use 3 different sizes of kilns ranging from a very small Evenheat Hot Box to a large Evenheat Coffin Kiln. I converted the small kiln into a �Vitrigraph� machine to make glass elements. My Torso series are fused in the largest kiln-- bath tub size but my work horse is a Paragon GL24 � I couldn�t create the variety of artwork without them.

What is the process you use to create your colorful shaped elements that can be seen in your finished works?
I create my elements using what is known as a �Vitrigraph� kiln (also seen spelled Vitrograph). In a Vitrigraph, glass is placed in a kiln safe vessel (flower pot, etc...), with a hole in the bottom. Similarly, the kiln has a hole in the bottom as well. The kiln is raised up high enough to allow working room underneath (5 � 6 feet). The glass is heated to > 1700 �F, at which point the glass becomes fluid, and is extruded from the bottom of the kiln. As the glass melts out the bottom of the kiln, I can shape my own images and use them in my larger kiln work. I make glass curls by using a metal rod. I can also form pod shapes, long thin elements as well as shorter wider elements and everything in between. I adjust the kiln temperature, and the amount I pull on the glass to vary the thickness and shapes of the extruded glass. I then arrange these homemade elements on top of my glass canvas. Although I can predict the outcome when fused, often they melt slightly different from what I envisioned. Thus, "Choreographed Chaos."

What are your influences and inspirations that guide you to create your art?
The merging of �Art� and �Science�-- Before creating glass art I had once thought these were totally separate entities. Now in my personal life, my marriage (my husband is a scientist) and my work I have found overlap. You would never think these would but I am discovering daily in my work I am making art by using science to do so. Taking good notes and making calculations is a key to achieving the looks I want. I do many experiments and create many a prototype to gain skills that let me create on a higher level than once before.

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