FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK April 7, 2017 will feature Glenda Kronke

Glass Kiln forming is the process of shaping glass in a kiln by utilizing heat and gravity.

I have worked with glass in its many forms over the years and really enjoy the variety and endless possibilities that working in a kiln affords.

This particular process was developed early on in my career as I experimented with glass in its powdered form.

I use crushed colored glass to ‘draw my design’ on a flat shelf. I then heat this crushed glass to a high enough temperature to melt it. As the glass cools, it becomes solid. I repeat this process several times adding layers of colored glass with each firing. I then hand form a mold out of fiber paper and place the piece on these forms in such a way as to let gravity and the heat of the kiln gently bend the glass to its final shape.

​I use many methods and techniques to make my work. This series starts with colored art glass that has been crushed into a powder form (like flour). I use different tools to manipulate the powdered glass, essentially drawing my design on a flat shelf. This powdered glass is then fired in a kiln at high temperatures, melts and becomes a solid piece of glass as it cools.

I use a hand held pencil grinder to refine the design and grind the edges of each piece. I can now begin layering different colors of powdered glass on top of this piece creating nuances of color, dramatic contrasts and shading. The piece is fired several times depending on the look I’m after.

The next step is to shape the piece. (each piece is fired on a flat shelf, not in a mold) The flat piece needs to be bent over a form. I use fiber paper to make my forms. Each one has to be individually made to fit the glass. The glass is laid on the form and the kiln is heated to a temperature that will let the glass bend but not melt. I let gravity and heat do the rest.

Most of my work will have a matte finish. (The process of firing the glass leaves the surface shiny and reflective). I accomplish this by sandblasting with aluminum oxide and then I apply a product (*Rain-X) as a protective to keep fingerprints and dust off.