SANDY PENDLETON

Creative Kiln-Fired Glass
There is a magic to light passing through
brilliantly colored glass. Add textured surfaces
or bubbles and you get more sparkle. Add a
reflective surface and you get shimmer and
iridescence. Move the glass when it is molten,
and you capture the energy of that motion. It
is the possibilities of glass as an art medium that
stimulates my curiosity and creativity.
Kiln-fired glass is a very different process from
blown glass. I begin with large sheets of
colored glass that have been specially
formulated to withstand the heat of firing in a
kiln. I create a design, hand cut the
components and begin to build the piece. Once
heated in the kiln, the glass is completely
transformed. Altering time and temperature
over a series of firings allows me to achieve
different textures and effects. Over time, my
artwork has become more intricate. The details
matter to me and I can sit for hours carefully
placing small pieces of glass with tweezers until
everything is “just right”.
Often, the development of a new piece is a
result of experimentation. Discovering a new
texture, technique or combination of processes
will often suggest the next piece. Resolving the
challenges presented by these “adventures in
glass” is part of the excitement.
One of my favorite techniques is to manipulate
the glass while it is molten hot in the kiln. I
have only a few seconds to move the glass.
Once the glass is firm again, that moment in
time when the glass was flowing is captured
forever. The resulting pieces have great
motion and depth that speaks to me of the
invisible energy flowing all around us.
Themes from the natural world regularly
appear. Elements of earth, water, fire, the
forest and the desert all make their way into my
artwork. Think of the shimmer of moonlight,
the soft glow of morning, the brilliant hues of
the desert sunset, the mystery of twilight. If I
have communicated my love of those moments
through my work, I have succeeded.