Thursday, February 7, 2019

Okinawa Whale Shark Fused Glass Art

Whale Shark Japanese Ocean Churaumi Aquarium Handmade Glass Fused Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Bullseye Whaleshark
A fused glass whale shark

We took a day and visited the Churaumi Aquarium on the north side of the island of Okinawa, Japan. We love to visit this aquarium and see the whale sharks and rays in the Kuroshio Sea exhibit through huge viewing windows. The spot pattern on a whale shark is unique to each one, like fingerprints for people.

Whale Shark Japanese Ocean Churaumi Aquarium Okinawa Handmade Glass Fused Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Bullseye Whaleshark
Churaumi Aquarium in Okinawa

I want to create glass that is unique to Okinawa, so I decided to make a whale shark and a spotted ray. After creating the sketches, I cut out a plastic templates to transfer the images to glass.

Whale Shark Sketch Japanese Ocean Aquarium Handmade Glass Fused Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Bullseye Whaleshark
Whale shark sketch

The next step was to cut out the complex shape on a glass ring saw. I could hand cut the piece, but there would be quite a bit of waste.

Whale Shark Ring Saw Taurus Handmade Glass Fused Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Bullseye Whaleshark
Cutting out a whale shark on a glass ring saw.

After cleaning the glass, I added the unique spot pattern with Colors For Earth enamels and set the whale shark on top of an ocean background created in a separate firing.

Whale Shark Enamel CFE Handmade Glass Fused Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Bullseye Whaleshark
Adding the spot pattern with glass enamels 

I also created a spotted eagle ray so the whale shark would have a happy friend to swim with!

A fused glass spotted eagle ray



Thursday, January 17, 2019

Cherry Blossom Sakura Flowers Fused Glass Painting

Delicate cherry blossoms in transparent and opaque shades of pink bloom on a painted branch.



Sakura Cherry Blossom Japanese Asian Ornament Handmade Glass Fused Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Bullseye Pink Painting
Fused Glass Cherry Blossoms Floating on a Sky of Glass

This glass painting was inspired by a photo taken in Kyoto Japan of cherry blossom trees being pruned. My husband took this picture in March at the beginning of cherry blossom season in Mainland Japan. In Okinawa, where we live now, cherry blossom season is in January.

Workers pruning cherry blossom trees in Kyoto Japan.

The sky is a gradient in shades of blue enamels painted on a piece of white Bullseye sheet glass. I tried for loose brush strokes to create lots of soft movement. To create the branch, I used different shades of brown for the striations and shading on the bark. After the enamel was set, I added blooms made from Bullseye crushed glass in both opaque and transparent glass. The glass painting was then heated in the kiln to 1475 degF for a full fuse.


Enamel CFE Colors For Earth UGC Sky Blue Clouds Watercolor Painting Handmade Glass Fused Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Bullseye
The sky painted with enamels. 
Flower Cherry Blossom Japanese Asian Ornament Handmade Glass Fused Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Bullseye Pink Frit
The tree branch painted with enamels and sprinted with frit.

After the first firing, I added more Bullseye crushed glass so some of the flower blooms would be raised and add texture to the finished piece. I then re-fired this glass painting to soften the edges of the frit for a slight contour fuse.

Flower Branch Tree Cherry Blossom Japanese Asian Ornament Handmade Glass Fused Sharon Warren FluterbyButterfly FlutterbyFoto Bullseye Pink Painting
Adding more frit before a second firing.

I love how the the layers of petals give such depth against the painted blue sky. I hope this fused glass painting of the cherry blossoms blooming helps to capture the moment.