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



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