FUSED-GLASS

This post was sponsored by Springfield, Missouri Convention & Visitors Bureau. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Last month when I visited Springfield, MO, part of our agenda included a class at Creative Escape Glass. It’s funny how I have a kiln in my garage, have always wanted to try fused glass (I did make small pendants once) and it took traveling to the middle of the country for me to learn! Hey, whatever it takes!

I don’t know why I’ve been intimidated to use my kiln for glass. All it takes is a few different settings. But now that I experienced the process of making this glass tile suncatcher, I feel a lot more confident. And I know that every time I fire a glass project in my kiln, I’ll think of my time in Springfield at this shop!

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Creative Escape Glass is located in a popular part of Springfield, Historic C-Street. It’s surrounded by vintage stores, eateries, artful gardens and all kinds of unique shops. We were there on a Friday morning, before the activity began to bubble. We were told how popular the street is on weekends, at night and during festival season. I can see that because the street is filled with one-of-a-kind businesses.

First I’ll show you my glass adventure, then where I ended up later in the day.

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When you walk into Creative Escape Glass, you’re surrounded by shelves filled with handmade art pieces.

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You can choose if you want to buy the finished piece, or the class to make your own version.  Here are some of the finished designs they had on display. Naturally, everyone in our group wanted to make an original!

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At first I had a bit of anxiety from all the different types of glass…large sheets, as pictured above, to frit. Frit is a ground version of glass. There were also pebbles, powders, tiny chunks, all types.

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We learned that we wouldn’t have to deal with those. This was to be a crash course, and we stuck to these bins. Each one contained color-coordinated small to medium glass shards.

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I fell in love with this one – all reds, yellows and oranges. Of course I had to make a sacred heart with the eternal flame of hope at the top. These are perfect flame colors!

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These are the tools we used – the one on the right is to score the glass and the one on the left is to snap it apart. We learned to hold the scorer upright for a clean cut, and to be aware of the edges of the glass you you don’t slice your finger.

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Then we were given clear tiles to serve as the base of the suncatcher. This picture below is a clear glass tile that someone else made, they used only clear on clear, doesn’t it look so cool?

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I opted for color! Here is my work table in progress. We didn’t use any glue, we just set the tile pieces in place, then carefully walked them over to the kiln. We added small jump rings at the top – for that we used glue to hold them in place. Once I got the hang of it, I couldn’t stop cutting glass for my tile!

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Here is my finished piece before firing.fused-glass-3

Into the kiln!

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And here are some folks from our group, hard at work designing their masterpiece!

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We waved so-long to our unfired glass tiles and left to roam about the city. On the last night of our trip when we each went back to our room, our fired finished pieces awaited us! I love how mine turned out!

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Once we finished up with our class, we were set free free to explore. Of course, I had to go in search of more crafty goodness. And I found it at CrinkleLove!

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There was also a wonderful eatery where we stopped for lunch, Ms. Gilmore’s Vintage Suitcase & Tea Room!

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My kinda place! This place was filled corner to corner with treasures and trinkets to buy. Turn around and you bump into massive dessert cases! Before I had time to get into trouble, we were seated for lunch.

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Let me get back to crafting. The next day we visited the Farmer’s Market of the Ozarks and guess what I found aside from all kinds of locally grown produce, roasted coffee beans and fresh baked goods?

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Hand dyed silk yarn – in gorgeous colors!

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This farmer’s market was the hotbed of handmade activity. From beaded jewelry and handmade soap to handspun yarn and stitched journal and leather bags…I wanted to buy one of everything!ozark-farmers-markert2

Well that’s a wrap for that portion of my trip. I have one more post left to share and it’s going to have even more memories from this awesome trip. It’s so hard to choose what to put in these posts! We did so much and I wish I could relive it all. I plan to upload all my pictures to my flickr account soon!

To learn more about Springfield, make sure to follow #LoveSpringfield and visit http://lovespringfield.co/

Love & light,


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