In this series, the artists working at Creative Gateways give us a behind-the-scenes insight into their current works in progress, inspiration and creative challenges. Today, Terry tells us about about a new piece he has been working on.
My seven year old daughter Marika was the first to master the pronunciation of “Humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa” (the Reef Triggerfish), on a family vacation to Hawai’i, almost 14 years ago, where we snorkeled amongst these gorgeous creatures. I recently came across a postcard of the Hawaiian State Fish that Marika had sent me 2 years ago while she was living in Maui. Taken by the striking color, I wondered if I could re-create it in glass.
First step was running the fish through Photoshop to break the image down into four values ranging from light to dark. My idea was to create 4 separate silkscreens, one per value, that would be powder-printed on each side of 2 pieces of 3mm Tekta glass, and finally backed with 2mm black glass. Two of these screens were be printed in reverse since I would be working on the back as well as on the front of the glass. I then chose powdered glass colors to match the values that each screen represented: white, light grey, dark grey and black, relatively speaking. A new twist I threw in, that I haven’t tried before, was mixing/blending different colors of similar values on one silkscreen. Glass was fired to a typical tack fuse of 1350 with a 10 minute hold. Each round of printing was preceded by several passes of opaque white powder to give a bit of a base to the colors that followed.
I’ll have to say I was rather pleased at the result when I contour fused the 2 pieces together… just about everything came out as I had envisioned. Next time I will lower the tack temperature by 50 degrees to avoid shrinkage of the glass, which creates a registration challenge for the second silkscreen on the backside of each piece of glass. A bit of handwork with powders after screen-printing/tacking may be in order as well to help pop/define some of the shapes.
Come see what Terry is working on this week!
The resident artists here at Creative Gateways are always up to something. Part of the beauty of the open-studio concept is that YOU get to see where art is made, engage with artists in their studios, and be a part of the creative process! Click here to find us, we welcome you to stop by any time!