Verne Orlosk, Fused Glass Artist
Verne currently works from her studio located across from the historic Palace Theatre in Manchester, NH and speaks frequently to passers by about the fine art of fused glass.
“I dislike the restrictive ‘ifs’ when designing for a kiln process, but relish in the ‘what ifs’ in pushing the vision forward. Finding a process and medium to share a vision, results in the permanence of art.”
A BFA in Graphic Design from Boston University started a career in the Advertising and Print media industries for ten years. She pursued mural painting and developed school enrichment programs in art and jewelry design while raising two daughters with her husband. A move to Ohio led her to two years of volunteering at the Toledo Museum of Art. Seventeen years as an instructor at the Currier Museum Art Center in Manchester, NH allowed her to teach the fine arts in several mediums and maintain her love of drawing. She discovered fused glass and directed the program for fourteen years.
The combination of growing up with quiet times on a family sailboat and the solitude that currently living at the beach can provide allows her work to share moments of reflection, beauty and curiosity. Fused Glass also allows her desire for light to be part of the art experience when viewing her worlds about the sea.
“I have created quite an obsession with tidal action and my response has been actively collecting. The detritus and specimens have become inspirational, as well as infinite examples of the natural world and its own evolutions.”
All my pockets have sand in them!
PROCESS (and Opinion!)
In the case of fused glass, the word process can be a catch phrase for some secretive formula that makes your work unique. There is some science to how and when the glass will melt and can be manipulated. The operations of your kiln, programs to compute, variables in design and the important annealing stage, are to be carefully considered. Powders, inclusions and tools that contain some dangers are also part of the equation. Nothing, however, compares to the fun of opening a kiln, with the anticipation of a coveted gift, and the alchemy of those additional “happy accidents”.
In the painterly images that I currently create, the use of glass powders and frits is unlike any other medium I’ve used. A base piece of fusible glass (has it’s own Coefficient of Expansion to match other glass used in a single art work) is cut to shape. A sketched image is used as reference and sometimes traced on a light table with a fine sharpie. Copper wire is cut and bent to represent line and will fire to a black or sometimes blue-green or reddish patina. Glass powders and frits (crushed glass in varying sizes) are then layered in a manner similar to painting. Colors can be mixed pre-firing or layered to blend when melted in the kiln. I enjoy the depth that multiple firings will give as well as the simplicity and flow of light through a single layer of powders on the base glass.