Verne Orlosk, Fused Glass Artist
Verne currently works from her studio/gallery located across from the historic Palace Theatre in Manchester, NH and speaks frequently to passers by about the fine art of fused glass.
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 and depth to be part of the art experience when viewing her worlds about the sea.
“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.”
All my pockets have sand in them!
I use glass powder, in a painterly manner, in most of my work. The leaves are exclusively glass powder. I designed this process to decrease the weight of the finished art and also to broaden the use of color. There is no base piece of glass. I start by sketching an image in pencil on a piece of kiln shelf paper. I select a palette of colors and begin layering the glass powder. There are 10-15 individual colors that work together to create transparent areas, opaque blends, textured spaces, depth and intentional organic holes.
My tools are a small fine screen sieve and an antique grapefruit spoon. A dry paintbrush adds texture, as well as shape and edge clean up. Once I have layered the glass powder to a fairly even thickness of about ¼”, I sift a clear layer over the top and fire for 10 hours in the kiln. The controlled temperatures fuse the powder into solid glass. A second firing is done at a temperature 200 degrees lower. This is where I choose a mold that the leaf slumps into and forms tipped edges and creates movement.
Our minds, hearts and souls should hold enlightening experiences to renew us. Faith and hope are also strong holds, but there is something about the truth in nature that provides a comforting space to linger. A leaf is just one colorful bounty in one life cycle. How wonderful that in New England we experience this moment that seems to be chosen just for us.