Friday, 23 June 2017

Slapton Ley (glass panel)

Slapton Ley is a large, freshwater lake in Devon with amazing wildlife which includes many rare species.  It lies right next to Start Bay, separated from it by a fragile shingle spit.

This glass panel was designed and made for someone who has a lifelong connection with the Ley.  As I've never been there, I had to make sure I got it to "feel" right!  I did a lot of internet searching, and talked about how the place looked with people who know it well.  This is the final design:


Starting from the bottom, we have the sea (Start Bay), the shingle spit, the freshwater lake with two grebes, and a sky with giant hogweed silhouetted.  Although it's possible to see rare species such as Cetti's warbler and bitterns at Slapton I didn't include them as they tend to stay hidden.

Here are two pieces of the panel ready to be fired in my kiln:


I really enjoyed making this one, starting from no knowledge and learning a lot about the Ley in the process.  And here's a close-up of the 'shingle' and 'sea' pieces:


After lots of hours spent scratching paint, two firings of 12 hours each, then cutting and soldering the lead (plus polishing!), it was done.  As I couldn't find the right pink for the sky, I went with blue - and now I prefer it.


One more for luck:


Next, I'm doing some glass paint tests to see if I can improve the firing results.  There'll be lots of little mini-glass-pictures!
Vicky xx
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