We were so delighted to have the opportunity to host master glass artist Scott Chaseling, who arrived from Australia in September inspiring us all with the mechanics and beauty of the ‘roll-up’ technique using fused glass. Primarily triggered by work developed by Claus Moje and Dante Marioni in the ‘90s, Scott Chaseling has further developed the techinique where fused glass is rolled it up into a cylinder and then blown out as if gathered from the furnace.
Chaseling and his team pick up fused tiles on a “collar” of glass at the end of a blowpipe. This collar could be made from sheet glass fired in a kiln, thus eliminating the need for a furnace. We have great facilities here at the hub with our Minimelt mobile furnaces suppling small quantities of glass, yet with all the aspects of a Glory hole. Scott’s assistants this time around were talented and established glass artists in their own rights. The inspiring Cathryn Shilling from the fused glass world, and the multi-talented, Katie Huskie from her busy studio, Devereux & Huskie. Both barns here at The Glass Hub became one, as students cut, fused, carried, shouted and married the dual processes of warm and hot glass.
Our new interns Lolita and Bailey, were truly thrown in at the deep end, as our students began promptly Monday morning, straight into a mass production of glass cutting. Some of the participants had arrived with an established personal brief and aspirations for the week, others with more open agenda. We had a good mix of fusers and blowers, Scott ending up making most of the pieces as the week went on. As the glass cutters sped along, the glass snapping like cold chocolate to exact sizes, ready to rack up into a design for a tile to be fused overnight. Meanwhile, a demo piece was heating up, kindly made by Cathryn beforehand. A lunchtime deadline was set to get the tiles in the kiln, so they could be used the following day.
That afternoon we were treated to an amazing demo from Scott making Cathryn a roll-up vessel from her fused tile.
Our tiles were all fused and hot as we rushed them out of kiln, cleaned and then put back to heat for use in the afternoon. Students were then shown a murrine pulling demo and set to cut their own murrine stacks to be fused overnight and pulled into cane the next day. While they were cutting and prepping their stacks under the watchful eye of Cathryn Shilling, their fused Bullseye panels were blown over in the Hot shop …Katie and Scott working in sync like Torvill and Dean!
Students who had been fully immersed in both the technical aspects of cutting, fusing etc. along with the creative aspects of designing, now explored the process of pulling Murrine stacks into lengths. Bailey and Katie’s arms and legs taking the brunt of the strength required for this physical process, they were up on ‘marvers’, blasting torches and pulling wondrous lengths of murrine cane ready for cutting into tiles. Scott and Katie brilliantly demonstrated a murrine tile roll up and Scott treated us to a slide show of his work, that allowed a rare sit-down moment for all. We decided to take the risky choice of using Spectrum Glass alongside the Bullseye on the course, so making a Spectrum glass tile was also happening in the kiln room.
Murrine choppers cracking, students assembled the beautiful cross-sections into a loose tile that was soon heated, pressed and rolled up in the hot shop as the place came alive with what we like to call organised chaos. Having so many creative minds and wonderful sections of colour in a variety of designs of such a high standard is truly awesome to see. All of this driven by the subtle instructions of Scott, who was not only choreographing the whole event, but also making everyone’s pieces (except Niki Steel). We finished the day with a massive meal and plenty to drink along with live entertainment in the form of Venetian goblet demos from Dave Barry and the Bristol Blue glass crew.
A tired but jovial crew entered into the last day with focus on their spectrum tiles to roll and blow. There was a chance to actually sit down, as there was no preparation for the next day and the sun shone for us. Scott and Katie stole the show, working tirelessly to finish and produce a beautiful blown piece for everyone and a wonderful piece for the Hub, a new design from Scott. What an amazing week this was with Scott Chaseling – a world-class Master of the rollup, and a true leader of great spirit sharing this fantastic technique.
Thank you Scott and everyone who gave their all for this course.