Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lens to Light

Images Under Glass - Looking Through Darkly

There's a push on in historical circles to preserve historical glass plate photographs.

The early forms of photography were on metal plates coated with silver, like tintypes and dagguerotypes, usually enclosed in a velvet lined box to preserve the image from fading or being scratched.

After that glass plates were used, and an invention, the "Magic Lantern,' was used with these slides to entertain children and educate during lectures and presentations. These small glass plates are now collected and preserved, some are being digitized and made available to view. Some are still very clear images, others are scratched, cracked or very faded.

Decided to make a replica of a Magic Lantern slide, with an image of a riverbank, grey sky and treeline embedded inside fused glass. This is the backlit view of the faux photography slide, showing the slight image still visible inside.

Optical, magical and faux artifact historical. Some famous photographers of the 1860s who went to the newly discovered lands in the west of America lugged these large cameras with glass plates, preserving images of their times.

Watched 'The Golden Compass' and now want to create imagery from that style, with the ornate decorative and machine age representations. The costumes, jewelry and all the visuals were very inspiring.

Also finally had some success with the fine silver and the torch today. And no blisters or other casualties, thankfully. Made a bracelet with large and small links, and a necklace with large links and oversized rosary wrapped glass beads. Made a toggle closure, almost melted it but pulled the torch back just in time. Persistence and vigilence is definitely required!

Got one fused glass firing out of the kiln also. Little gears and hearts on a black background, and several gemstone looking pieces that need to be shaped and polished and set.

The greenish, silvertone and sparkling blue gems are new dichroic glass just got at Glasshopper and firing for the first time.

Glass is very unpredictable but nothing else looks quite like it. The sheen, glow and sparkles are unmistakeable. And visually exciting.

Think the silvertone glass gem will be shaped and beveled to use with a setting of fine silver, maybe to make a solitare ring.

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