Monday, October 17, 2011

Glass Painting and Silver Clay Workshop at Gage Designs

I'm home from my weekend in beautiful Pennsylvania, where I led an exploration of painting on glass and setting glass into silver clay. The class of ten students did some beautiful work. Unfortunately for me, despite sitting in the charger for weeks (evidently unplugged), my camera battery was nearly dead. Luckily, Holly's camera worked!

Enamel on glass paintings by Holly Gage (two on left reverse, others surface)
The class learned two types of painting on glass: surface painting onto an opaque white glass with watercolor enamels and reverse painting onto clear transparent glass with opaque enamels. To appreciate the detail achievable in the paintings by the talented Holly Gage, you need to know that the glass size is 5/8" x 1 1/4"!
Enamel painting on glass
Top, L to R: Helene Richards, Karen Quirk Douglass (2); bottom: Kimberle Gage  Swanson
I also demonstrated my method of setting the glass in silver by pre-firing components and then firing the assembly with glass inserted.

Dorothy Thompson - painted enamel on glass set in fine silver clay
Unfortunately, I didn't get photos of all the work, but these photos were all posted by Holly Gage.
Enamel painting on glass set in fine silver clay
Karen Quirk Douglass
Painted enamel on glass set in fine silver clay
Terri Werner
Can you believe that this wonderful owl pendant was the first metal clay project ever for Terri Werner??? While Terri was a bit intimidated by the skills of her fellow students, I think this is a simply stunning piece!
Enamel painting on glass set in fine silver clay
Kimberle Gage Swanson
This beautiful pendant was designed and executed immaculately by Holly's sister-in-law, Kimberle Gage Swanson, obviously talented in her own right.

Enamel painting on glass set in fine silver clay
Christine Miller

Enamel painting on glass set in fine silver clay
Helene Richardson

It was a great trip. The students were fun, enthusiastic and productive. Holly did an amazing job of preparing and assembling supplies. She and her family also welcomed me into their home, where Holly shared her studio and supplies with me for late night play sessions, while her husband pampered me with gourmet meals (pumpkin lasagna!!) and her daughter, Megan, aspiring veterinarian, showed off her amazing domestic leopard cat and miniature rabbits. After a few days of rain, the weather turned sunny and gorgeous, with trees turning red, an amazing sunset after the last storm, and images recorded in my memory of pristine farms on rolling hills with Amish horses and buggies pattering past. 


  1. Very impressed with your students and I can definitely appreciate the intricacy of Holly's paintings -oooh, so tiny! And I love the owl. Can you tell me what brand glass paints you used in the class? The colors are quite stunning.

  2. Very beautiful. Do you mix your own enamel paints or do you prefer a certain brand?
    All the best,

  3. Thanks, Cheryl & Heather!

    The watercolors are from Thompson and the opaques are from Fuse Master.

  4. Liz Roberts12:46 AM

    Very satisfying to see the way the patterning in the silver settings complement/echo the paintings. The instructor's guiding influence, perchance... ;}
    Terri- Your Owl can only be described as quite lyrical!