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Reversible Glass Jewelry

Reversible Fused Glass Jewelry by Artist Michelle Copeland at www.ThistleGlass.com

When I began making jewelry, the only way I could hang fused pendants on a necklace was to use a glue bail. This bail extends down the back of the glass. I did not enjoy seeing the bail through the glass, so designed around the problem. I became an expert on gluing, but that’s another story.

I felt limited to making glass with an opaque background so the bail wasn’t visible. I learned a lot within the confines of those parameters, but….. that is not why I create glass, that’s no way to live!

I am inspired by the most light play I can get. Dancing with colors and light, that’s my jam.
I love seeing what is going on within the layers, and I want to wear them, they need to be 3-D beautiful.

Another dilemma I run into while working with transparent glass is choosing which side of the glass will be the front. I wanted the ability to change my mind and flip the jewelry over on a necklace.

Reversible Wire wrapped Fused Glass Jewelry by Artist Michelle Copeland at www.ThistleGlass.com
If using dichroic or iridescent glass, there is a ton of light play on both sides.
Seeing through the glass to the fabric or skin alters the color of the pendant. One pendant suddenly coordinates with seemingly everything.

Glass jewelry needs to be transparent, blended with opaque in some pieces, and reversible.

How? Learn something new. I learned wire wrapping. I use mainly sterling silver wire, a nice gauge so it’s sturdy, but not bulky in appearance. My goal was to notice more glass than metal, to create a subtle frame for the piece.

I cut a grooved channel around the perimeter of the finished cabochons to keep the wire in place, and I went for it. I wasted quite a bit of sterling wire in the learning and design process, but it was so worth it!
Versatile, reversible jewelry. I thoroughly enjoy that each piece can now become as unique as the wearer simply by changing the color behind it, simply by choosing which side is the front.
In the end, I’m very happy I went on this journey. I hope you enjoy the concept as much as I do.

Reversible Glass Jewelry –  In each listing, there is an additional photo showing the reverse, matte side.
The matte appearance is from the glass resting on the kiln shelf.

Change your mind, reflect your mood, and be uniquely YOU.
– Michelle Copeland

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Custom Stained Glass Lighthouse

Custom Stained Glass Lighthouse created by Artist Michelle Copeland at ThistleGlass.com

Building on Tradition –
Commemorating a traditional family journey with Stained Glass.

Custom Stained Lighthouse created by Artist Michelle Copeland at ThistleGlass.com
  • The original photo blown up into a working photo.
Custom Stained Lighthouse created by Artist Michelle Copeland at ThistleGlass.com
  • The cartoon rendering so I can select glass and start cutting out the pattern.
Custom Stained Lighthouse created by Artist Michelle Copeland at ThistleGlass.com
  • Glass has been cut and ground, now ready to foil.
Custom Stained Lighthouse created by Artist Michelle Copeland at ThistleGlass.com
  • Foil is done, ready to solder.
Custom Stained Lighthouse created by Artist Michelle Copeland at ThistleGlass.com
  • Soldered and ready for finishing work.
Custom Stained Lighthouse created by Artist Michelle Copeland at ThistleGlass.com
  • The Lighthouse is complete.
Custom Stained Lighthouse created by Artist Michelle Copeland at ThistleGlass.com
  • Installed!

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Dawn Series – Verre Eglomise

Fused Glass Tray - Designed by Artist Michelle Copeland at ThistleGlass.com

Verre Églomisé is a French term referring to the process of applying both a design and gilding onto the rear face of glass to produce a mirror finish. … The technique of back-painting glass actually dates back to pre-Roman eras.

Dawn – the Birth of a New Day
4-2012 My tests are complete! Over a decade of research, studies, and kiln tests, at long last I had the breakthrough I was searching for.
In 1996, I brought my glass experience to work for a company that hand-painted the back of glass (Verre Eglomise) and sealed it with powder coat. Their powder coat application was not tested according to well-established fused glass testing methods. My job was to develop new techniques and designs for them to sell around the globe …. with powder coat.
In my off-time, I developed my ideas further but still felt unsettled … HOW do I eliminate the powder coat and bring identical Verre Eglomise effects to fused glass?
Traditional fused glass contains … glass, front and back, and the design elements are completely encased within the melted glass, and are impervious to water. Fused glass is more costly to produce, but with proper care, you have a family heirloom.
Remember the saying, “They don’t make things the way they used to!”?
Despite a disposable world, my glass goals have always been longevity, authenticity, and made to last.

Dawn Series – Made to Last

Fuel for Evolution

Here are some photos of my former work sealed with powder coat. I will never employ the powder coat method again, but this method influenced my future glass endeavors.

And Now – The best of both Worlds – Made to Last

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Glass as I see It

Blown Glass Cane, Artist Michelle Copeland at www.ThistleGlass.com

Deep in glass process thoughts, I have sequestered myself away to listen, see and feel the colors. In front of me, a large array of blown glass twisted cane. Letting the pieces fall together the way they want, finding the right bend, cutting in just the right place… all the while, recalling the glass blowing sessions for each vase, twist, pulled cane and pattern bar.
Happy memories of my glass blowing shop flood over me. Thoughts drift to loved ones, past and present….the glass colors harmoniously blend the edges of these thoughts until finally, retrospect and introspect collide. Such a peaceful endeavor is difficult to describe.
I decided to communicate these happy thoughts through photos. I am not a professional photographer, but I feel my photos show you glass, as I see it. I hope by looking deep within the glass, you can gain a sense of what it’s all about. Perhaps glass holds positive energy for all who touch it.
For me, glass is cathartic and my evolution with it? Life-long….

– Michelle Copeland