*Please note, each item is handcrafted so size and color will vary.
Robin Schultes - Toledo Artist
For the past few years I have begun to flamework more "off mandrel" (non-bead making) pieces. It all started with a class I took from the Italian soft glass flameworking maestro, Gianni Toso. He demonstrated how he made his figurines using the ever temperamental soft glass rods. It was fascinating. I thought how wonderful it would be....to be able to create sculptural pieces on the torch that would allow my idea and feelings to be documented more fully through glass.
Wanting to make a full figurine proved more difficult with pieces breaking due to the thickness and size. So I scaled back to focus on the head. With constant practice, the series of women emerged into presentable works of art. These sleeping beauties are silent and thoughtful. Each of these miniature busts captures an individual presence. Their personalities emerge in the moment of creation. There is no erasing while using hot glass and imperfections become a unique part of each portrait made.
Using soft glass rods from Italy, I use a torch to melt them onto a piece of stainless steel rod forming the neck and shoulders first. This part is kept in an annealer at 1000 degrees until I'm ready to use it. Then I create the head using different metal tools to shape the face, (butter knife, dental tools and tweezers). I then add the hair which I sometimes bundle different shades of glass rods together to give it a multi colored effect. From there I attach the head to the neck and finish the hair depending on its style. Once finished, the piece is placed into an annealer to cool down very slowly. This prevents it from cracking or breaking. It takes about 6 hours to cool. Finally, the steel rod is gently cut down to size and fitted onto a wooden pedestal.
The pedestals for these pieces are made from walnut and maple wood on a lathe by my husband, Patrick Dubreuil, an amazingly talented artist in his own right.
I find the act of making glass art at the torch to be very therapeutical and am thankful to have it in my life. Glass making is a never ending learning process that allows me to express myself in ways I never thought possible.
All sales are final on original artwork. No discounts apply.