Master Gaffer/Artist – Aline Peterson
1 5/8 inch Salmon pink/white Cyclone Swirl marble
1 5/8 inch Dichroic Onionskin marble
1 5/8 inch Blue/green Peacock style marble
1 inch Ball of Fire marble
1 inch Dichroic Chameleon style marble
Artist Statement: Glass is a magical and difficult medium. It has amazing capability to constantly interact with light, provides a continual challenge of mastery, and is always fascinating and beautiful. I utilize a variety of hot glass techniques and frequently combine disciplines in order to create truly unique handmade pieces, sculptures and wearable art. Fusing is a hot glass technique that combines flat sheets and individually cut pieces of glass, re-melting them into a new solid. Fusing can create frames, bowls, vases, sculptures and other elements to be included in marbles or paperweights.
Torches are used in lampworking to apply heat to manipulate the glass, usually in the form of rods. It is difficult to learn the proper amount of heat to use, the proper techniques required for exacting details in such a miniature scale, and to understand the chemistry and physics so the results will be predictable. Glass beads are formed one by one as decorative elements for jewelry or to be included in fused object, offhand work and sculptures.
Offhand glass blowing techniques involve the melting and manipulating of glass on a larger scale — larger equipment, more heat, bigger kilns, and greater amounts of time and expense are required. A crucible is required to render the cullet (glass chunks) to a molten state. Stainless steel punty rods are then dipped in the molten material and the gather can be shaped by hand using tools and cherry wood molds. Whatever result is desired, it requires continuous re-heating in the furnace (glory hole) and constant attention to shape. Marbles may contain pre-made fused elements or latticino that was formed in the torch. Even excess scrap and the occasional failure can be recycled into a new design.
Although, I have no apprentice, I do have a partner in the truest sense of the word. My husband Doug has been a constant supply of inventions, tools, help and encouragement — everything from lifting lids of kilns, preheating elements with a hand torch, keeping pieces warm while I’m finishing another step, even getting me snacks and water. He provides me with invaluable assistance in all phases of the shop.
About Aline Peterson: Aline Peterson has studied hot glass techniques since 1986. She has studied lampworking techniques with Cindy Jenkins, Loren Stump and Al Janelle. Under Don McKinney, Dave Buck and Rodi Rover she has studied offhand glass blowing techniques. And meeting master marble artist Jim and Andy Davis was a turning point for her making marbles. The Davis brothers shared their skill and knowledge that enabled her to drastically expand in technique and style.
The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia wishes to thank Aline Peterson for donating to The National Marble Museum. Her unique designs are now part of the marble display.
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