Fused Glass Mask Collages
Meg Branzetti and Vicky Kokolski make mask collages with fused glass.
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Meg Branzetti and Vicky Kokolski met through their kids. The kids were in the same class in school; the mothers met and realized they were both artists. Meg encouraged Vicki to start working with her at a stained glass shop, which later went out of business. The two out-of-work women decided they had nothing to lose and paired up to begin creating their own artwork. They began working with fused glass, a medium that had intrigued them both. They now make fused glass mask collages.
They begin by cutting glass and using the pieces to create a face or mask-like image. This is then fused together by heating it in a small kiln. They tend to fuse about 10 masks at once. All of these masks are removed and then dissected using a glass-cutting machine. Each part of the now sectioned mask is grinded with a grinder to smooth the edges; then it gets fused again, so the edges will be as soft as possible without losing the image.
All of these sections are then spread out across a table and the two women work on their own collages, together on one table. They use the sections and place them as someone would with any kind of collage, trying things out, exploring spacing, trading out sections for other sections, all while fighting each other for a particular piece they want to use on their own collage. They place their pieces on a background of wood previously painted to serve as not only something to mount the glass but also part of the finished artwork. Some of the glass is elevated using small blocks; some is attached straight to the background.
When the work is completed, it looks almost like a puzzle that has been put together, with a few pieces missing, and yet somehow looks complete. There are spaces between most of the sections, but they all look as though they fit together. The piece is framed to complete the artwork, which reflects the idea that "strength is in the sum of the parts."
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