Robyn Marriott: Melting and fusing glass for art

Arts Profile

Posted: Thursday, December 21, 2000

Pets and power tools: Robyn Marriott creates bowls, platters, vases and jewelry by melting and fusing glass.

"I have three kilns, a band saw, a drill and drill press and grinders all stuffed into my little condo with six animals," Marriott said laughing.

Run-of-the-mill bottle glass melts at about 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit. The higher-quality art glass Marriott uses needs a little more heat, but holds its color and keeps a glossy surface after it melts and cools.

"I'm firing at about 1,430 Fahrenheit," Marriott said. "For a stifferlooking piece I fire a little lower, a fluid piece hotter. It's just a difference of 20 or 30 degrees. A little difference in temperature will make a big difference in your piece."

Slumping and sagging: Marriott uses two different techniques to create tableware such as platters and bowls. "I use the slumping and sagging method," she said. "Slumping is when I slump a piece of glass over the outside of a mold, sagging is when the glass melts into it."

She uses dichroic glass, a specialty glass that absorbs and reflects light at the same time. It changes color depending on how the light strikes it. The glass is made with metal oxides; blue glass contains cobalt and red glass contains gold. The red costs twice as much.

She also uses bull's-eye glass, a hand-poured and hand-rolled glass.

"You can tell it's handmade because it has inclusions or air bubbles you can work into the piece. Once I did a fish with bubbles around his mouth," she said.

She sometimes paints 24-karat gold onto the glass before firing and the heat fuses the precious metal to the surface.

Cut fingers: Marriott grew up in Juneau and taught herself how to fuse glass.

"I've had a lot of trial and error and a lot of cut fingers," she said.

She talked with internationally renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly when he came to Juneau a few years ago and picked up tips and ideas.

She always loved the color and beauty of stained glass, but never pursued it. About eight years ago a friend talked to her about fusing glass, and Marriott was intrigued. She ordered a basic set of tools and materials from a supplier and upgraded as her interest grew.

She exhibits her work at the Juneau Artists Gallery and annually at the Alaska Juneau Public Market.

Page not found | Juneau Empire - Alaska's Capital City Online Newspaper

Page not found

We're sorry, but the page you were seeking does not exist. It may have been moved or expired.  Perhaps our search engine can help. 



  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback