Featuring the Glass and Acrylic Art of Canadian Artist, Kim McKellar

About Me

  

My art, be it drawn, painted, sculpted or fired has always been about connection.  I create out of my vision of a world full of possibility and hope and the myriad of ways we are offered the opportunity to be in relationship with each other and the earth.


What you’ll find in my art is a reflection of the many parts of who I am: a 49 year old Canadian artist, mama, writer, composer, former urbanite who has found her big farmhouse in the country, proud companion of a wonderful partner, a spirited 11-year-old, an exuberant dog and two squeaky cats ; a feminist, differently-abled, a survivor of a sometimes cruel world, believer in angels and fairies and a hope-filled sojourner walking the long road towards unity, connection, compassion and intentional love.


I’ve been a painter for over 25 years but fell in love with glass ten years ago. It is a medium that fills me with joy and wonder.  Its interplay with light, texture; its transparent and opaque qualities inspire me.  I am fascinated with layering colours and seeing the unexpected. Each of my pieces tries to highlight the relationship between my art and the world that lies beyond that can be seen through the glass and then becomes part of the art itself.  And each time I hang them in a new location, they transform and the story changes. Recently I have been working deeper, creating more depth and colour through multiple layers and multiple firings and more cold work. I am always looking to understand glass more; to try new techniques; find new teachers and share my vision through glass and painting.


I’m inspired by the land that I live on, the people that I love and the hope I find in the persistence of spirit.  I hope you enjoy this visit to my world. 

TEch notes

Working with Glass

  

Glass is a medium that fills me with joy.  Its interplay with light, texture; its transparent and opaque qualities inspire me.  I am fascinated with layering colours and seeing the unexpected. When I create my window panels I incorporate a lot of negative or open space.  I do this so what can be seen through the glass becomes a part of the art itself.  And each time I hang them in a new location, they transform and the story changes.  My most recent work has me firing multiple times; working deeper to create an illusion of depth and layering colour.  

 

Simply put, kiln forming means heating glass to very high temperatures in a kiln for the purpose of combining, shaping, or manipulating it. Fused glass, slumped glass and draped glass are all examples of kiln forming.  Think of glass as a liquid that is frozen at room temperature. Heating the glass in a kiln melts the glass, allowing it to act like a liquid -- it sags, it flows, it blends, the surface softens and smoothes. As the glass cools, the shapes, patterns, colors and textures created by the flow are captured permanently within the glass. Colors blend to create new hues, and variations in depth enable the glass to reflect, bend, and carry light. The result is a spectacular display that gives each piece a unique character and brilliance.

 

At 1250°, the pieces soften and drop down against one another. At 1400°, they adhere to one another, but edges and textures are still sharp. At 1470-500° the sections melt into one another, eventually forming a smooth surface.  The piece is then cooled quickly to just below 1000°, and held at that temperature for a period of time. This step, called annealing, reduces stresses within the glass and prevents flaws and cracks in the finished piece. The fused work is then cooled slowly to room temperature.

 

Cold working - by hand or by machine - is the last and important step to finishing a piece of glass.  Diamond hand pads for sanding off rough edges, a lap wheel to shape and polish, diamond drills, grinders, sandblasting etc. - all offer different techniques and possibilities.  Often, after the cold working is done, there is still one more fire to bring the surface of the glass back to a gloss.  It's a long process but testament to the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.  If desired, enamel details or finishes can be added at this point and fired at a relatively low temperature to cure.