Case Island Glass creates vibrant glassware for use in your home or office. Brilliantly colored vases, bowls, dishes and platters can add a joyful note to your life. Functional and fun, this glass gets noticed holding your flowers or centering your table.
Glass artist and owner, Suellen Parker holds a law degree from Boston college. She was one firms’ first female attorney. Suellen was a corporate litigation attorney then focused on family law and divorce cases. She practices law full-time.
Her second career is creating glass in a studio located in a barn behind her house. She uses "Bull's Eye" glass in her designs. This is a special glass produced for art and architecture projects. It is handmade in Portland, Oregon.
At 1,200 square feet (ca. 111 square meters), this studio houses four kilns for use in firing. Suellen can make anything here from her line of glass jewelry to large table-top objects using fused glass. "Glass Fusing" involves heating glass shapes to a high temperature. The shapes and colors fuse to each other. Each piece is handmade and fused multiple times at Case Island Glass.
The ProcessEverything begins with a large sheet of glass. From this flat sheet the starting shape is hand cut using a diamond-edged etching tool. Smaller shapes are hand cut and stacked on this base. Stringers (thin glass rods) may be added to create straight lines. Subtle color changes can occur during firing. Combining different hues presents an issue because the final result could be different from the original plan.
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion
The process involves heating different sized pieces of glass with the same COE to high temperatures. This causes the pieces to melt or “fuse” to each other. Controls are set to the fusing temperature (1,500 degrees), the fusing temperature, and the rate of cooling.
COE is short for Coefficient of Thermal Expansion. In this instance, it is the rate at which glass expands & contracts. Two pieces of glass with the same COE will fuse together because they are compatible. An important part of Suellen's process!
The initial firing leaves a flat piece of glass with many colors fused together. The pieces may be fused into a single flat piece. Or they are tacked, where the single pieces retain a portion of their shape. Each piece fired is unique. Next, the sheet is placed on a mold that will give it a shape and fired. The glass "slumps" into the desired shape i.e. vase or platter. Suellen hand-built many of the slump molds in her studio. After "slump" molding, the vessel receives some final finishing. The firing process can take 12 or more hours including cooling time.
A rainbow of bright, cheerful colors and intricate patterns of circles, squares and lines emerge from the kiln. Squares that are bowls with each point curved up. Long trays sporting multi hued stripes. Round bowls filled with circles and squares in bright primary colors. Vases shaped like folded fabric with ruffled edges in whimsical patterns and colors. Red, yellow, green and blue dots spilling across black & white stripes. You will have fun combining multiple patterns and colors to create your own collection. Case Island Glass, by Suellen Parker, produces glassware that is fun and functional. The collection of fused glass vessels make distinctive wedding or housewarming gifts. And they are wonderful for a bit of self-indulgence! Brilliant colors and refined patterns of lines, squares and circles add life to your table at home or office.