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MackBear Kaleidoscope & Fused Glass Gallery
MackBear Kaleidoscope & Fused Glass Gallery

 

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Handcrafted Jewelry

Handcrafted Jewelry

Our Handmade Jewelry of Fused Glass and Dichroic Glass is designed and created with special attention given to the selection of fusible glasses, colors and textures. Multiple firings allow us to create one-of-a-kind wearable artworks. Each piece is individually created thus no two pieces are the same. Many years of research and development have lead up to the quality pendants we create. The pendants are luminescent and burst with light and energy. The pendants have sterling silver plated bails and gold plated bails. We offer a wide selection of pendants with both types of bails. We create dichroic glass post earrings to complement the pendants. We also create post earrings in solid colors. New this year are our beautiful fused glass and dichroic glass Link Bracelets and Wide Band Adjustable Rings. Each item of jewelry arrives in a cotton filled gift box which contains a write-up about our jewelry making process. Dichroic Glass is created by applying ultra-thin layers of metals such as gold, silver, titanium, chromium, aluminum, zirconium, magnesium and silicon, to the surface of fusible glass and firing them at extreme temperatures in a special vacuum kiln. We have contracted with a prestigious dichcroic glass manufacturer; Austin Thin Films in Austin, Texas, (www.dichromagic.com) to custom produce a run of dichroic glass for us to be used in our top-of-the-line hand crafted jewelry. We create unique jewelry including pendants which are celestial in appearance; tidal pools of depth and color; galaxies of sparkle and energy. The pieces are indeed little art works; just as clouds suggest different images to different people, so do our pendants. The creation of the pendants, in addition to being a labor of love, requires time, effort, skill, creativity and vision as well as an understanding of kilns, firing temperatures, compatibility of types of glass, properties of glass, mixing colors and textures, and the ability to transform many tiny pieces of glass, especially dichroic glass, into contemporary and beautiful wearable art works. It does not just happen.
 

Kaleidoscopes

Kaleidoscopes

George Bear has been designing and creating hand crafted Stained Glass Kaleidoscopes for twenty years. He now offers his beautiful stained glass kaleidoscopes with exciting and dynamic fused glass and dichroic glass wheels and object drums. His kaleidoscopes are gift collectibles and make a special gift for a special person or a lovely addition to an existing collection. Years of pleasure and a great value, a George Bear hand made kaleidoscope is a wonderful glass collectible. George is a member of The Brewster Kaleidoscope Society (www.brewstersociety.com) and has created many one-of-a-kind kaleidoscopes for collectors. Our three mirror stained glass and fused glass kaleidoscopes offer true value for your money. There are three lengths to choose from in the traditional three mirror design line of kaleidoscopes: approximately five inches, nine inches and 11 to 14 inches. Allow for slight length and color variations. The "Starter" kaleidoscope is a five inch k-scope with a single fused glass wheel which contains dichroic and fused glass beads and pieces in colors to compliment the color of the k-scope body. It is one of our most popular kaleidoscopes. The "Standard" kaleidoscope is a nine inch k-scope with two fused glass image wheels which also contain dichroic glass. The wheels are matched to each other and the color of the k-scope body. The imagery is delightful. The "XL" kaleidoscope is a 11 to 14 inch k-scope with two fused and dichroic glass wheels. Its added length is the result of many of our customers who are avid glass and kaleidoscope collectors who simply wanted something different in our traditional kaleidoscope line. The longer body and thus longer mirror system allow the magical imagery to fold back even further toward the viewer. All of our kaleidoscopes are handmade and each fused glass object wheel contains various colors and textures of dichroic glass. Dichroic Glass is created by applying ultra-thin layers of metals such as gold, silver, titanium, chromium, aluminum, zirconium, magnesium and silicon, to the surface of fusible glass and firing them at extreme temperatures in a special vacuum kiln. We have contracted with a prestigious dichroic glass manufacturer; Austin Thin Films in Austin, Texas, (www.dichromagic.com) to custom produce a run of dichroic glass for us to be used in our top-of-the-line hand crafted jewelry. Rounding out the kaleidoscope line are the LIMITED EDITIONS, table top or presentation grade kaleidoscopes which are true gift collectibles and glass collectibles. The Star Box and The Wizard have been the mainstay of this line but we have added Vitrigraph Art kaleidoscopes to the line. The Star Box is approximately twelve inches long and has an object drum containing fused glass jewels, dichroic glass and faceted jewels. Each Star Box is signed and dated and is a one-of-a-kind piece. The name Star Box reflects the imagery of a star unfolding as one rotates the object drum. The Wizard line also uses a object drum as described above but the body of the kscope is more of a rhombic shape (or perhaps a wizard's hat) and is a true work of art. These are big kaleidoscopes and the imagery is spectacular. It takes about two days to create one of these treasures. The object drum is designed for the k-scope body, hand fashioned, and fitted to the body. The Vitrigraph Kaleidoscopes have the object drum or sometimes George creates an over-sized set of fused and dichroic glass wheels for this special kaleidoscope body. A Vitrigraph kiln is used to create unusual and artistic shapes in fused glass. These pieces are then fused onto the kaleidoscope body panels and into the fused glass wheels. Upon request, George will patina his detailed silver soldering to provide an antique appearance to the kaleidoscope as it might have looked in 1830 when Sir David Brewster created the first kaleidoscope. Choose a Starter, Standard, XL, Wizard, Star Box or Vitri-Scope; each will be custom made for you so extra time may be required to fill your order. There will be slight variations in color, texture and length.
 

Decorative Fused Glass

Decorative Fused Glass

We design and create a variety of artistic fused glass Decorative Window and Wall art works in a variety of sizes and shapes. We use many layers of glass and often the art works require a minimum of two firings. First the glass has to be cut to the basic shape of the item, then we create our design, scene, theme, picture and cut out the pieces in glass, sometimes incorporating Vitrigraph Kiln details we have made. This “picture” would then be fused in the kiln to create a new piece of glass with the pattern or design or scene we created actually fused into the glass. Occasionally we use frit (granulated glass) to achieve tiny bubbles (seeds) for effect. It is important to slowly heat the glass, hold it at a high temperature long enough to squeeze out all air and gasses between the layers, and very slowly cool it down to allow the molecules to regroup properly. As with all of our decorative glass and glass designs, each piece is unique.
 

Original Art and Prints

Original Art and Prints

Susan Mack Bear has been painting for most of her life and started as a professional artist in 1991 in San Francisco, then moved to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state where lighthouses provided Susan with a new subject for her paintings. The combination of the crashing waves, historic lighthouses, beautiful trees and flowers were found in many of her paintings during the years spent in Washington. It was here too that Susan renewed her interest in tug boats and she created many interesting and accurate paintings depicting the tugs. Her paintings always invite people into them; they feel as though they are a part of the scene or viewing it personally. Susan's artistic career blossomed in Washington and her work was in many juried shows in Port Townsend, Sequim, Seattle, to name a few, as well as in galleries in Port Angeles and Port Orchard. Hundreds of her paintings are in homes on the west coast and her following grew larger here on the east coast. Her paintings can be seen in many homes and offices around the world. Susan and her glass artisan husband George moved to mid-coast Maine in 1996 and she continued to paint prolifically. Their gallery and home is only minutes from the ocean. The rocky coast with its colors and textures, the wild, crashing waves, the stirring sunsets over the water, the rising sun early in the quiet morning, lobster traps, beach roses, lupines, herons, osprey, lighthouses, buoys, and so much more are depicted in her Maine paintings. Many people return to the gallery every year to add another painting to their Susan Mack Bear collection in their homes or to give as a gift to a special person. Susan only offered original paintings up until a few years ago but demand was so great for her work that she finally agreed to offer prints. Now even more people are able to enjoy her work. The Bears bought also have a home and studios in Cape Carteret, North Carolina just minutes from the Intracoastal Waterway, sand dunes, the open ocean, tidal areas and marshes so Susan now delights in painting those areas as well as herons, egrets, pelicans, and many other new and lovely subjects. The lighting in this area is softer, more pastel, which creates a new and lighter look in many of her paintings, and the sunsets are intense, often deep oranges and purples, creating a contrast and offering many new painting opportunities. Susan loves to paint and a bit of her is in every painting (sometimes a bit of Angelique's fur (their Great Pyrenees), finds its way into a painting too providing a little texture!
 

Functional Fused Glass

Functional Fused Glass

We design and create a variety of functional fused glass art works. Our votive candle holders are most popular with visitors to our gallery; they can be used with tea lights, or for business cards, rings or earrings, food, potpourri, anything…they are multi-functional. The creation of candle holders, vases, plates, soap dishes, incense burners, bowls, anything that requires a form or shape, is either slumped into or draped over a mold. We make many of our own molds and thus achieve our own look in slumped and draped functional glass. We also create a variety of sizes and shapes in our candle holders and vases; many are two layers of fused glass so require a minimum of two firings. First the glass has to be cut to the basic shape of the item, for example a bowl would be round. We would cut two or three rounds, depending on the thickness desired, with the top layer and possibly another layer being clear glass and the remaining round being a color of fused glass. Then we would create our design, scene, theme, picture one layer. This “picture” would then be fused in the kiln to create a new piece of glass with the pattern or design or scene we created actually fused into the round. Then each round must be absolutely clean to prevent large bubbles during firing. Occasionally we use frit (granulated glass) to achieve tiny bubbles (seeds) for effect. It is important to slowly heat the glass, hold it at a high temperature long enough to squeeze out all air and gasses between the layers, and very slowly cool it down to allow the molecules to regroup properly. Once the new creation has cooled to room temperature it is ready to be fired the final time, either slumped into a mold to create a shallow bowl or draped over a mold for a deeper and often more artistic piece. As with all of our glass designs, each piece is unique.
 

Vitrigraph Art and Jewelry

Vitrigraph Art and Jewelry

A Vitrigraph Kiln is a special kiln that allows us to make fused glass designs that we can use to design and create one-of-a-kind glass wall art and decorative glass which is striking hanging in a window or displayed free form. We can also make tiny details to fuse into our pendants, night lights, whimsical fused glass pieces...anywhere we wish to add special glass detailing. This technique is almost like painting with glass.
 

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