Children's invention ideas made real
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Robin Ritter

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
1 made real1 working on

Instagram:robin.ritter

Skills:I am a major in studio glass blowing at Sheridan College and have practiced glass work such as engraving, flameworking, blowing and hot sculpting for 7 years. I have taught glass techniques at Flo Glassblowing and Living Art Center, and taught children art and craft at 4Cats art Studio. As a well rounded mixed media 2 and 3 dimensional artist I I tend to include many mediums and disciplines such as ceramics, textiles and found objects in my work as part of my natural exploration.

Visual arts has always been a strong part of my identity and how I connect to the world.  The creativity of young minds is my driving inspiration. By re-contextualizing children's artwork through in-depth collaboration with my craft in glass, I hope to deliver a curious juxtaposition that celebrates and encourages their ideas. Mixed media elements allow me to fully describe the emotion of a piece and reiterate unconventional characteristics of children’s designs. As a returning student to Sheridan I have access to a breadth of media, professional grade equipment and a community professors help to me realize my strongest work.

Recent blog entries

Project Poster # 1
Posted about Fuzzy PJ Fun Dress Up Spacesuit by Rachel

I sourced the help of my good friend Jade from @_kiwitography_ to take photos of the constructed and deconstructed spacesuit - Fuzz and all! 

Finally I  created an overview of this project using Adobe InDesign to make two  11” x 17” posters that explain the sculpture. 

Last step is carefully package this GLASS sculpture for shipping. Post to follow.

Glassingblowing, Assembing and Coldworking the Helmet
Posted about Fuzzy PJ Fun Dress Up Spacesuit by Rachel

Creating the helmet of the PJ Dress Up Spacesuit is done in the same way as the bottom portion (legs) in the hot glass studio through blowing and careful torch assembly of components. One big difference is that I have placed the colored layer on the OUTSIDE of this shape rather than the interior which is more common. This is done so I can SANDBLAST (form of COLD WORKING - processes done to glass when it is hard and room temperature) through the colour and leave a clear layer intact to behave as window for the astronaut to see the universe and us to see inside too!

In order to SANDBLAST only the desired area I used sticky vinyl resist to protect the areas that I wish to remain shiny and untouched. I also use the Sandblaster and DREMEL to carve arm holes into the helmet. 

Making the suit in two parts was a fun challenge - matching the diameter of each part so that suit appear cohesive is an interesting task. The process is done hot so you cannot simply pause and measure with numbers. Glassblowers usually use calipers to get a rough measurement and the rest is achieved with experience and by eye.

I tried making the pants for this project 3 times, first in clear to work though the process. The first try was too messy and wide (and CLEAR), I found my second try too dark in colour, tall and long. Making a project more than once is very NORMAL in glassblowing. The helmet was more simple and took one attempt! WOO!

Glassingblowing and Assembing the bottom of the Sapcesuit
Posted about Fuzzy PJ Fun Dress Up Spacesuit by Rachel

Glassblowing is often done in teams, with the help of my assistants I can blow and sculpt the shape of pants, coloured by a dense chuck at the core of my initial gather. This chuck is called COLOUR BAR and is used to achieve bold uniform layers of colour in glass. The tail is served as a hot blob and snipped with steal shears into shape. Next all spikes and feet are taken from pre heating kiln one by one to be fused into place with the power of a oxygen torch! (Like welding!) This process takes about 45 minutes! When shaping is complete we remove the sculpture from the blowpipe using temperature shock and  pop it the cooling kiln (ANNEALER) to cool slowly over night. Again, once the sculpture is cooled I can use a wet DIAMOND saw to cut off sharp and unwanted material. Next step is to create the helmet in a smiliar way!

When glass is hot the colours appear very different than at room temperature. This can be confusing and fun... check out how green the glass looks on the blowpipe compared to its bluish tone when cool on the table.