Alice McGuinness

Alice McGuinness

Construction started with a white/clear streaky base with black and coloured strips, some straight and others curved (over fibre paper), tack fused to it.

I then added different coloured frit (long thin strips cut into small pieces) to represent the different elements.  The central square – elements symbol – was filled with powdered frit.  This part of the process resulted in 2 firings (tack fuse) as I was not achieving enough depth of colour and had to add more frit.

At this point, we had a break for a week or two, as I didn’t know what I was going to do next!!!!

I decided to frame the piece and had to remove some of the frit to accommodate it.  Because of the low firings, I was able to do this with relative ease! I also added the central dichroic piece and the black border (and more frit), dammed the tile and took it to full fuse.  The final additions were the dichroic elements, another little sprinkling of med size frit and another tack fuse.

I’m happy with the result to an extent.  The black ‘lines’ moved a bit during the firings and I can see some gaps that should be filled.

The Egyptian blue started to strike pewter and, on the final firing a staple fell onto the tile, but thankfully it was during the annealing stage and left only a slight imprint.  And finally of course, some devit.  Where would we be without that!!!!!

What have I learned?

To have a much clearer idea of how I am going to achieve the end result, experiment and then experiment some more!!

That, if using frits in this way, tack fusing upended strips of glass onto the base first is a big help in containing and separating the colours.

That participating in a project like this has encouraged me to explore other methods in warm glass that I may not have had the confidence to do.

Artist’s Statement

I have tried to establish here, through colour and style, the ‘essence’ of traditional quilts.

The four elements, as in the process of piecework, come together to form the tile, with the overlaid stitching represented in the bold black lines. 

The appliquéd, stylised symbols hopefully re-enforce the overall effect against a backdrop of brightly coloured fabrics.


  1. Alice,

    I think this is an excellent representation of the elements, while maintaining the quilt feel to it. Air, I think, is the hardest element and you capture it perfectly.


  2. I agree with Toni…excellent representation of the elements, very self-explanatory.Also like the layout.

  3. The center circle looks as if it’s exploding. I like the contrast between that and the smooth background. This is a great piece.


  4. very nice Janet

  5. Alice,

    The simple elegance of this tile is wonderful. I would like to see this piece. The color variations in the center are intriguing. The contrast between the smooth diameter of the circle and all the wavy lines works well.

    Susan B

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