Faye Malench

Basic Structure:

This 8 X 8 panel is ½–inch thick and developed around three aperture pours of Bulleye transparent glass (blue/neo-lavender/clear – greens/clear – light aventurine/clear). The trio was all fired at once onto a kiln-washed mullite shelf. The flow was contained to a circle using a vermiculite board lined with fiber paper.

The original plan was for a transparent shallow 13-inch bowl comprised of pools of pale transparent color, plus the sparkle of aventurine, with pathways of clear frit mixed with bits of complementary colors. The aperture pours were deliberately under-filled so as to flow into each other but not to fill the circle. A heaping handful of clear frit was placed in the center of the circle to fill the center and allow the circles to become one piece but retard the colors from flowing too much.

After anneal, the piece was sandblasted on the shelf side, flipped over and re-fired with additions of coarse clear frit and confetti. After anneal the edges were cold-worked to a rounded shape with WBS and hand pads, then briefly fire-polished to make them shine.

This bowl blank was disappointing in that the colors did not appear as I imagined, and the aventurine burned out. It was in fact, down-right pitiful to look at, so I put it away.

How it evolved:

When the theme of Earth, Air, Water and Fire was developed for the quilt collaborative project, my thoughts ran to legends and myths of Native American tribes. Much enjoyable time was spent reading about traditions associated with the elements, and the tribal tales were about Man’s means of explaining and using elemental forces. So I set about to explain how I see those forces but could only think of Genesis. “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth. I found my earth and air in the center of the discarded bowl.

I cut an 8-inch square from the center and added design elements (frit, mica, stringers) to each area of color to represent different concepts. The piece was dammed with a border of ¼ inch fiber-paper and fired to 1460 and annealed for 2 hours. Oddly, as I worked, the scene beginning to take shape on the glass gave me the feeling I had seen it before.

What it really is:

Once on a Jamaican beach – after many Red Stripe beers – I was talked into para-sailing. I like being on terra firma and heights make me uneasy; but I was young and didn’t believe in mortality. I don’t recall the lift-off or the planned 15 minute sail. On this day, the breeze picked up and I found myself stranded high in the sky, tugging frantically on the side-ropes trying to fight the wind, while the men on the ground waved their arms around trying to give me landing signals.

The fear left me and I began to look around me – really look. The sun was hot on my sun burnt skin but cooled by the brisk breeze. The sea was flashing thousands of diamonds of light. The glare from the water contrasted to the rich green foliage as it rose toward the hills. Rooftops and houses seemed small and built into the side of the earth. Bits of color from beach umbrellas and gaily colored chairs along the edge of the beach were all a happy blur of colored confetti. A moment of bliss – a moment remembered -just me and the elements.


  1. I had a similar experience with para-sailing, only in Mexico and with many Coronas. Your piece brought back that wonderful feeling of being free while soaring with the wind.

  2. Faye,

    This is another happy piece. I can just see you para-sailing over the water. You captured that experience in this piece.


  3. This reminds me of my first visit to hawaii…I was young and was convinced that I needed to see it from a glider plane. Your piece reminds me of that experience…gliding over the water…over the land…over the nude beach…

  4. Earth, air and water are nicely captured in this piece.

    Having never para-sailed or hand glided I see this more from the point of view of modern American weather maps.

  5. Is that a blood trail and shark ripple in the water below You, lol.

  6. Faye it totally looks like the view from above nice work..Janet

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: