Karen Laing


I decided that I wanted to do water as water has been something that I have always gravitated towards.  Many times in my adult life I have lived on or very close to water.  It is something that gives me a sense of great peace. 

What I like about this piece that I named after a river in a National Park in the North West Territories where I used to live, it is a beautiful wild swirling river that you have to be flown into to get to. It was also the first site to be granted World Heritage Status by UNESCO.   I feel that the piece has those wild qualities associated with it.  I am glad that I had problems with the original piece and kept on playing with it and moving the colours around and layering them. 


This piece is made from Spectrum System 96 glass.   It started off by being a potmelt with

50% 100SFS Clear, 

20% 200SF  White Opaque, 

20% 136SF  Dark Blue Cathedral, 

10 % 233-74SF  Turquoise Blue Opaque

I had put it in a flower pot and following the Steve Immerman Instructions.  I hadn’t though followed Paul Tarlow’s weight and size instructions and the saucer was not big enough.  The piece came out very thick and cracked because I hadn’t annealed for that thickness. 

I really like the colours and kept the pieces and decided that they were going to be put into something some day. 

Initially I put them in an 8 X 10 tray that I got from Laurie and laid them out so the white for the waves would be at the top and the deeper blue at the bottom. 

Well, I didn’t use thick enough fibre paper and the pieces were not completely dry it appears and they soaked up the fibre paper and stuck to the steel.  Also the steel wasn’t stainless and the pieces that I had bought from Laurie were her sell-offs.  The spalling was terrible.  The piece cracked and had to be pried out with a knife to get it out.  I had to use my diamond pads to get the rust off the back of the glass.  I should have sandblasted it though, would have been a lot faster. 

Then what I did was I marked an 8” square on 3/8” fibre paper and then cut 8” strips for the sides.  I marked used proper sides that were kiln washed and used the fibre paper as well.  I laid out the glass again this time it had layers on top of layers as well with the white waves closer to the top.  I had fire bricks around the outside that kept everything from moving.  I had a very slow program to a high fire 1700 for 2 hours and very long anneal because I wasn’t going to have this one crack. 

When it was done there had been a few spikes that I removed with diamond pads. 


  1. Karen,

    Another one of my favorite pieces. You captured “water” quite well with this piece. The third time was definitely the charm with this one.



  2. This is an exquisite piece…made by one of my favorite artists!!!!

  3. Wow! I really love this, it’s gorgeous. It’s very evocative of water as seen while in it looking up to the light. You could have called it Water and Air.

  4. What a beautiful piece. Leaves me with a nice tranquil feeling.

  5. I really like the colors and movement. It reminds me of swimming towards the top after diving. Very beautiful.


  6. Way too cool!
    As a maker of water pieces I am jealous!
    The fluidity and movement in this piece is awesome.
    I need to consider pot melts.

  7. I LOVED not only this piece, but your gracious sharing of the detail. WHile I am forever indebted to
    the folks who have made Warmglass.com the masterpiece of shared consciousness that it is, I am often intimidated when people describe their process…sort of like, “I just get out of bed and put on my genius shoes…” That you shared your successes and failures was not only extremely helpful and informative but also personally encouraging…something we could all do with more of. Thanks for your true artistry!

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