MEET LISA HEAD HARBIDGE
Lisa Head Harbidge is the creator of Spirit Rider Studio. A diverse working glass studio located in beautiful, Rocky Mountain House, Alberta Canada.
Lisa Harbidge (nee Head) was born in Red Deer, Alberta, and after several household moves has been settled in Rocky Mountain House since 1992. A love for the creative process, lead Lisa to enroll in the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) following high school. The programming requirements suited her perfectly, as she experimented with different materials in the various art departments. Lisa graduated with a major in sculpture where she was able to combine the freedom of creative process with various mediums.
While attending ACAD she began working for a prominent art glass studio in Calgary. The owner was keen to be on the developing edge of new techniques for the very traditional art form, which presented new challenges. Lisa apprenticed by learning the various methods such as copper foil construction, leading, fusing, etching etc. From commissioning, designing, and construction to lighting, restoration and installation she developed a diverse working knowledge of what was involved to produce quality works that will stand the test of time.
Lisa now balances studio time with teaching glass art, producing work for galleries, private commissions,her passion for golden retrievers and a ranch.
There are several technical processes involved in the production of glass works. Here is a brief overview of some of the processes I use.
Copper foil -This technique is the process of wrapping pieces of glass with a fine adhesive copper foil so that when abutted against another foil wrapped piece of glass and solder is applied they are joined. It is commonly used in making stained glass lamps, hangers and small window panels.
Leaded Glass - The process of fitting stained glass pieces into a H or U channel that is soldered at the joints to form a solid panel of glass. Traditionally used in larger stained glass doors and window.
Potmelts - A term referring to glass usually held ina pot, suspended within the kiln and brought to a molten temperature till it pours out forming a new combination of glass colours.
Combing - The glass is heated till it becomes molten (around 1700 degrees F) and I can manipulate it with a tool to create the design I am after.Due to the extreme heat and danger of this method, one must work with determination and results may not always be as expected, but sometimes the outcome is nature's way of maintaining control! A combed piece of glass is usually just the beginning element in finished piece.Many other techniques are necessary such as cold working, fusing slumping etc. to achieve my visions.
Cold Work - this is the initial work to start the pieces. Cutting, measuring and grinding to fit. It can also be work done through the process of making a piece, such as polishing.
Glass Tapestry - This technique is based on the technique that was developed for making sand art in a bottle, only I use ground glass (frit) to make the designs. The glass is poured between two sheets of glass stood vertically and manipulated to create the design. The designs are then fused together to form a solid piece of glass.