The glass I use in all of my work comes from the Bullseye Glass Company in Portland, Oregon. I use Bullseye products because of the high quality of the glass, the extensive color palette, the variety of accessory glass and most importantly the customer service. Bullseye has a great team involved in research and education providing classes and technical resources.
Each fused glass piece begins with sheet or accessory glass. Once the design has been created it is fired in the kiln to a temperature of 1450 - 1480 degrees F. After the piece has cooled down further design elements may be added and fired again or the piece may be slumped in a mold to create the shape.
Kiln cast pieces require the creation of a mold or large void in which to place billet (thick blocks of glass) or frit (crushed glass). In many of my cast pieces I like to create colors that flow and interact together so multiply firings are usually necessary to get the desired effect.
Each piece is then cold worked to finish off edges, create either a satin or polished finish or to enhance the piece with carving or other specialty finish.
Karen Dixon is an independent glass artist and freelance teacher specializing in classes for individuals with disabilities. In addition to her art career, she is the Assistant Director at The Horizons School, a post-secondary private school for young adults with learning difficulties, autism and developmental disorders.
Dixon’s work has been exhibited throughout the southeast at juried gallery and museum exhibitions. She has received numerous awards including the Maury Smith Award at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, Montgomery art Guild Fine Art Exhibition. Dixon was the founder of Dixon-Ballog Glass Gallery & Studio, a fine art glass gallery and kiln-formed glass teaching studio in Birmingham, AL from 2009-2013.
Dixon trained as a research scientist which has been instrumental in her commitment to fine craftsmanship and attention to detail. It is this love of experimentation that continues to drive her technical development in kiln-formed glass.