How to Glass Sculpt A Mermaid

432053_10150568113211911_1579006659_n Have you ever considered sculpting?  How about sculpting with glass?  First of all I would like to thank everyone for visiting our blog.  Today I would like to share a very special technique that I discovered a while back.  As I am sure you are aware there are many types of glass art techniques out there, all of which are quite fascinating and somewhat complex to achieve.  However, this particular style is less complicated (in my opinion) in a sense that you won't need to fire it or blow it.  It does require a large work station, cuttable sheet glass, a glass cutter, heavy gloves, protective eye wear, colored tempered glass, UV glue, cardboard piping, masking tape, Strong glass cleaner, UV Gun and my personal favorite -the SUN, ...and a few other things could come into play depending on where the art will be installed.  I am always happy to assist if the need arrises.  As you can see, there are many steps required to achieve this art but it can be accomplished with just a little planning and ingenuity. 14322641_10153864398071911_3184680824717579891_n The first thing you will need of course is to decide is what your design will be.  One of my first designs in this medium was a mermaid.  It was for a client and was to be installed in a very prestigious high rise in the amazing city of Las Vegas, NV.  I am going to use some photos I took of this project to give you a visual of what I did to accomplish this art and the finished product.  I wanted my design to have the effect of depth as if she was lost in a sea of water, free flowing and whimsical. The inspiration for this mermaid came from a sketch I did on my sketch pad.  The owners loved the sketch and we used it as the idea behind the design. I decided in order to best create this effect I needed to draw her on the actual glass shower walls there on site in order to insure the most optimal outcome.  Using a dry erase marker I began the process until I was completely satisfied with the visual proportions and overall results.  Once I was sure that I had accomplished this, I then proceeded to drafting a template of the drawing using a semi transparent paper.   Which I would section off parts of her body and hair as if she was now a puzzle.  Each template was numbered in anatomical order starting from the top of the shower and following down to the bottom.  It was important to not only capture the art but also the entire wall space as it relates to the art.  This will assist later in installation. 423958_10150525014661911_1863640605_n There were parts of her torso that had been pre-determined they would be black glass.  The concept would have an art deco feel to it.  Taking all the pieces of the mermaid template back to my glass shop.  I then had each outer shape hand cut.  The torso specifically was cut in a slightly thicker gauge of glass and would not need broken tempered glass adhered to it.  After each piece was cut, I had to create a border to hold the glass shape and prevent the UV glue from seeping off the edges.  I accomplished this by using strips of cardboard and masking tape.  Following along the outer edges of the glass cut pieces bases created with 1/4" glass sheets with the cardboard stripping I made from boxes.  The height of the strip was aprox 1-1 1/2" tall. Tracing around and taping the cardboard to the under base of the glass and again to note, that you are making sure that the edges are sealed all the way around each piece with the tape.  So it can later be removed and will not effect the art itself.  The UV will not stick to the cardboard as it is not clear.  A very important thing to note about the process of this art technique.   After all the pieces were prepped with a removable border,  I then took each section that made up the hair and began manipulating a color pattern in circular motions using clears, blacks and gray broken tempered glass.  Another very important thing to remember is, that the image will be seen from both the inside of the shower as well as the outside.  It is important to consider how the glass will look from start to finish as you begin building up your colored glass fragments (tempered colored glass). 428581_10150526454726911_874293582_n

 Layering and pouring UV glue:  I did not pour the UV glue until I was satisfied with every hair template assembled together as if it were on the shower.  This was to insure that each portion complimented each other.  Once this process was to my satisfaction I began wheeling the pieces out into the sun.  UV glue should be applied minimally, only enough to make sure that all of the glass is moist.  I then set the sheets of glass out into the sun for the remainder of the day.  The hardening time frame varies as it is directly effected by the sun and its UV rays.  Sometimes the process takes more than one day.  I recommend 3-5 days depending on the size and thickness of the glass.  I did use a UV ray gun which acts as the sun and can be used indoors.  However it requires eye protection gear and is more time consuming. The UV gun is a necessity tool how ever is much more useful during the installing process than the actual setting of the mixture.

Once all of the pieces have hardened, you can now remove the cardboard trims and tape.  You want to be sure that flat surface of glass underneath is clean as it will then applied to the wall of the shower.  (in this particular situation, anyway) You will take your art to the location and make sure that the surfaces on the walls are clean so that you can begin setting the glass with glue.  The pieces may be heavy and require assistance.  It will take a different type of glue to adhere the black glass to the shower wall as the UV will not adhere if light cannot pass through it.  There are various glues that will do this, just make sure it is clear.  I used a clear cauking type glue.  Make sure it is smoothly applied and there are not any air pockets.   Using the UV gun you can now begin applying the pieces one at a time on to the wall.  Holding the UV glue in one area for a few minutes at a time until the entire space has been adhered.  I used tape to support my pieces in place and left them there for 48 hours to ensure they did not move and were all completely stationed.  I tested areas after that time frame and reapplied if needed.  If it is your first time or it is a large project I recommend working with a glass company to assist the installation.  They will have equipment that will make the process more steady. 421640_10150568203681911_1007731354_n This is a beautiful way to add something original to any wall space.  There are many other ways to use this technique.  I have created entire walls/divider walls both indoors and outdoors.  I have had portions back lit to give an even more unique effect.  Wether it is for a residence or a commercial building there are many ways this art can be showcased.   I hope you learned something today from reading this article or at least it peeked your interest in finding out more about this process.  I am available for hire, consulting and also offer classes on this technique.  Feel free to comment below or email us at THE ART ViBE for more information.  We are always eager to assist and work with other creative individuals. Stay tuned for other blogs on "how to's" as well as our artists sharing there works in progress.  We are very fortunate to have a very talented group of writers and artists, that share their thoughts about the history of art and the masters as well as offer classes in various mediums.  So much to share!  Check out our website and see what workshops are available.  Perhaps you would enjoy a weekend retreat by taking an art class in another city? We are updating regularly so keep an eye out for something that might interest you. I look forward to seeing you again soon.  And again, thank for visiting our blog. Namaste, Geneva Clark Founder The Art Vibe Ps. If you would like to order your art supplies with us, visit us online  We will also be offering supplies related to creating a UV glass sculptures please check out our store!  Or email us at for more information.

1 comment

  • This is just incredible!!!! It’s so beautiful. Bravo and kudos’s on a job well done!


Leave a comment