For Christmas 2007, I got PinkyK a glass kiln for Christmas. Surprisingly, the kiln sat unused for several months, because she was afraid she would screw it up (mixing COEs, explosions, etc.). Heheheh.
Finally, several months of the kiln sitting in the garage, I convinced her to fire something, and her and her assistant put together several pieces. Of course, the courageous task of working out a firing schedule for a full fuse fell on my shoulders. Needless to say, my cooling schedule was too slow, and many of the pieces devitrified (crystallized), and weren't really usable.
After some tweaking to various schedules, I seem to have a decent tack-fuse schedule and a decent full-fuse schedule. I am currently trying to tweak a slump schedule. And, I have to admit that I rather enjoy watching what comes out of the kiln and trying to figure out how to improve it.
So, after much chiding by PinkyK, I reluctantly picked up a glass cutter and started putting together some experimental pieces for fusing. I say reluctantly, because I always wanted this to be Pinky's thing, and only wanted to advise her and be the behind the scenes science adviser.
First, before proceeding too much further, I want to say that the color palette is pretty much the same for all of the pieces you will see below. I was working with scraps that PinkyK had laying around the house. If I was really adventurous, I would have gone to the glass store to try to change up the palette. As it is, I am really more interested in the process and seeing what can be accomplished.
I myself have never been a believer in starting small and working up to big projects. So, my first project was an attempt at making a square votive holder. Unfortunately, I miscalculated the effects that the tack-fuse schedule would have on the glass, and the piece tipped over, leaving something of a puddle. We took the puddle and ran it through a full fuse, and will probably cut it into smaller pieces for jewelry.
After being slightly crushed that my grand experiment failed. I tried a smaller piece, with some scraps that I had lying around from the failure. This ended up making a cute little pendant/brooch, which is about 1.5 inches on a side.
After contemplating one success and one failure, I decided to go big again, and try a different approach to making my votive holder. The approach was to fuse each of the sides of the votive holder separately, and then fuse them together after the sides were made individually. I was pleased with the result of making one striped piece of glass. Instead of proceeding to make a votive holder, I cut the striped slab into smaller pieces to make pendants, brooches, and rings. Unfortunately, I thought I had taken a picture of what I refer to as the striped slab, but I guess I forgot to, before it was sawn into pieces and put into a full fuse.
Striped Slab Collection (all cut from the same piece of glass)
Striped Slab Square Pieces (about 1 inch on a side)
Striped Slab Circle Pieces (about 1 inch in diameter
Next, after some thought, I wanted to try some other things using stripes. This resulted in the first step of my basketweave dish. I basically made a square basketweave design approximately 6 inches to a side and ran a tack-fuse on it. I am going to run a slump on it later using a 12" dish mold. I think it should come out pretty neat.
Basketweave Blank for a Dish
Finally, I had some scraps left over, and thought I would try putting them together in different shapes and forms to see what would happen. Pinky seems to like some of these results. I really want to do a full fuse on the Asterisk and see what it turns out to be. I think it will be pretty neat.
Hope you enjoyed the tour...