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11  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Fused Glass Christmas/Holiday Ornaments on: December 11, 2008 05:15:03 AM
This Saturday, Pinky K is throwing an all encompassing Holiday Party. When she throws a party, one of her requirements is that the guests get a takeaway item. So, for this party, we agreed that we were going to make some fused glass ornaments as the takeaway.

The objective was to come up with simple designs using simple shapes, so that we can easily mass produce ornaments. Also the ornaments were intended to be no more than three inches in height. So, most of these ornaments are between 2 - 3 inches tall.

The first group of ornaments that we made were 5 Pointed Stars. We made some out of glittery green, solid red, and clear glass. The design is really simple combination of like-sized triangles.

The next group of ornaments that we made were Christmas Trees. We used glittery green glass for the tree, and a white stringer to simulate the string of lights on the tree.

After making some extremely simple ornaments, we tackled something a bit more complex. The next batch of ornaments were Angels. The Angels consisted of small circles for the head (yellow/orange) and halo (clear), which were a total pain to cut and grind. The body was a simple blue triangle, and the wings were white half circles.

At this point, Pinky thought we were being too Christmas with our Ornaments, and wanted something festive. So, we did a batch of Martini Glasses. The martini glass was two triangles and a rectangle using clear glass. The olive (green/yellow) was a small circle, which again was a pain to grind. The toothpick is a green stringer. In case it doesn't show in the picture, the olive does have a little red pimento (red frit).

So, Pinky said that we needed to have candy canes. I really dislike doing curves in glass, because I hate grinding. So, cutting curved candy canes was a pain. The base consists of three separate white pieces, two that make the curved part, and a rectangle for the long straight part. Then using solid red, we cut small rectangles and put them in place. The red was used to join the three white pieces. This had to go through a full fused, and they were just cooling down this morning.

Also, in the above picture, was the very first ornament that I attempted, a snowflake. It was a total pain to assemble, which is the reason why there is only one of those ornaments.

So, this brings us to our latest batch, which is yet unfired. I got this crazy idea to do Penguins. The Penguins consist of a solid black eggplant shaped piece for the body, with a white oval for the chest. There are three solid yellow triangles for the feet and the beak. There are two solid black triangles for the wings. I couldn't come up with anything good for the eyes. We don't have any white frit. White stringers didn't seem to be working. So, I might have to go to the glass store to get some white frit.

Here is a picture of most of the completed ornaments, on our kitchen counter. We are probably going to epoxy bales or copper loops on the backs of the ornaments so that they can be hung. I would drill them, but I am very concerned about cracking the glass. Sigh.

I think tonight, I will be staging some Stars of David and maybe some gift boxes.

I hope you enjoy our latest efforts...

12  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / New Fused Glass Dishes and an Oops on: November 09, 2008 06:08:05 AM
Hi everybody. It's been a while since I have posted pics of any new stuff. So, here are some of the latest and greatest.

This dish was made with White, Green and Blue Glass. The process was two step. First, a full fuse was used to flatten all of the pieces. Second, a slump fuse was used to mold the piece into a bowl form. This is my personal favorite, so far.

This next dish was an experiment. I wanted to try a type of basketweave with a solid circular center. This too was a two step process. First, a tack fuse was used to meld the basketweave to the solid piece of glass. This was an utter pain to lay out. Next, a slump fuse was used to mold the piece into a bowl form. Unfortunately, during the slump, the center piece of glass cracked. I think the thickness of the basketweave was the cause, and the kiln probably needed more time at certain points in the fuse. Because even the oops came out pretty cool, I think that this one will be worth trying again.

This dish is of a similar style to the first one, only different colors.

This dish was my first attempt at a basketweave with a solid core. I screwed up by making all of my glass strips the same size, instead of allowing for variation. The end result is a somewhat sloppy dish. Experiments like this often lead to newer and better ideas. Needless to say, my next dish of this type will be much better.

Lastly, with all of the leftover strips, I glued the strips together in layers and then ran a full fuse. Its rather simple and neat at the same time.

I hope everyone enjoyed the little tour through my latest projects.

13  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Re: Fused Glass Dishes and a Votive Holder on: September 04, 2008 06:39:17 PM
PinkyK's kiln does have an electronic controller that holds up to 4 different programs. That pretty much means that we can start it up and just let it run. I'm not sure if the kiln is capable of reaching pottery temperatures. For some reason, I think I heard that pottery requires a temperature closer to 2,000 degrees farenheit. The one we have maxes out around 1,800 degrees.

If you are interested in seeing an example firing schedule for fusing glass, here is a good little educational pamphlet.


The pamphlet details how a specific type of glass reacts at different temperatures. It also gives you some sample firing schedules as a baseline for creating schedules that work for you and what you are trying to do.

The big thing to remember is you need to use glass of the same type (Coefficient of Expansion or COE) when fusing different pieces of glass together. If you aren't careful, you could end up with some disasterous effects.

14  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Re: Fused Glass Dishes and a Votive Holder on: September 04, 2008 12:01:09 PM
I'm glad everyone is enjoying the pieces. I really have to give PinkyK the credit for the palette. She has a really good eye for color. But, that's all the credit she gets. The way the pieces are put together is all me. Grin

The kiln is PinkyK's. She just lets me play with it. It's an Evenheat with an Electronic Controller (4 programs) and I think the max temperature is 1800 degree farhenheit. One of our local glass shops used the same kiln for its classes, so we went with their recommendation. The space in the kiln is a Hexagon that has a 14" diameter with an 8" depth. It's very nice for firing a lot of small pieces, and kinda sucks because you can only really do one big piece.

One thing, though... I'm afraid to open the electric bill, which just came yesterday. We've been running the kiln a couple times a week for the last couple of weeks. Of course it's only 20 amps at 110 volts, but that begins to add up.

Thanks again,

15  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Re: Fused Glass Dishes and a Votive Holder on: September 04, 2008 06:58:08 AM
Actually, it was on the ramp down.

In this particular case, after the annealing process. In the case of the dish, I allowed it to cool down to room temperature in the kiln, after the annealing phase. One truly interesting thing is sometimes the cracks form after the glass has cooled to room temperature. In the case of slump of this blue dish, the dish was in the kiln until it cooled to room temperature, which probably means that it didn't cool too quickly, or have a huge temperature diffential when the piece was pulled from the kiln.

The cracks have formed in three different firing schedules (full fuse, tack fuse, and slump fuse), all of which have a somewhat varied temperature range and annealing schedule. What is interesting about the cracks, is that the cracks sometimes form where no other pieces of glass were fused into the piece, and sometimes the cracks form around the other pieces of glass that were fused in.  This hasn't happened for any other glass, and the blue is rated the same COE as the other glass that we are using.

I think that the next time that I use the blue, I am going to reinforce it with some clear glass, and see if that will at least maintain the integrity of the piece.

Thanks for the assist,

16  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Re: Fused Glass Dishes and a Votive Holder on: September 04, 2008 04:27:40 AM
Thanks everyone for the kind words. Smiley

It's hard to believe that I was even wisted. Heheheh.

I have some ideas for some new dish designs, which I think might be pretty cool (fingers crossed). So, keep an eye open.  Grin

17  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Fused Glass Dishes and a Votive Holder on: September 03, 2008 02:42:43 PM
Since my last post, I have been playing around with glass and the kiln quite a bit. The scientist in me is trying to gain a better understanding of how glass reacts to certain temperatures and ranges of time. I have to admit that glass fusing is so much more fascinating than I really gave it credit for.

In my last post, I showed a blank for a basketweave dish. I finally slumped it into a mold (13 inch bowl mold), and here is the final product.

Basketweave Dish

After the success of making the basketweave dish, I wanted to try another multistep process. I wanted to create another dish blank with a really simple design, and run it in a full fuse, before I slumped it into a dish. Unfortunately, there was a quality about the blue glass that causes it to become very brittle, and it developed cracks, even after going through a thorough cool down procedure. The cracks aren't too apparent, but you can make out a line in the bottom left of the picture. Here is the final product.

Blue Dish with Square Designs

I liked the square design, but wanted to tweak it a little to make some of the squares pop more. Also, I was growing tired of using the Blue/Green palette, and wanted to try a different palette. So, after a visit to the local glass supply store, I got to work using my new colors. And, this time, instead of creating another dish, I went for making a votive holder. The main piece of glass was red and it was cut into an octagon.

Red Glass Votive Holder Top View

Red Glass Votive Holder Side View 1

Red Glass Votive Holder Side View 2

Red Glass Votive Holder in Candlelight

The votive was a total experiment. There weren't too many tutorials on this type of slumping, so I was overly cautious on my peak temperature and hold times. As you can see from the picture, the piece got to the point where the glass just got soft enough to fold and wrap itself around the mold. The glass wasn't soft enough to droop creating more of a tulip style votive holder. I'll have to play with the temperature and timings to try and get a decent tulip style slump.

In all, it turned out to be a pretty cool experiment.

I hope everyone enjoys the new pieces.

18  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Re: Kappy's Fused Glass - First Attempts on: August 29, 2008 02:44:47 PM
Thanks Teapot.

Just to update. I went ahead and slumped the basketweave blank in a bowl mold to give it shape. It came out pretty good. Unfortunately, on the bottom side, there are a couple of cracks. The cracks don't appear to put the structural integrity of the piece at risk.

Here are a few pictures.

Side View on Counter

Face on in Light

I am firing a new blank in the kiln right now. I'll probably post that one later.


P.S. I want to give PinkyK the credit for picking out the color palette used. I am typically really bad with colors, and sometimes she needs to pick out my clothes for me, to make sure I am presentable.
19  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Re: Hi EVERYONE! ::: waves ::: I wanna show you some new kiln candy!!! on: August 28, 2008 04:10:17 AM
Definitely Violet Gardens.

I enjoy the swirling of colors, which makes the pieces pop.

20  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Re: Kappy's Fused Glass - First Attempts on: August 27, 2008 04:12:48 AM
I want to thank everyone for the kind words, and definitely look forward to being a regular contributer to the Glass Crafts Group. I have some ideas for some new pieces that I can't wait to try. Muahahaha.

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