As we made more fused glass blanks, it was clear we did not have sufficient molds to shape them into bowl forms at the end. I was able to quickly purchase and receive six from Laurie Spray – maker of the ‘bottomless’ mold. The design makes for a nicely shaped bowl but a solid flat footing as it touches the kiln shelf. It took a few firings before finding the right timing and temperature.

Some bowls were harmed in the testing of these molds! Yes, I messed up a few; making them a little wonkity at the rim, or slight wobble at the base.

We experimented with kiln-carving using cut-outs of fiber paper. The cut-outs were both freehand and using commercial paper punches.  Once the paper is laid on the kiln shelf, two layers of transparent glass are full-fused over the top. The glass becomes crisply embossed with the paper design. Brandy and Christy came up with some great designs and I regret not taking photos of the flat blanks. While attempting to slump them into shape, multiple problems arose…. I used too much heat and the glass became cloudy with prolonged contact with the ceramic mold. A few simply slumped into the mold unevenly and look a bit like a scoop. The designs are still visible and the bowls are functional; I just regret ruining their pretty bowls.

Brandy had fun with vitrigraph glass stringers over clear glass…

One of my favorite colors of Bullseye glass is blended with shades of green, including a sparkly aventurine. Having only a small amount on-hand, I made two bowls but fusing to a larger background base. No, don’t go whacking your glass with a hammer willy-nilly. Mark a spot with a Sharpie just off-center of the middle. Score some lines beginning at that mark, outward to the edges. When you tap with the hammer, your scores will open up. I usually cover with a sheet of paper to prevent the jagged bits from flying out of position. These were fired to a texture fuse.

The same firing method was used for the flower bowls – the fusing process shortened so the ‘petals’ are visible. No hammers were used! These were carefully measured and scored into sections. I found I could get fast and accurate lines by using my color wheel with 12-sections to measure against. Great for accuracy in placing clock numbers.

I stayed with the flower theme a bit to play with reactivity –  a chemical reaction between certain colors resulting in a brown/black/gray line where two pieces are fused. I choose french vanilla and teal; vanilla has sulfur and teal contains copper. The copper-sulfate reaction made a nice brown lining each petal.

The semi-hidden work in top right of photo shows reaction with the french vanilla and cyan squares. The strips are actually turquoise glass stringers. Turquoise and cyan are copper-bearing glasses, like teal.

These square bowls are a departure from the regular bowl slumping. These were made prior to our project starting and have been just waiting for the best home. A simple design of brown sections are textured fired to a black base. The mold was handmade cutting a square hole in a section of fiberboard; the glass was heated until it dropped through the hole and touched the kiln shelf. This same square box shape can be altered with fiber paper to change the rim, and I have made many politically incorrect ashtrays using this method.

Stay tuned for Part 3… potmelts!

 

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