Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Glass Class, befores and afters

Before I show the afters from yesterday, a word about today's project: circles. Take a look at the material below. Do you see a circle occurring naturally? No. The circle project went well for the rest of the class, but I seemed to be circle challenged. My clear layer was about 1/4" larger than my colored layer, and that was after I asked for help cutting from the instructor. So absorbed in this circle business was I that I forgot to take pictures of the projects around me. Lea made a beautiful bowl with a clear layer, a layer of clear and white opaque streaky glass and then blue and aqua squares around the outer edge.

Mine was clear layer, pimento red layer and then orange/coral streaky glass and yellow glass squares. I'm crossing my fingers ;) The glass is then fuse fired or tack fired. Once that is done, the piece is placed on the mold you chose and slump fired. That's about what it sounds like: you fire it to a temp and for a long enough time for the glass to soften and take on the shape of the mold. Mine is a 9 5/8" bowl that I made a little smaller at 8.5".

The second project of the day was a window hanging. The base was clear glass and then you filled in your design with colored glass from the scrap boxes. Below is Signe, hard at work.

Lea was making a floral scene to hang in her bathroom window. See the green at the bottom and the red flower petals and blue sky?

And here's mine. Think abstract nature scene: yellow sun, the many shades of blue that the sky is, a tree, white wispy clouds and a strip of green grass at the bottom. The clear gap on the lower half got filled in with darker blues - you know, the way the sky is darker at the edges. I have it set to be tack fired, which means everything retains it's shape, but may be it should be fuse fired where everything mushes together. Thoughts?

Coasters you saw yesterday before they are tack fired:

Coasters after tack firing - the single below matches the lower right above:

Everything retained it's shape but was heated enough to anneal (fancy word for bond, I think). I like the coasters. I need to find some little rubber feet. Oh, and don't worry about the white smudge on the one below. It's dust from the kiln that I haven't wiped off.

Here's my pendant before. You take a clear glass base and add two support strips top and bottom. Just under the top support strip, you place a thin strip of this fire fabric stuff. Then, a colored layer on top, it's aqua in my example. And then a piece of dichromatic (one color at 90 degrees and another color at 45 degrees) glass. This is fuse fired so that everything merges together into one piece.

Pendant after firing:

I hope I've encouraged you to go play with glass! I learned today that you can slump fire a wine bottle and they make a spoon rest shape, or a serving piece. The instructor said they have to be fired higher since they are generally blown glass. There's more to glass than meets the eye!


  1. Your pieces are wonderful!!! I am VERY impressed. I hope you continue in this new endeavor...I look forward to seeing your other creations. Similar to making a quilt or sewing, but with blunt, sharp objects.

  2. I'm with Spit! I'm so impressed that you guys did this and did it WELL. I always love your creative pursuits and outlets, they inspire this little SSG.

  3. Molly,
    Ooh lala! Tres magnifique!
    Am I right in assuming the coasters have piece of clear glass on top? If not, are they smooth enough to put a drink on - or just for looks?

    How will the pendant be finished? Do you now have to take a jewelry making class to add a ring to the top?

    This really looks like a lot of fun. I'm going to check out classes in my area. You did a great job of introducing us to the wonders of glass!

  4. The pendant is ready to go. If you look closely, the white fire fiber stuff created a channel around which the glass melted, so a cord or chain can be run thru.

    The coasters are not smooth, but all pieces are the same height. This lets the sweat that forms on the glass run off so that suction is not created between the coaster and the solid surface of the glass or bottle. Or so I'm told.

  5. SOOO pretty! Inspired...I am! :)



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