Friday, March 9, 2012

more adventures in glass fusing....

I'm trying to make another small bowl/ candle holder. This is the 3rd try. The 2 that had "gaps" in the glass just didn't turn out like I'd hope, so this time I"m going to use lots of clear glass to give it that filigree feel, without actually having holes in it. So I carefully built a couple of random layers of dichro, stringers, etc and then dumped clear sheets on top. Then I added more glass, including more chunks of clear.

Part of the challenge for me is I'm trying to use up my COE 90 glass. Now I don't have any large chunks of 90 clear.. in fact most of my 90 glass is scrap glass, and I think the largest piece I have is a 5x5 of red.

I have long strips of clear, but nothing wider than 3 inches.

When you are trying to make a round shape approximately 5x5, this makes it challenging. Now the nature of glass is the round up edges as it melts if given half a chance, So I figured I'd add clear frit strategically to smooth out the edges and make my plate round.

It didn't exactly work... I've got very uneven edges ( actually quite sharp to boot!) I also had spots of cloudy ( something I get when I use 90, which is why I'm trying to use it up. I get along better with 96 !)

I've cleaned it up, chipped and sanded done the sharper edges

So I"m going to fire it a second time tonight, with added clear in the hopes that the glass shape will spread out more roundish and the extra clear over the cloudy bits will help hide that.

worse case scenario, I can always break it up later for frit!

A note on 90 vs 96. most glass artists seem to prefer one or the other, and have a stash of both. I won't get into the various debatable merits of which is better, but 96 seems to work better for me. I rarely get the scummy cloudy crap on 96 but I get it almost every time with the 90. I know many artists work exclusively with 90 without issues.

Maybe it's because most of my 90 is scrap glass, and possibly older to boot. ( they keep working on the glass formulas and making them better... so it's possible it's just an older formula that doesn't work as well)

Originally I only bought 90 ... it seems slightly cheaper and I got some great deals on scrap ( including a large stash of dichro !!) Then I ran the scummy problems ( and a few others) so I bought some 96... and then kept buying and buying.

In any case, I've got 3 times as much 96 as I have 90, so I've decided when I work through the 90 I won't buy any more. So while I'm experimenting I might as well use up some of the 90 I have laying around.

It's probably safer this way. You can't mix the two glass coe. I keep them separated but I've accidentally mixed them a few times. At least my kiln didn't explode. At least yet.

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