July 28, 2011

Ginkos in glass...part two

Ok, I admit it, I peeked in the kiln, so I had a fair idea this wasn't going to come out quite as planned....

The two leaves that had the Thompsons' stuff had a HUGE bubble over them (the two on the right)...which left the Pearl Ex completely exposed when it pulled back. Now I can brush the powder off. Of course, I could have also maybe used too much Pearl Ex? I'll have to play with that again.

The Simple Solution leaf (far left) has a bubble too. The one that didn't bubble lost all the color in the Pearl Ex and just looks like burned silver leaf. Not the effect I was going for, that's for sure. But the Stamping Medium did the best in the kiln...that or that's the leaf I put the least amount of Pearl Ex on... so many variables.

I'm gonna try again... but this time i'm going to put each leaf in its own glass sammich...that way if one does turn out, the others won't ruin it. This is gonna get cleaned up and go in the scrap drawer for now. I've got other ideas I want to play with!!!

July 26, 2011

Ginkos in glass...

Well, that's what I'm hoping to get... we'll see.

There's a really cool technique that involves sifting glass powders onto leaves that you've made sticky with hair spray or some such stuff, sift powder onto them and then you fuse 'em and get a really cool effect when the leaves burn off in the kiln...Fossil Vitra and I've been dying to play with it. Except I don't have any glass powder (there's a mortal & pestle in my future) and well...I don't own any hairspray. But in this HUGE room of stuff, there's got to be something I can use instead.

So, I pulled down some various sticky mediums, Fuse Master's overglaze glue, glass stamping medium, Dove blending medium and Simple Solution from Dreaming in Color. Yes, I could have grabbed the gum arabic and mixed some up, but I was going for already mixed convenience.

The overglaze glue is nice and sticky and spread nicely out over the leaf. Using a stipple brush (yeah, have a few of those around from the stamping days too) I covered it with Pearl Ex.

Dove Blending medium didn't work on its own, it just beaded up on the dried leaf. On to the sticky as heck glass stamping medium..WOW.. they weren't kidding this stuff needs to be thinned. A few drops of the Dove blending medium thinned it enough to spread over the leaf and it too was covered with pearl ex.

The Simple Solution was by far the easiest to spread on the dried leaf.

Instead of setting this aside to wait for a full kiln, since it involved burning off the various mediums, I'm firing up the baby kiln upstairs.

That, of course, means I need to stay up here and babysit the fusing 'cause this kiln has a manual control (oh, poor me, two kilns and one of 'em is manual). Which means I could start some other projects to fill up the big kiln for a firing!!

July 25, 2011

Scraps of dichro...

These are scraps. I took a huge pile of my scrap dichro and melted them into a big pile on a sheet of black glass. Now, sometimes I wish I hadn't done that because I can think of a million other things to do with that scrap dichro...but it was done and melted and I needed to eventually do something with the resulting chunk of glass. Today was that day.

After trimming some of the edges so that I could measure more easily, I headed over to the ring saw to start cutting up the glass.

After cutting the strips, I played with them, moving the pairs until I got a combo that made me happy...

Next I'm gonna fuse them again, using some dams to keep the glass from spread out too far and will have 4 long strips, instead of 8 short strips (that's the plan anyway). Then they're going to be come design pieces in some plates... I think.

The rest of the day was spent looking at those fused striped pieces. I'm still not liking the pink one, the pink is too pale and you really can't see the pink. They may be cut up and used in something else. But the purple is going to be slumped into a little sushi dish. I'm trying to be patient, filling up the the kiln so I'm not wasting electricity. Gives me some extra time to keep my area cleaned up...

I can't wait to get back up there tomorrow.

July 18, 2011

Firing the kiln... and the laws of glass

Even I can't overlook the laws of glass. Glass at full fuse temperatures wants to be 6mm thick. That's something that's important to remember if you're mixing different colors...especially when they're not the same thickness.

See those sharp edges and bubbles? Well, that's what happens when you mix 2mm and 3mm glass...don't add enough to make up for the missing volume AND fire it with a piece that is all 3mm and don't add extra soak time for things to smooth out. But that's OK, those champagne bubbles are a sign of hand crafting, right? Some work with the grinder and we'll have those edges cleaned up and be ready to slump this little bugger.

Now the pink one turned out much better. It was all 3mm glass, so I didn't have the air bubble issue...and the edges are nice and smooth. It still needs a little bit of cold working, but not nearly as much as the purple.

Fusing glass is teaching me patience. I put these in the kiln with the electronic controller, so I had no excuses to be peeking in the kiln. Waiting up until the kiln is cool enough to open is not an option when you don't fire till mid to late afternoon. And now I get to fire them AGAIN!!!! I can see the need to have several kilns so you can have several projects going at once....but I don't think that's gonna happen.

I'm certainly going to be less casual about buying 2mm or 3mm glass, that's for sure! And I'll be spending a lot more time practicing cutting my glass so that it breaks in nice, clean lines. Because there are some circle projects I want to play around with....and I KNOW that the circle cutter is going to tax my knowledge of words I can say in other languages.

Stripes and scrap glass

If there's something that a few hours cutting glass will give you, it's an appreciation for skills that you developed and let slide...for whatever reason. Who would have thought that retraining the hands and eyes to cut small, even strips of glass would generate so much angst (and scraps!)

After several hours in the corner, here's what I have.

What you don't...and won't...see are all of the pieces that are in the scrap drawers.

Here are some relearned lessons:
1. Scoring glass is a standing up activity.
2. Measure twice, score once.
3. Never plan on your last piece of glass for a project....see above comment about scraps.

These pieces aren't "anything" as I explained to the hubby. I needed to jump back in and do something, so I grabbed a tutorial from Bullseye, modified it with the 9" strips didn't happen (see lesson #3) and this is the result.

The Glass Corner

Here's the baby kiln, set up with the fire proof sheet rock underneath and behind it...safey first, right? The drawers contain scrap glass (of which there is PLENTY) and the little caddy has some of my most reached for tools. That wire shelf is empty, I'm not sure what'll go up there, but I like the spacious feeling of the wire shelf overhead when compared to the dark, solid shelf over the other window. I'll be changing that one to a wire shelf too! Under the worktable is a bookshelf, on it's side, that is perfect for storing my smaller sheets of glass (thank you Ikea!).

You'll never see this space like this again...so look carefully!

Spare kiln pieces, molds and some ceramic fiber paper... and an empty shelf at the bottom for future mold purchases :-)

The messy stuff..the grinder, ring saw and dremel drill press are on this table. There's an acrylic shield to move behind whichever tool I'm using to contain the inevitable spray of glass and water. I'm hoping to add a wet tile saw in the not too distant future...we'll see.

And that, my friends, is where I'm hanging out when I tell you I'm in the corner...it's the glass corner, not the naughty corner!!!!

And for obvious reasons, this room is "No Dogs Allowed"