Saturday, May 30, 2009

Happily Getting Lost in Glass

Fairy Light2001

Angles 2002

Welcome to my 3 part series of working with PMC and Fused glass
I have been making and selling glass buttons and glass cabachons for the last 14 years.
I adore glass and color and working with a kiln . I can spend hours cutting, assembling and dreaming my way into glass bliss.


Sunday was a day of perfect weather, much needed after our seemingly endless winter. The guild was meeting at my studio and we were walking on the wild side.
Glass and metal a seductive combination in my world. I had cleaned and straightened the studio preparing room for those attending to cut glass.

We began this adventure a year ago with PMC Paper and paper punches. Beginning with clever shapes of all sorts placed in the kiln and fired at 1650 for 10 minutes.
The paper punches available are amazing and we have several members who are also card makers and work with all sorts of art supplies to create some amazing cards and ATC’s
I have been very lucky to have been given some of the fore a mentioned items and I have them tucked away in a special box so I can pull them out when I need a bit of cheering up.

Anyway the PMC Paper after firing becomes pure silver and armed with these shapes we created some small pieces to create jewelry with or just admire.

For some this was the first time they had cut glass. It is rather intimidating to see a sheet of glass and the rather small tool you are given to cut with. But after a few lessons… a good surface and a ruler they were cutting like pros.

· cut
· clean
· assemble
Just like making a glass sandwich.
Placing glass - PMC Paper- clear glass top
. A weee drop of white school glue if necessary and then off to the kiln.

I have discovered through many, many, many firings in the last 10 years the very best method for me. Every kiln is a bit different and you must use what works for you but here is my journey.

Late afternoon I head out to the studio to begin the firing of the exuberant piles of glass sandwiches created on Sunday.
I needed to prepare my Kiln shelf.
I mixed equal amounts of kiln wash and water stirring to the consistency of pancake batter. Applied with a hake brush painting first in a up and down direction , dry then painting side to side.
When that dried I hand sand the surface( meaning I just use the palm of my hand ) to smooth of any lines or ridges.
I placed the shelf in the kiln turned it on low, left the kiln door open and dried the kiln wash. After about an hour I turned off the kiln and loaded the first load.

There were 4 trays filled with goodies I searched each and picked out all pieces that were only 2 layers thick not including the silver or copper pieces added.

Evenly placing the items on the shelf about ¾ of an inch apart
I then photographed the load.
(It is always a surprise what changes occur during firing. )
Turn on the kiln dial to low

Partially closed the kiln door leaving a 2 inch gap and left out the vent plug noted the time and returned to my house. This heating time releases all gases from glue,glass cleaners ect and keeps your glass clear.
After 1 hour back to the studio If the kiln has reached 500 then I close the kiln door put in the vent plug leaving the kiln on low and turned out the lights.

Nighty Night

1 comment:

  1. These are beautiful little treasures! It is obvious in your writing that you love the process and I can see why, too.