Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fusing Glass

. On this snowy day,  Sandy left behind several inches of snow in the mountains.Today became a perfect day to spend in the studio creating.  A friend had asked me to share how I fuse glass. Inspired by the snow, I decided to make a snowflake plate with clear glass. Here is how I started the plate. I never know about how things really turn out until I open the kiln.
The first photo is a picture of a box of glass. This box holds eight pieces of 12 x 12 inch clear glass.
 Once the box is opened, there is a lot of padded paper. The box itself comes within a larger packing box filled with recyclable pellets. Opening the paper, the sheets of glass are padded between more sheets of paper.

A sheet of clear glass sitting upon a padded sheet of paper. 
 My glass cutter, the glass grid, and the piece of 12 x 12 inch clear glass ready to be scored.
 I have made a pattern of the plate I am making. I put the pattern on top of the glass sheet. I also use a ruler to give me a very straight edge for making a cut all along the edge of the glass. This is called scoring. If you look closely, you can see the line right under the glass cutter.
 Once the glass is scored, I use running pliers at the base of the score line on the glass. The glass then breaks evenly upon the score line. Using the plate pattern, I cut two pieces of glass to fit the pattern. The pattern is for a plate.
 This is a sheet of copper foil for glass. I use a brayer to smooth out the copper sheet. The left side is before I used the brayer. The right side is after using the brayer several times.
                                    Copper snowflakes are created from the copper foil sheet.
 I cut a piece of Bullseye shelf paper to exactly fit the kiln shelf. The shelf sits upon four kiln posts.
 The glass plate with copper snowflakes and little snippets of copper on the kiln shelf ready to be fired.
I have programmed the kiln for a full fuse. I pressed the start button and it begins to heat up. It takes several hours for the kiln to come to a full fuse. Before I open the lid of the kiln, I let it come completely down to less than 70 degrees. To open the kiln right after full fuse would create lots of  cracks and breaks in the glass.
While the snow comes and goes, the kiln makes little sounds as it heats up kinda like a click.
As the kiln fuses the glass, I'm already thinking about another design or two.

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