Thanks so much for visiting. You're in luck as it's Five on Friday today and there's a whole heap of fun happening on Amy's blog. Do have a look.
Unexpectedly I've been on a glass fusing workshop this week. One minute I was up to my eyes in domestic chores and the next I was whisked along to a room of artistry and experimentation.
One - Design
|Apart from the usual drawing equipment and safety information, the glass cutter and breakers can be seen at the top left, safety goggles must be worn. There's a small pot of glue and another with an oily sponge, just in case you were wondering!|
Here's all the bits and bobs to get us going. Settling on a design and accurately drawing it on the sheet was the first thing. As it was Spring, I naturally decided on a Christmas tree and a field of poppies, trying to be realistic with a simple design .
Two - Glass Cutting
You need to have two pieces of glass per shape, something colourful for the design and then a clear piece to go over the top which combine to give the required thickness of the finished piece, allowing you to add some detail sandwiched between the two. It's quite tricky using the glass cutter knowing just how much you need to press down, but if you get the right kind of squeak as you score the glass, you know it will break cleanly when you apply a small amount of pressure with the breakers/pliers.
Sometimes your cuts go a bit wobbly and you need to grind down the sticky out edges but this is easily achieved by using the Grinding Machine.
You can easily become dehydrated as the time just whizzes by as you concentrate on your masterpiece. Make sure you clean up carefully after all that cutting and that the tea and biscuits are protected from all the shards of glass.
Four - The Fancy Bits
Squished in between the two glass pieces, you can go wild with decoration, although less is always more! One option is to put in some copper strips or stencil-cut shapes which will change colour when fired or you can paint on copper oxide which will look like blue bubbles. Small frits - various thicknesses of coloured glass or ground glass - can be sprinkled on but if using larger pieces you have to put them on the outer clear glass to prevent too much air getting in and spoiling the design during firing. Don't forget to put some glue under the bits and bobs so your decoration stays put when you carry it to the kiln.
|Here's the copper strip and copper oxide painted on.|
Five - Firing
Once the masterpiece is complete, it goes into the kiln for 18 hours to fuse together.
Here:s a few pieces that had been made earlier.
This is my poppyfield ready for the kiln
and here are all our designs ready to be fired.
If my things don't explode, I'll show you in a week or so what they look like. Great fun. Next time I might attempt something more complicated.
Wishing you all a jolly week.
See you again soon.