Ever wonder what glass looks like before fusing? Friday and Saturday we set up a few pieces including the prototype for an 8″ round plate and a 12″ x 17″ platter. Here’s what they looked like before fusing, basically lots of ground glass on top of the base glass. (The plate form also had some cut glass pieces.)
After heating to 1450 degrees and cooling down, the kiln yielded flat pieces of fused glass early Sunday evening. Jay cleaned the pieces and returned them to the kiln for the slumping process. The 8″ disc went over a drop-out ring with a slightly smaller hole; the large rectangle went over a 12″ x 17″ curved, rectangular mold. The platter mold was set on short pillars so air could get underneath while the ring was placed directly on a propped kiln shelf.
At the peak temperature for the slump cycle, glass on a mold slides into the mold and (usually) conforms to its shape. A drop-out ring allows soft glass (and it gets very soft at 1200 degrees) to slide through the center hole to the kiln shelf. If we wanted a bowl we would prop the ring a couple inches above the shelf. But this weekend we wanted a shallow plate so we left the ring flat on the kiln shelf; the glass could slide less than 1/2″.
This morning we got to see the results: The small round plate is successful and is the first of a six-piece luncheon/salad/dessert plate set we are making for a customer. They liked a set of dinner plates Jay had made in a style we call Seaforms. My efforts came out as a beautiful platter, a new variation on a design I’ve been working with for the past two years. Inspired by a photograph of a nebula, I keep trying different colors and layouts. I might call this one Starry Sky.
These two items and another are on the studio rack waiting to be signed and numbered.