Believe me, I am not the only one making lemonade from lemons with my glass. I learned this from other glass fusers and it is one of the beauties of fused glass. Don’t like something you made or in my case it failed, just fuse the glass again into something else. These past couple of weeks I have seen my fair share of failures. They seem to come in waves for me and the hard part about this is that when so many come at once, it can get discouraging. Usually I just add the pieces to a redo pile for the future, although so far that future has not arrived.
This time, I was inspired to “fix” it. Here’s what happened and sorry, but I don’t have any in between pictures. I started with a 6” round clear sheet of glass and added some Colour De Verre Serpentines. I then filled in the gaps with different frits and fired it to a contour fused. The result wasn’t bad but it needed something. I then tack fused two fish and a starfish with the starfish sort of hanging over the edge. I loved it.
Back into the kiln it went to slump into a shallow dish mold. I knew I needed to take it slow as it was not a consistent depth of glass, however, I still must not have annealed it long enough as it has a long crack in it when I opened the kiln the next day.
NOTE: How do I know it cracked on the way down? You can tell based on the edges of the crack. If they are soft edges it probably cracked on the way up and softened as the glass was still getting hotter. If the edges of the crack are sharp, then it probably cracked on the way down and the edges were not able to soften since the kiln was basically just cooling down. My edges were quite sharp so I knew that next time I needed to hold a lot longer at the anneal temperature. The best guide I know for annealing thick pieces is from Bullseye: https://www.bullseyeglass.com/methods-ideas/annealing-thick-slabs.html
I have read that you can flatten out a piece that is cracked and sometimes the crack will heal itself. I also thought that I could add some course frit along the crack and it would just add to the already pretty fritty piece. But I had to flatten it out first before I could add the frit as the frit just kept rolling down the side of the bowl shape. Flattening it out worked well although the crack didn’t heal and so I wanted to add the frit to fill in the crack. As I was cleaning it to add back into the kiln with the frit, I pushed too hard on one side and the crack gave and half of the plate dropped on the floor and cracked more. So now I had 4 separate pieces. I decided to crack some of the larger pieces more and then add all the pieces into a stainless steel ring randomly and fire again to just get it all melted together.
The end result was much better than I had expected as even though the Colour De Verre pieces were now fused in completely (rather than tack fused) I could still see the fish and the part of the starfish. Not a bad batch of lemonade!