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Archive for March, 2012

I finally got around to using my Grill Pan to do a pot melt or some might call it a mesh melt.  I had to cut a kiln shelf down so I had some sides to bound the glass and prepare the grill pan by washing it to remove any oils.    I also put fiber paper on the shelf and sides to prevent sticking.  Check out the set up.

Grill Pan Set Up Before Firing

I also found a pot melt calculator on the net and used it to estimate the amount of glass (I used 470 grams).   Because you have to go to a higher temperature (1550 degrees F in my kiln) and take it very slowly, this took almost 2 days in my kiln rather than the one day of most pieces.  This is a painful process for me as I can never wait to see what I am going to get!   I pulled the piece out this morning and check it out!

Grill Pan Melt

This is a very different effect than if you did a plain pot melt as with flower pot melts where the glass is streaming out of a hole (or several depending on the pot) you get a few areas of circular action rather than drops all over.  Very cool and different.  Now to figure out what to do with this!

NOTES:

1.  I think I had too little glass and later found some weights for screen melts on the Delphi website and think I could have tried more glass to get a larger piece.

2.  Some say not to use the fiber cloth on the shelf because it leaves a very rough edge on the bottom.  But I have tried several pot melts without this and they stuck to the shelf so badly that the shelf was ruined.  I think because the kiln shelf heats off before the glass ever gets to touch it.   I also tried at my husband’s suggestion a sheet of clear glass on the shelf and this worked to not stick, but left me with a very chunky piece.  I have now learned the value of the 2mm Bullseye thin sheets for other projects and so I think that might be worth a try to use this on the shelf.

3.  I also read somewhere that some stainless steels will flake and so you should preheat your metal before using with the glass to find out.  These grill pans don’t flake, but I use some stainless steel rods to hold the pots or grill pans up and these do so I just have to make sure they are well away from where the glass will fall.

4.  Once you use a pot or grill pan or whatever for your melt, there will be some residual glass left on the pan.  This means that if you want to use that pan again, you have already chosen a color scheme to use.  For this one, I chose black, white and a little yellow and assumed that next time, I could then introduce another color but still use the same pan.

5.  Last note, dark colors tend to take over, so use them sparingly.  I think I used a little too much black in the above.  If I ever figure out a ratio, I will let you all know.

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Many years past when I first began to work, I hated talking in a meeting because I would instantly blush what felt and probably looked like 100 shades of red.  Over the years, though, my blushing went away as I found myself talking more and more in front of others.  And while at the time this seemed like a monumental issue, we tend to forget these small lessons learned as the years pass us by.

This week I was reminded of this when I read an Etsy newsletter pointing us to the following blog post:  http://www.jonathanfields.com/blog/how-to-pick-up-a-stranger-or-produce-brilliant-work/

It is a wonderful short read and very motivating about how taking such a little step, such as striking up conversations regularly with people whom we don’t know, can lead to big changes in our lives such as alleviating fear of public speaking.  Not only did this article make me reminisce about my past lessons learned, but also made me start to think more about what I am currently afraid of and what little steps I can take to start to overcome these fears.

As I have mentioned before, I am just not a put myself out there kind of person and therefore Marketing/blogging/Facebook/Twitter scares the bejeebers out of me.  So I decided to do two immediate things to embark on my journey to at least begin to climb the Marketing mountain of fear.

First, admit to my fears and be willing to share things about me!  So now you know.

Second, I noticed on several Facebook teams to which I am a part, that people post all of their new creations for others to see.  And even for those trying to sell their products, they post them on their own Facebook and/or Twitter pages.  So I am going to attempt to do more of this.  As I have heard many sellers saying, the more eyes you get on a piece, the greater chance someone who was meant to love it will just happen to see it.

So here is my latest plate which I just listed today – just in time for Spring as today was gorgeous here in the mid-75 degrees F!

Cascade of Blue, White and Violet Flowers on a Fused Glass Plate

Alternate View of Cascade of Blue, White and Violet Flowers on a Fused Glass Plate

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I have a new obsession – yes, I know I have lots.  Finding objects that I can use in my kiln with glass.  Whether I am shopping at a flea market, craft store, cooking store or even Ikea, I am looking for objects that can be used to create interesting effects.  Ceramic and stainless steel are the best possibilities as you don’t have to worry about whether they can take the high temperatures.  Otherwise I need to do some testing first before I use it with glass.

My husband (yes he feeds my obsession) found recently some stainless steel straws.  My first test was to lay the primed* straws on the kiln shelf and then put a piece of glass on top.  I fused to a full fuse and here is the result!  It needed a little cold-working along the edges and still needs to be slumped, but it didn’t stick to the straws and has a nice and different effect.  Think of the possibilities!

Fused Glass Slumped Over Stainless Steel Straws

Another find is a stainless steel grill pan.

Stainless Steel Grill Pan used as Mold

I thought this may make an interesting pattern on glass and decided to try a coaster and a spoon rest because the indentations could catch any dripped fluids.  Check it out.

Coaster and Spoon Rest Fused onto Stainless Steel Grill

What’s next?   To try a stainless steel grill pan for a pot melt.  Normally you would use a ceramic pot or flower pot with holes in the bottom filling with glass pieces to melt through the hole.  Also, they sell steel mesh which you can melt glass through, which is similar in concept just with a lot more holes.   Why I am writing about this when I haven’t tried it yet?  Because it has been on my list to try for way too long and I am hoping by putting it out there, I will make it happen soon!  Stay tuned.

*User Notes:  Always make sure you prepare your stainless steel with some kind of kiln wash.  I use MR-97 for my casting molds.  However, for slumping molds and stainless steel, Hotline Primo Primer kiln wash is my favorite.  The downside is that for the stainless steel, you need to heat it the stainless steel piece to approximately 400 degrees and then carefully and quickly remove it from the kiln and wipe on the kiln wash while it is hot.  This takes several iterations until you get the steel entirely covered with kiln wash.  But it is worth the effort because they are then so easy to use and you don’t need to reapply the kiln wash until you can see the steel wearing through.

Any suggestions you think I should try or finds you have tried?

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