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.
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!
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!
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.