As with any craft, basically anything goes. But usually when fusing glass, people work very hard to eliminate bubbles. Some bubbles are just natural to the glass craft and so a bubble free piece is nearly impossible, but typically this is the goal.
No longer! Now there are glasses, paints and techniques all to help add bubbles to your piece.
I decided to experiment with the Bullseye reeded and prismatic glasses to see how easy or hard it was to create some geometric bubbles and it ended up being extremely easy.
Test one was with the reeded glass which is basically a sheet of clear glass with some raised glass strips. The reeded glass has smaller strips than the prismatic glass (see photo below). I cut two equal sized 6″ squares and then laid the bottom one reeds up and the top one reeds down 90 degrees rotated so I would trap the air bubbles in each square of overlap of the glass. I then used 1mm purple stringers for color, cut to about 6.25″ length for a little overlap over the outside edges.
Test two was with the prismatic glass laid out exactly the same as above but with 2mm blue stringers cut to 6.5″ for more overlap.
- It was much easier than I thought to use this glass and get the desired effect! It just worked with only cutting, cleaning and placing correctly in the kiln on my part.
- I fired one version in a glass kiln (elements on top) and another in a ceramic kiln (elements on the side) to see if it would have any effect and it did not. So either works fine for this end result.
- I like the 1mm stringers better as the 2mm ones seem to wobble a little and didn’t stay as straight. I thought the 1mm would be too thin of a profile on the prismatic glass, but it would have been just fine.
- I left a little overlap for each stringer on the first test but as they melted and pulled it, they no longer went to the edges of the plate. So I ground down the edges of the plate and re-fired. Therefore on test two, I left more overlap to ensure that as the stringers pulled in, they went all the way to the edge of the plate.
- You can easily do the crossed stringers in one fusing by carefully laying them out and using Glastic glue to hold in place. For the first test, I did the stringers in two passes thinking this was necessary, but for the second one I added all the stringers in the first fuse and it worked fine.
You too can easily make these plates. I think my next test will be to use this bubble effect with a colored glass border around it. The border shouldn’t have any impact on the bubbles, but you never know.
Do you like the bubbles?