I seem to have more than my fair share of fused glass failures as my growing pile of what-should-I-do-with-you is testament to this. On the bright side I see them as a friendly reminder of my experiments to learn new things!
I like making drop vases, sometimes letting them drop between 2 and 8 inches. A drop vase is where you make a glass disk and then rather than slumping it into a ceramic mold, the mold looks like a donut and the center of the glass disk drops through the hole of the mold to make a lovely vase.
Several times as I am fusing a drop vase, I hear an unexpected thud. The center of the glass disk should be slowing dropping through the hole at approximately 1235 degrees but when I peek inside, I find that the whole piece of glass fell through the hole and is sitting in a pile on the kiln shelf. One such failure was an aqua glass with deeper blue pieces on it; I think my issue was that the pieces were just too heavy. The resulting pile sort of looked like a conch shell so I added this glass piece next to my shells in my bathroom. Nice mistake.
Another failed vase was a black and yellow vase and it sat in my failure pile for probably a year. I finally decided to use the lump of glass, so I used the tile saw to cut it up into about 10 smaller pieces. In reality, it had seemed a little boring with just the black and yellow, so I decided to add some green this time and put the cut pieces with some additional lime green pieces into a stainless steel ring and fused it to 1525 degrees to give the larger pieces enough time to fully fused down.
Why the stainless steel ring? I am still not very good at figuring out how much glass creates what size of final piece for melts since glass always tries to fuse to 1/4 inches (0r 6mm) and if it flowed off the kiln shelf onto the bottom of my kiln, I could ruin the kiln. So “damming” the piece with the stainless steel ring is just a good precaution to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Okay, so now for the final circle. I have made pot melts and screen melts, but I have never just take extra glass pieces and refused them and I love the result. I don’t think I will try another drop vase with this disk, but I do plan to add it onto a large sheet of transparent glass and then make a bowl out of it.