First since I have not posted in a while, I want to wish you all Happy Holidays and a Wonderful 2013!
December is always a busy time, and this December was more so since we are in the midst of some remodeling and my two larger kilns are packed away in the garage. I managed to squeeze my small kiln into the family room to finish some orders. Just as I finished those orders, luck was with me as Colour de Verre introduced a new snowflake mold which I just had to have and ordered right away. I had great fun testing fine and medium frits of different colors at various fusing temperatures and making snowflakes.
Then I received two custom orders for larger plates to my Etsy store and so I gladly moved my main kiln into the house and made the two orders. As long as the kiln was there, why not make another. I am still limited on workspace using the garage floor to cut the larger pieces of glass and a corner of my husband’s radial arm saw table surface to cut circles and smaller pieces, so I decided to just make a round plate and add the completed snowflakes I had been compiling.
After making the snowflakes, the plate took three firings to complete. The first to fuse together the iridescent light blue glass with clear glass into a round disk. The second to tack the snowflakes onto the plate and then the third to slump it into the bowl mold.
Pretty easy as fused glass projects go, however I had an interesting insight which could be due to one or two reasons.
I found that the best temperature for me to fuse the Bullseye frit into the snowflake mold was 1330 degrees F. This temperature left the snowflake looking like ice crystals and reflecting the light nicely, but also holding together so I didn’t have to worry about them breaking. However, when tack fusing the snowflake to the plate at the same 1330 degrees F, the snowflakes lost some of their crystal look and ended up fire polishing (taking on a glossy finish).
One reason for this could be that I used 2 different kilns – the snowflake creation in my small 8″ kiln and the plate in my larger 14″ kiln and each kiln has its own temperature idiosyncracies. Another reason could be that tacking something smaller onto a larger plate absorbs more heat and so the snowflakes actually got hotter.
I am guessing both came into play here and next time, I will only take the kiln to 1300 for tack fusing the snowflakes onto the plate and see if the crystal “icy” look is maintained. Regardless, I love the final plate as I love snowflakes and blue!
I hope everyone has a healthy and prosperous 2013!