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Archive for February, 2014

I recently worked on a custom order for a fused glass drop vase.   While I made a similar vase several times in the past, Murphy had his hand at this one.  The first vase ended up with a weird finish on the outside of the vase.  It looked fine, but just didn’t feel right even after sanding it.  So I started the second vase.  This time, a relay in my kiln failed and I had to replace the relay.

For drop vases, it is important to be present when the vase is actually dropping so you can control the depth of the drop.   Since my current shop is an hour drive away, I set the schedule to stay at 100 degrees F for 18 hours and then start the program so that it would be ready to drop when I arrived at the shop the next day.  This way I didn’t need to sit there for 6-7 hours waiting for it to drop. Also at the top temperature, the first vase dropped to the right depth at 1.5 hours, so this time I had set the hold time for 1.25 hours to be on the safe side.

While the schedule worked for the first vase, for the second vase the kiln seemed to ignore the 18 hour hold and when I arrived the next day, the vase had dropped and the kiln was already at room temperature.    And this time 1.25 hours was too long of a hold and so the drop not only touched the kiln shelf, it pushed the vase stem sideways.  Hence why I am calling it the wonky vase.  While interesting in its own right, this vase is not what the customer wanted.

Luckily vase three went well although I did stay at the shop the entire time to ensure the schedule was working and it dropped the appropriate amount.

Fused Glass Drop Vase

Fused Glass Drop Vase

So what to do with a wonky vase?  It no longer made sense to use the stand, so I decided to make the vase its own stand.   After creating the base using two 3mm sheets of glass with some confetti added on, I then put the vase back on the drop vase mold to tack fuse the vase onto the base I just made.  I only went to 1200 degrees F for the tack fuse.

In one of my original blogs, I had explained a faux pas I made with my drop mold and had to cut the mold to get the vase free.  Check out the blog for a picture of the mold (https://idlecreativity.wordpress.com/2011/10/13/planning-ahead/).  I still have this mold and it was this mold I used to do the tacking of the base so I didn’t have the same removal problem again.  To cover the cracks in the mold, I used fiber cloth which also helped elevate the vase enough for the base glass to fit beneath.  Love it when a plan comes together.

Check out the completed Wonky Fused Glass Vase!

Wonky Fused Glass Drop Vase

Wonky Fused Glass Drop Vase

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In early January, I mentioned that I wanted to create a two-tone crackle bowl and was playing with grey and black glass powder and showed some samples I had tried.  They were interesting, but none of them rocked my socks.  So I took a leap of faith with the bowl (meaning no more samples) and used french vanilla and black.

On the fiber cloth, I first covered the circle outline with a layer of french vanilla powder, then a layer of black powder and then a final layer of french vanilla again.  I wanted the black to just peek out around the edges of the french vanilla.

I also wondered what it would look like to add another color but not have it crackle.  So after I sprayed water on the powder, let it dry awhile and then did the crackling (please read my previous posts if you want a better step by step description), I added red powder on top.  I should have done this after I moved the fiber to the kiln, as moving it cracked the red and I needed to add a little more on top.  I then covered with a 3mm clear top and fired.

After the first fire, I then put another sheet of 3mm clear on a kiln shelf added another streak of red (as I wanted the bottom of the bowl to have a similar streak as the top) and then put the crackle layer on top and fired again.  Last, I slumped it into a shallow bowl mold.

Fused Glass Crackle Bowl

Fused Glass Crackle Bowl

Close-up of Glass Crackle

Close-up of Glass Crackle

I love the black just peaking around the french vanilla in the crackle.  However, a friend commented that they thought the red was needed as it might be a little boring with just the vanilla and black.    What do you think?  Too plain without and it needed the red?  Very curious for your thoughts!

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