I am still on a roll working with some of the new techniques I learned in my class at the annual Glass Craft Expo in Las Vegas. The class was taught by Roz Stanton and Debbie Patana and included many different techniques. The concept that I want to describe this week was using Georgie’s Trillium Porcelain clay to make your own small molds to create components to add to a larger project. This project was simpler than I had thought it would be.
To start, you pull or slice off a small amount of the Porcelain clay and work it in your hands for a few minutes. You just want to basically soften it some and get it ready to mold. If it seems too stiff just add a very small amount of water and work it into the clay. Create about a 1/2-inch thick patty. If your object is thin, you can go thinner and if your object is very deep, go thicker with your patty. I borrowed a flower petal shell from my class neighbor as I loved its look. Press the object into your patty and leave it there for about 5-10 minutes. You want the clay to still be damp when you remove your object otherwise it might get stuck.
The set-up time is really a judgment or guessing game as to when it is ready so just give it your best guess and feel. Peel your object out of the clay patty and set the patty aside. Leave it to dry completely overnight.
The following is a picture of my patty after removing the shell.
Place the patty in your kiln and fire it slowly to 1800 degrees F, hold for 10 minutes and then let cool. Now your new mold (yes, it is a fusing mold now!) is ready to be used.
Prime it with MR-97 boron nitride or your favorite mold wash. My mold is very shallow, therefore I decided to make thin, fine frit castes of the flower to then put on a plate. Because this was a class project, I only have the one mold, so this task took me awhile to make multiple flower castes. It was basically very easy to prepare the mold with MR-97, add the fine frit making sure to add enough so it would not leave any holes after firing, and then firing it each time to 1325 degrees F.
For the plate, I used another class technique. Part of Roz’s business is stencils to help the glass artist create patterns on glass. (Sorry but I could not find a link to where she sells these. So if you are interested, you will have to just contact her.) One of the stencils I bought from her booth at the Show was a flower and stem. I took a piece of Bullseye cream-colored opaque glass and using the stencil sifted Green Adventurine. On the clear glass, I sifted spring green powder. It may be possible to then place the clear on the cream glass and fire. But I didn’t know for sure, so I fired each as a part sheet to 1390 degrees F. Then I combined the two together and fired a second time taking it to a full fuse of 1460 degrees F.
The next go round in the kiln was a tack fuse of the flower components onto the base plate at 1300 degrees F and last the plate was slumped into a plate mold at 1180 degrees F. I am guessing I could have combined some of these firings such as the powder and base plate firing together and then perhaps even the tacking of the flowers and slumping together, but I decided to play it safe this time as I wanted a good completed project with my porcelain mold flowers.
I am currently imagining all of the wonderful things I can do with Georgie’s Trillium Porcelain clay for both components and for actual slumping molds not to mention it is very easy with which to work. I guess the hardest part will be getting the actual porcelain clay and not paying high shipping costs for 25 pounds which is the smallest bag!