Life has been so busy lately that I don’t get much time in the shop. However, these fused glass circles are so enticing to figure out the right solution for various components like the bookmarks, and it is fairly easy to get something in the kiln to test. Very sorry I keep talking about circles; this will be the last post on these, I promise!
Trying to grind such small circles, keeping them round and not losing your fingernails is quite the challenge. So after attempting to grind dichroic glass circles to get them the right size, I remembered a Round Gem Pod Mold I had bought from Slumpys. It creates deeper and smaller circles than I wanted on the bookmarks, but if I used the same logic as stacking 9mm thick glass together and fusing it above 1500 degrees F to get a smoother 6mm circle, why couldn’t I do the same thing with these.
To fill each gem pod, I first added about 1/4 tsp of a fine deep color frit for a good base. Then I added cut up pieces of dichroic glass making sure they were all facing up or down so I didn’t end up with dichroic glass facing itself (a no-no with dichroic glass as it won’t fuse together). Last I filled the rest of the cavity with medium clear frit to have a nice shiny top.
In the picture below along the top row you can see what the circles look like after firing and right out of the mold. After cleaning them, I put them back into the kiln on a shelf and fused to 1525 degrees F allowing them to get to 6mm thickness and filling out to a larger circle. Lo and behold, the size ended up being the perfect size for my bookmarks.
Since I filled the gem pods, I am guessing it would be hard to get larger circles for say a jewelry base that wanted a 1″ circle, but for my 11/16″ circles, this worked great. If I wanted smaller ones, I could play with this technique using different amounts of frit in the gem pods and as an example, weighing the frit to get me the size circle I wanted.