We are slowly getting some order back to our lives after moving. As I sit here in the early morning gazing out the windows, enjoying the sun and colors shouting Springtime, my thoughts turn to glass and sharing some new insights with you.
While we still have boxes everywhere, I have one kiln set up in my workshop area and enjoy each day stepping away from the boxes and getting lost among the glass.
When choosing our kitchen cabinets, we added a plate rack and my husband winked and smiled as he asked for a set of dinner plates. The first challenge was to pick colors. We painted the steel beams in our house Fireball Orange which hints at burnt orange rather than a vibrant orange. Shopping through Bullseye glass, the color that matched best was carnelian transparent. But I also needed a complementary color. My husband and I both love the adventurine colors and holding the adventurine blue up to the carnelian became a winning combination.
As many of you know from reading my other posts, I also love to make “crackle” glass, although I will add my disclaimer here again. I have not been able to take the official class on the real crackle glass taught by its creator, Bob Leatherbarrow, and hence, I explored my own substitute but can honestly not say whether my way is the real way to make crackle. I like what I have figured out and so am happy to share with you my method, but please do not construe that this is the real way to make crackle glass.
Okay, now back to my dinner plates. I decided to go with round plates and marry a combination of solid and crackle carnelian and adventurine blue and make each plate a slightly different design. To make my life easier, I made my crackle carnelian pieces into 10″ circles as well as cutting 10″ circles out of the other colors and then I could just cut the circles and combine the pieces but not have to worry about getting the circles round since they started off that way.
I put a second clear sheet of glass on top rather than the bottom as I wanted to keep the lines between the different glass colors crisp which is best done when those sheets are against the kiln shelf.
The crackle part sheet is first fused on fiber cloth which imparts a somewhat rough surface to the glass, and by putting the clear on top, the bottom of the plate now has the bottom of the crackle part sheet and is not as smooth as I would like. I accidentally came upon the solution when I needed to sandblast one of the plates to get rid of some guck and decided to sandblast both the top and bottom surfaces. This was a winner as now the bottom of the plate feels great and I don’t have to worry about any scratches to the surfaces on which the plates will sit. You can either sandblast your part sheet ahead of time or sandblast it after the plate has been fired the first time. Either way works.
Shown here is a picture of two of the plates.