We are still in the process of getting organized after moving, but I am starting to get back into the swing of glassing. Thought I would share with you what I have been exploring recently.
Several years ago when I was first starting out, I saw a glass plate using a method which I now know Bullseye calls Kiln Carving. I made a small plate at that time which I used on a table by my front door for my keys and often visitors would comment on that plate even though I had many other glass plates which I thought were better scattered around my house.
The first plate I made was a single layer of 3mm glass in which I placed some fiber on the kiln shelf and then laid the 3mm glass sheet on top and then added a few extra strips of 3mm glass on top of that. It worked okay, but I didn’t like the needled edge of the glass and I personally thought it was too thin. I did really like its three-dimensional quality though.
Now, many years later I decided to re-explore this technique. I cut two layers of each shape out of 1/16″ fiber cloth in various patterns and lay them on the kiln shelf. Yes, I could have used a single layer of 1/8″ fiber but I thought this was a great project to use scraps. I then added a 3mm sheet of clear topped with a 3mm sheet of Adventurine Swirl Iridescent. To increase the dimensions, I cut two pieces of Royal Blue glass and added them to the top and bottom edge and then took some white and Grey Swirl glass and added two strips to the top but in between where the fiber was below.
You can see in the following picture the fiber peeking out below as I extended it beyond the edges since I wanted the indentation to be all the way to the edge.
I then fired this to a contour fuse as I wanted to keep the dimension on the top layer.
I was very happy with the result, but when I took it out of the kiln, I had two dilemmas:
1) Which side did I want to be the top as I liked the bottom slightly better than the top which was not my original intent,
2) Should I sand the edges or keep them inconsistent?
You can see in the finished picture that I decided to go with the bottom as the finished top surface and to keep the sides flowing.
I will include a picture of its bottom as well as you may have an opinion on which should have been the top surface.
Here are a few lessons learned:
* This is a great method for adding some creativity to your piece and it is pretty easy to have success with this if you just go with the flow and not worry about making things exact.
* If I did want to make things exact, I am going to have to determine the right schedule for better lines and consistency.
* I did have some bubbles on the outside edges about an 1/8″ outside the lines where the fiber had been. I realized later that Bullseye Education has a video dedicated to Kiln Carving and highly suggest that you subscribe to their videos and watch it. The video explained that it is best when doing kiln carving if you fuse your layers of glass together first before firing over the fiber. In my case, the bubbles are so consistent that it actually adds to the glass piece, but keep this in mind for your projects.
Next I plan to try keeping within the bounds of the glass and include a more specific design. Stay tuned.