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Archive for May, 2016

It appears I am on a trend of getting back to basics and thought I would share my effort to close the gaps between pieces of the same color.  Bonus though because I will also share some thoughts on using fusing photo paper.   I have been working with fusible photo paper using local images for some art sculpture. 

Fused Glass Art Sculpture Featuring Rhododendrons

Fused Glass Art Sculpture Featuring Rhododendrons

Let’s start with the base glass fusing which is what took me back to the basics.

For the blue Siuslaw Bridge piece below I cut a piece of french vanilla 8 inches square.  I then cut strips of Bullseye Sea Blue 1 inch wide and staggered them.  I put all of this on a sheet of clear and fused it.  While I had made very nice seems between the blue, I still ended up with some clear gaps after firing.  I thought of using the same blue for the entire back piece rather than clear glass, but then sometimes my colors might react and the back would not look as nice.  Since I wanted to put this piece in a stand, I wanted the back of the piece to have an appealing look.  I then figured out that if I cut the clear also into an 8 inch square, cut 8 strips of color and then staggered them when I lay them down, the same color would show through any gaps and look solid.  Check out the corners of the pink Rhododendron piece above.

Clear showing in Joint of Sea Blue Glass

Clear showing in Joint of Sea Blue Glass

I was trying to figure out if I could retrofit the blue one, but my husband thought it had an artistic flair so I left well enough alone on this piece.

Fused Glass Art Featuring the Siuslaw Bridge

Fused Glass Art Featuring the Siuslaw Bridge

Now, if you are also curious about the photo paper, it comes in 8-1/2” x 11” sheets and you print onto them just like any other sheet of printer paper.  The gotcha is that you have to use a laser jet printer that has a good amount of iron oxide in the toner.  And you have to use a printer that is not too hot.  We have a very old HP Laserjet 5 printer and it was just too hot so the toner did not adhere well and came off the paper easily and was blotchy.  I then pulled out an HP Laserjet 2200 and this worked like a charm.  If you want to see a list of HP printer cartridges/printers that have iron oxide, check out this HP forum:  http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Inkjet-Printing/iron-oxide-in-current-laser-toner-cartridges/m-p/1788717#M16053.

After you print onto the paper, it is a fairly easy task of soaking the print in distilled water just like any fusible decal and them sliding it off the back paper and onto your glass.  Use a towel or squeegee to get the water out from under the decal and make sure it is smooth.  Then I let the glass dry until the next day as my prints are large and I want to ensure the decal is truly dry.

The decal only needs to fire to 1300 degrees F to fuse onto the glass and works best if it is left uncovered, so you should fire your base first if you want it to go to a full fuse.  Then fire with the decal on a second firing.

One lesson learned is that there appears to be a film between the photo decal and the back paper and so if this film gets onto the glass (in my case the strips of colored glass around the border) it leaves a weird shadow after firing.  So make sure to re-clean that class before you fire the piece again in the kiln.

I am busy getting ready for my very first art show in which I will participate in two weeks.  Can’t wait to share my experiences from getting ready and share pictures of the show!

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While this post may seem simple to some glass fusers, the “rule” for straight lines is one that I often need to remind myself.  Many fused glass plates/bowls are made with two sheets of 3mm glass. Sometimes it is easier for me to put the larger glass sheet on the kiln shelf and then layer the varied color pieces on top of the clear sheet. However, since I am a lover of straight (I mean really straight) lines, you accomplish this by putting those pieces for which you want to maintain the straight lines on the bottom layer as I believe the weight of the top sheet helps keep that layer from spreading and does a better job of maintaining the lines.

I forgot in the Daisy plate below and layered my yellow daisy part sheet on top along with the blue and white pieces and if you look closely you can see that the blue lines and a few others are a little wavy.

Daisies Fused Glass Plate

Daisies Fused Glass Plate

Of course, it usually takes a misstep to trigger a memory and this plate reminded me what to do for future linear pieces. In the black and white piece, the lines are much more crisp as I put them on the kiln shelf first and then layered the clear on top. Then after the first full fuse, I flipped it, sandblasted the new top and fired it to a nice matte finish.

Black and White Window Panes Fused Glass Plate

Black and White Window Panes Fused Glass Plate

The Mondrian piece below was an experiment. I was trying to figure out an easy way to get a very thin line for a small fused glass piece and decided to use black noodles which are about 5mm wide. (The right way to do this is to cut 6mm strips of black glass and lay them on their side, but thin strips are much harder to cut and I was taking a short cut.) I cut each glass piece twice once with the blue, red, yellow and white glass and then secondly with clear. I then layered the colors on the bottom on the kiln shelf separated by the black noodles and then added the clear pieces on top. I should have taken a little more time with the grinder to get each piece exact as you can see where some of the noodles had a little room to spread, but overall, I accomplished the look I wanted and this piece ended up being one of my favorite pieces. Again I flipped it after firing, sandblasted and refired with the bottom now as the top to a matte finish.

Mondrian Fused Glass Dish

Mondrian Fused Glass Dish

Simple rule to follow if you like straight lines like I do!

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