Archive for April, 2020

I didn’t plan on getting obsessed with stringers, but it happened.  My original goal was just to create something different and bold for a wedding present.  I found a tutorial using stringers and made my first obsessive plate.  It ended up exactly as I had hoped and wanted.  Sorry, but I can’t explain the how of this one since I got it from a paid tutorial from Vitrium Studio if you too want to buy.


This then took me down the path of other tests with stringers.  I have often obsessed over Richard Parrish’s tapestry projects .

So I set out to create a geometric.  I made two part sheets of stringers and decided to use the blue one for this project.  Many and many hours later, I had cut and pieced it together to get something similar to what I have seen Richard produce.  I am guessing I did not do this exactly how he creates his, either that or he is a very, very patient person.  I am not, so this may be a one and only for me.  Here were my basic steps (not including my hours of figuring out how to cut and place the pieces):

Tapestry based on work by Richard Parrish

  1. For the part sheet, I used 3mm sheet glass and then placed quite tightly different colors of blue/grey/lavender/pink stringers using Glastac to keep them all in place.
  2. After an initial tack fuse to get my part sheet, I then started cutting it into strips and aligning.  Each strip was 1/2” wide and I needed many more strips than the size of the plate as I had to use bottoms of some, tops of others and so forth all in an effort to get the chevron pattern that I wanted.
  3. When I was finally ready to fuse again, to keep the stringers as straight as possible, I put the part sheet with the stringers down onto the kiln shelf and then added a 3mm clear sheet on top and dammed the whole thing.  Again I only went to a tack fuse at 1350 degrees F.
  4. Now you get to choose which side you like better.  I liked the look of the piece when looking through the clear as it gave it more depth, so I left it facing the way I had fused it with clear on top.  I might have been able to combine steps 3 and 4, but I really wanted to ensure that I keep my lines straight and so usually a tack fuse before the full fuse usually works best for me.
  5. I then ground my edges to get them all even and re-fired this time to an almost full fuse to get a nice even and smooth edge.

For the second part sheet I had made, I wanted something easier meaning less hours trying to get the right pieces lined up correctly.  So I decided to cut the strips wider and on an angle.  As I was laying them on the workbench, some were up and some were down and it looked quite cool.  So I decided to fire them that way, however this time I wasn’t sure how to keep the stringers straight as some would be facing down and others facing up.  Here are my steps:

Zig Zags

  1. I used 3mm sheet glass and then placed quite tightly different colors of red/orange/yellow stringers using Glastac to keep them all in place.
  2. After an initial tack fuse to get my part sheet, I then started cutting it into diagonal strips and aligning.
  3. In the kiln, I placed a sheet of 3mm clear on the shelf and then placed every other strip face up and the remaining face down.  I didn’t bother constraining it this time but again only took it to a tack fuse at 1350 degrees.
  4. This one looked the most interesting looking at it from the top where some of the strips had clear on the bottom and top and the others had two clears on the bottom but just the stringers facing up.  If I flipped it over the stringers just seemed lost.  However the top was not as smooth as I would like, but had a very interesting effect and one I wanted to keep.
  5. I ground my edges to get them all even and re-fired but kept it at a contour fused to not distort the stringers and keep the effect I liked.

If you zoom in and look closely you can see that where the stringers were sandwiched between the bottom clear sheet and clear on top, they did distort a little but it gives a very interesting effect as it leads your eye to the next piece.

Hope you enjoy these projects!  Give them a try sometime and let me know how yours turn out.

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Last year I was given a commission to make quite a few drop vases for a wonderful older woman.  Over time, her requests changed often and so for quite some time I continued to make them in many colors and schemes to meet her needs.  Of course, I couldn’t help throw some tests into the mix as I wondered what would happen under various circumstances.

Drop Vases










More Drop Vases

As an example, I was curious what would happen to stringers as they dropped into the vase.  So I made my circle disk with a cross pattern of stringers.  The drop was fascinating as some of them expanded and stretched as they dropped.

Drop Vase with Stringers

I then wondered what would happen with a circle with a pattern of bubbles.  I made my circle disk first using Bullseye reeded glass getting the regular pattern of bubbles throughout.  When it dropped, those bubbles toward the bottom had the most stretch.  And even though it is clear, it is very cool!

Drop Vases with Bubbles

Now, for the accident.  What happens when you totally forget to watch the drop and stop it at the right time?  I remembered about 2 hours later!  While not what I wanted or expected, it actually ended up being a very interesting piece.  It seems solid and is water tight so can be used as a real vase, but it is also very thin and definitely not something I would sell.  Perhaps though through more testing, I can find an in between where it is still different and cool, but at the same time not so fragile.

My Accident – Dropped Too Long

What other suggestions for tests on drop vases do you have?

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