Thursday, May 9, 2013

Art Club: Glass Plates

For the last few weeks, my art club has been working on lots of glass plates to sell at our art show.  This is going to be our major fundraising event for our field trip.  We will also be selling our boondoggle as well.  The art show is slowly creeping up on us...this year it will be on May 21st, budget vote night.

This particular student wanted to do a version of Starry Night...

The top two plates are my creations...

It's been a slow process getting them all fused and slumped...I can only do one large plate at a time with a few small plates.

One of our experiments are coral bowls.  I found this pin on Pinterest and I decided to experiment with the students.  My finished bowl is on the right, and one of the bowls that has not been fused is on the left.  We didn't quite follow the steps exactly from the pin, but pretty closely.  I have a box of Wasser glass (I think that's the brand) that I tried using with the Amaco glass last year, but with bad results.  The COE for both types of glass was the same, but I think because the brands were different, they didn't fuse very well together.  My test plate had a lot of holes and air bubbles in it.  I decided to try using the Wasser glass for these coral bowls...if it didn't work, it wouldn't feel like as much of a waste as if we used the Amaco glass, which I always have positive results with.

Basically all we did was cut up a 6"x6" piece of glass into strips and then layer them on top of each other.  Some students added some extra color using noodles and stringers.  It's been a slow process firing these, but they're looking pretty cool!


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  2. Hi, this is amazing and I have never seen this done before. Do you need a special kiln to soften/melt the glass into place or will a normal clay kiln work as well? Also could you recommend some simple starting supplies for this? Thank you so much!

    1. Well, I have heard that you can do this in a ceramic kiln, but there are a lot of differences between a ceramic kiln and a glass kiln that make it difficult. A glass kiln tends to be short and wide, while a ceramic kiln is tall. Generally, you only have one shelf in a glass kiln and the elements are in the lid, not all the way up the sides like a ceramic kiln. I believe if you're going to do it in a ceramic kiln, you can only put one layer in the bottom and that's it. Also, if you have a ceramic kiln that uses a cone and has no thermometer on it, it would be very difficult to gauge the temperature inside and fire and anneal the glass to the correct temperature. I bought an automatic glass kiln for my classroom through a grant, and it was about $800 at the time. They do have very small table top glass kilns that will also do metal and small ceramic projects for $200-$300.

      If you've never done this before, I would suggest getting the Fuseworks microwave glass kiln kit and doing it in your microwave first. Yes, you use your microwave in your kitchen! The microwave kiln allows you to fuse smaller pieces of glass to make pendants and such. I do actually believe you can buy larger microwave kilns, but Dick Blick only sells this one size. I actually just finally bought one for myself at home! The only thing this kit doesn't come with are the glass pliers for breaking scored glass, so you'd have to buy the pliers too. The kit comes with a bunch of different glass, embellishments, earring and necklace findings, the kiln, heat gloves, and a glass scoring tool.

    2. I also did a previous post a while ago about my kiln...

      I plan to do a post in the future about the microwave kiln since I just bought one for myself, so stay tuned if you're interested!