Saturday, March 7, 2009

New Toy!

I'm back at Vitrum Studio again this weekend for a two-day workshop in making fused glass jewelry. I'm learning the technique for composition of layered dichroic pendants, plus I'm going to learn new edge finishing methods! We designed seven-layer pendants today (the average pendant you see for sale on Jellybug Artworks is two to three layers), but we don't get to see them until tomorrow afternoon -- they're very cruel over there at Vitrum.

During our lunch break, we're free to roam the retail part of the studio, drool over the gorgeous supplies, and lighten our wallets buying beautiful glass and the tools to work it. Having done all that last weekend, I spied a large bowl sitting on a stool. It was just done in clear glass, but the shape was wonderful -- sides that are slightly concave rather than the usual convex curve. Inspecting the mold rack, it was clear which mold it was shaped with. I was smitten, but I wasn't sure it would fit in my kiln! Application of a ruler revealed that at 12 inches in diameter, it might.

My larger kiln runs on household current, which limits its size. It has a 13" round shelf, but I can't necessarily put a 13" round mold in it because the pyrometer sticks out from the wall of the kiln a couple of inches, interfering with the vertical clearance. (What's a pyrometer?  When a thermometer is in a kiln, it becomes a pyrometer -- it measures FIRE! I derive great amusement from this.) The folks at Vitrum said they'd happily take the mold back if it didn't fit, so I dashed home with my new toy only to find that someone (okay, it was me) had put something in the kiln this morning before heading off to the workshop, and it was still too hot to come out! OooOOoh, the agonized waiting!

A few hours later, I was finally able to remove the wine bottle cheese tray I'd been slumping and eeeeeease the new mold down into the kiln. Shoved over to one side because of the projecting pyrometer, with a quarter-inch to spare on all sides, I judged that it would do. (I frequently decide that things will work whether they like it or not -- because I want them to, darn it.)

So tonight, I am prepping the new mold with kilnwash and emitting small squeaks of delight while a beautiful slab of blue Spectrum waterglass is in the kiln, fusing into the 12" circle that I will slump into a gorgeous, drool-worthy bowl tomorrow.

Ain't she a beauty?

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