Monday, May 16, 2011

Delicated Striated Bleh

The aforementioned pot melt of yuck didn't come out as bad as it looked upon first peek into the kiln, but it's definitely quelled my desire to run out and do another.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Things Accomplished in the Studio Today

1. Removed pegboard from behind large kiln, cut down to appropriate size for the wall behind my workbench, rendered bright green. (Also rendered nostril hairs bright green due to blowback from spray paint!)

2. Envisioned, sourced and constructed rack for heavy kiln shelves which allows me to set them down without mashing my fingers. Helpful note for those wanting to try this at home: Lowes has 12" pressed sheet metal brackets for around $2. Screw them into thick plywood, and affix the plywood securely to studs. I have a metal studs in the unfinished half of my basement where the monster kiln lives, so I bolted the plywood to the studs -- be sure to use a washer to spread out the pull load! If you're lucky enough to have wood studs in your studio, just screw the plywood directly into them.

3. Found creepy crawly individual drowned in the basin under the saw.

4. Wasted two pounds of glass making a very brown pot melt. Something reacted with something else, and instead of a sprightly green and blue melt with a few dashes of yellow, I got delicately striated poo (not pictured -- the wounds are still too fresh).
[Update: It wasn't as bad as it looked when I cheated and peeked at 300°.]

Friday, May 13, 2011

Clicking Away

I get a feeling of satisfaction when all three of my kilns are working away, happily clicking their relays on and off.

The toaster (my small tabletop kiln) is making custom streamer glass. Bullseye manufactures clear sheet glass with colored streamers of glass rolled into it in a small palette colors: black, green, white, blue. Definitely not chocolate brown, which is a necessary component of the cufflinks a client has requested for his wedding party. No problem! I can melt stringer into sheet glass, too! To get the lovely ribbony effect of the manufactured streamer glass, I'm trying a couple of methods of using clear coarse frit to distort the straightness of the brown stringer.

The medium kiln is cooking up a sample tile of new glass rods. Rods are traditionally used for making beads at a torch, but jealous kiln workers like myself are now using them in platters, pendants and all manner of unintended whatnot. The usual use for rods in fused glass is to snip bits of them off and use them cross-sectionally. They spread out into lovely circles. As you can see from the photos below, it can be difficult to predict what the cross-section of a rod will look like from observing the outside -- hence the samples!

The sample tile is pictured sitting on a stainless steel casting square that will figure into the next item ...

The big kiln is up to the most exciting project -- my first pot melt! Back when the medium kiln was my largest kiln, I made a few wire melts, but I was never particularly happy with them (especially the fact that the wire was inclined to sag down and attack the melted glass). Now I have a kiln with plenty of vertical room for raising the pot above the shelf, and plenty of horizontal room for kiln furniture!

A springy mix of solid and transparent greens, blues, a few yellow bits, and a generous helping of white and clear glass.

One of the first things I bought for the new kiln was a ceramic bridge to hold pots hiiiigh above the kiln shelf.

And what am I doing after all of that? Taking a nap? Heck no -- I'm etching a commemorative recycled wine bottle serving tray.

I'm sure you're quite impressed by my fancy etching cream squeegee (aka, plastic fork)!