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)!

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