Jan 212013
 

I managed to make some jewellery and a few plates and dishes when I was doing the evening class at Helston but it was a pain having to carry all my supplies with me every time and as it was only a two hour class it seemed by the time I set up it was time to come home.  It was a beginners class and I was hungry to learn more.  Here are some of the things I made during that time.

green swirly glass round plateThis looks really good but I will let you into a secret – the pattern is already in the glass and all I had to do was cut it and put a layer of clear below and voila!  The patterned glass is called Decofloat and is compatible with float glass

 

 square dish made with cathedral and float glassThis one is made from clear float glass with cathedral glass, which is mainly used in stained glass work, the colours are not as good as Bullseye, but it is much cheaper.

 

square plate black-red-white-square made from Bullseye glass

Above is made from Bullseye Glass, wonderful to work with, always comes out with nicely rounded edges and comes in an amazing range of colours,  four times more expensive than float glass!

 

pink, black & white - broken Bullseye dishThere were a few things that didn’t come back from the firing as I wanted.  A very expensive Bullseye dish that got dropped and I tried to re-fire but it did not work

 

cornish-cufflink-failure

These were supposed to be cufflinks like the Cornish Flag!

 

square float and desag glass plate with blue bandsIf you look closely  on the plate to the right you can see the blue band of glass at the top should be on the edge more.

 

 

 

selection of glass pendants gone wrongYou may not see anything wrong with these pendants but some I have cut the top glass too big and some have shifted in transporting to the kiln.  It is crucial to place items carefully in the kiln and make sure they are all lined up.  Or glue them before.  This was another problem in a two hour class, as there was not always the time for the glue to dry and as the kiln was in Frank`s garage, he had the problem of items moving in transit.

 

circular plate in spectrum glass with big hole in middle

This would have been a fantastic plate in Spectrum 96 glass – Frank was not sure what went wrong, but knowing more about it now I think that if it was fired on the correct programme for this type of glass, maybe the kiln wash on the shelf was still damp and created a big bubble that burst.  The bubble is too large for it to be trapped air.

Jan 212013
 

I was telling you how I started at evening class with Frank.  Trouble is that I was like a kid in a sweet shop when I went to buy my supplies at Newquay Glass and I got lots of fused glass which was not designed to be fired together.  When I came to make the piece some of the glass was Bullseye and some Decofloat and some Spectrum 96.

This is double dutch to those of you who have never fused glass but basically it is a bit like cooking one type of cake that needs to be cooked at gas mark 2 and another that needs to be cooked on gas mark 6 – you would not cook them in the same oven at the same time.

I also had lots of problems actually cutting the glass and if I could  not do that I was in real trouble.  A Fused Glass Artist who cannot cut glass is not an option!

I asked Frank how I should be cutting glass and he said “very carefully!”.  It turned out that I was sitting down when I should be standing up, so therefore the angle of my glass cutter was wrong.  I was also pushing way too hard, you only need to score it not cut right through it!

I do find it quite a challenge as I have arthritis in my hands so I use a pistol grip glass cutter to score my glass which I find much easier to handle.

But I am glad that I had problems because it will make me a better teacher.  I have also tried lots of different ways of cutting glass to discover what worked for me and hopefully I can help my students to discover the right way for them.  I will post a video soon to give you some ideas.