Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

Experimenting with glass.

Posted by C Scheftic on 2010/10/25

I just had to take a day off from “moving chores” and really “make” something. I didn’t actually start anything new, but I do have a collection of pieces I’ve started at one point or another and, for some reason, had set aside without finishing them. So I spent a day getting about a dozen of them ready to fire.

This was one of those pieces. At a guild chapter meeting, gosh, almost a year ago now, a few local glass bead makers came and brought some “scraps” — pieces that for one reason or another hadn’t worked out right for them, but which had some elements that were still potentially interesting. I took a few half-beads, meaning to use them to practice “setting” glass in a metal clay piece. On one of my earlier trips up to Alice’s, I’d started this piece, but hadn’t had time to complete it. So … this was one of the pieces I worked on today.

The top photo shows what it looked like going into the kiln. The second one, above, after it’s been fired to fine silver, and tumbled to give it a bit of shine. (While the lighting conditions were a bit different from one day to the next, notice that the firing led to a significant shift in the color of the glass bead!)

This third photo shows what it looks like after it’s had a liver of sulphur (LOS) patina applied. It’s still not done–needs a final round of polishing–but I was really tired by that point and didn’t want to risk damaging it with any of my powered polishing tools. But I’m happy with how it turned out.

(If you’ve never done this, I’ll note that some of the “snakes” and “coils” of clay were pushed up against the glass to help secure it. And, while I’m fairly sure I made this out of PMC3 (not Plus), it was long enough ago that I’m not 100% certain, so I treated it as though it could have been PMC Plus. That is, I fired it at 1470 degrees for 40 minutes; opened the kiln door to crash-cool it to 1000; then closed the kiln door again to slow-cool it down to room temperature. Firing it to 1470 means the glass might “move” a little bit, and it should fuse to the metal.)

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