Tag Archive: Glass fusing


Out on the tiles

The wine bottle tile saga is still inching along slowly.

Following the bottle cutting I fused the middle part and then cut it to make a 4 1/2″ inch tile.

The trimmed tile

The trimmed tile

I then ground the corners off and readied it to be fused again over a fibre heart.

Ready for the second fusing

Ready for the second fusing

But when it came out it looked a little odd, cloudy and a bit distorted!

Tile after second fusing

Tile after second fusing

Looks like some more experimentation is needed but in the meantime, lovely new glass offcuts arrived today!

 

 

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Back from the Day Job

I must apologize for my lack of posts over the last few weeks but, after a rather intense session on my day job, I’m back!

Since I got started on my glass journey I have been  wondering how I can recycle all the wine and beer bottles we accumulated over Christmas.

Thinking what fun it would be to make some mosaic tiles of various glassy hues, I sent for a clay mosaic mold.

100 piece mosaic mould

100 piece mosaic mould

I then proceeded to smash up a carefully cleaned and de-labelled wine bottle and, mixing it with a little water (to keep the glass dust down) I loaded teaspoonfuls of the glassy paste into the mould.

Following a firing schedule for recycled glass in one of my glass books, I set the kiln going and kept my fingers crossed.

Disappointment!!

The not-very-well-fused glass tiles

The not-very-well-fused glass tiles

Despite the higher temperature and long soak time prescribed, the glass had not fully fused and not run to the edges of the mould. I put it all in again but this time devitification had triumphed and I dumped the whole lot in the bin, vowing to take the rest of the bottles to the bottle bank.

But then I remembered reading that a standard tile cutter with a diamond blade was good for glass cutting. So, having sourced a second hand cutter, I got togged up in goggles, leather gloves and apron and called my other half to standby in case of injury. I really couldn’t believe that I was the only one who thought this was a good idea!!

But despite the rather wet jeans and shower of ground glass, the cutting was remarkably easy.

sawn up wine bottle

The centre section and base of the bottle is cooking as I write with a top temp of 804C and a soak time of 60 mins. I have laid the centre on its side and am hoping for a nice flat slab by tomorrow morning. I don’t know what the base will do but we shall see.

I have also been experimenting with the glass I was given (with unknown co-efficient of expansion) and some 6mm fibre paper.

Plain glass love token

Plain glass love token

This was made with two slabs of 4mm glass with the 6mm fibre heart positioned underneath. At first I thought that the two marks on the lower right of the heart were cracks but on closer inspection I found they were long bubbles.

Large heart slab

Large heart slab

This is a larger slab also made of 2 4mm slabs and it didn’t fare so well after 2 fusings. The glass has become stressed around the top edges of the heart and the small bubbles that were apparent after fusing have already began to run into cracks! There is also some evidence of tin bloom which is apparently common in window glass after a few fusings!

Alternative Patchwork

Before I took up glass fusing, I was an avid patchworker and quilter. I taught it for 10 years and still turn my hand to it now and again. But since falling in love with glass fusion it has struck me how similar the process, of arranging pieces of glass to make a patterned tile, is to patchwork.

I have a substantial library of patchwork books and have been looking through them for ideas for tiles.

Here is an exploded view of the first design. All the pieces cut and laid out ready for grinding and cleaning.

Exploded view of Patchwork Tile

Exploded view of Patchwork Tile

All these small pieces have sorely tested my cutting skills and, as you can see quite a few are less than perfect! But grinding will sort that out – hopefully.

Here is the tile, ground and washed and arranged ready to go into the kiln.

Reassembled Tile

Reassembled Tile

I have recently read on one of the blogs I follow about the flip and fire method of firing multi-layered tiles. In this method, the pattern layer is laid face down on the thinfire paper and the base layer laid on top of this. The lines of the design layer will be smoother and more evenly fused but will of course have a more matte appearance from being in contact with the paper. To counteract this, the piece can then be flipped over and fire-polished until shiny.

But I wondered if, as my piece is inspired by a design intended for fabric, should I retain the matte appearance which may echo the texture of fabric?

The piece is in the kiln, ready to go, but as my kiln is not close by, I don’t like to leave it firing overnight. So I will set it going in the morning.

Design layer on the bottom!

Design layer on the bottom!

In the Kiln, Ready to Fire

In the Kiln, Ready to Fire

Hope to be able to show you the results soon. Watch this space!

The Lion Inside

After several visits to nearby cathedrals, I have taken a bit of an interest in heraldry. I’ve made two cushions – which you can see on my other blog T4mworkshops.wordpress.com  – but was also keen to do something in glass.

I’d recently got some copper foil so thought I’d go for the rampant lion design.

Green Tile with copper lion inclusion

Green Tile with copper lion inclusion

For this tile I downloaded a royalty-free lion emblem from the internet and printed it out at the right size (to fit comfortable on a 4″ piece of glass). I then taped it to the copper foil and cut out both with a scalpel.

I then flattened it out with the rounded edge of a pencil and laid on a 4″ piece of 2mm glass. I had to put a few dots of PVA on the back to stop it moving around. I then overlaid it with a 4″ piece of 3mm tekta glass.

And I think therein lies the problem. I remember reading in one of my books that it isn’t a good idea to mix different thicknesses in the same piece and I think that may be why this piece – when cooked – has pulled in a bit on the edges between the corners.

The second piece only came about because I didn’t want to throw away the negative piece of copper sheet I was left with after cutting out the first lion. So I laid it on a piece of opaque yellow 2mm glass and covered it with a precut piece of 2mm clear glass.

Yellow background with negative copper lion inclusion

Yellow background with negative copper lion inclusion

This appears to have remained much squarer but has also pulled in equally all round! I know this because, despite leaving a 2mm border between the copper sheet and the edge of the glass, there is a slight rough metal edge all round. I quite liked the crushed silk look that the copper has developed after cooking but there are a lot of large air bubbles on the back.

To fuse these tiles I used an automatic glassfire programme on full fuse and slow firing (as I had my daughter’s uni project in there as well).

I’m enjoying my kiln but have not yet been brave enough to write my own programs. I intend to try making some tiles out of the ton of wine bottles we accumulated over Christmas but have read that they require a high firing temperature to rid them of their impurities and lose that sandy look.