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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Harvest Moon - Repurposing a Fused Glass Texture Tile

Harvest Moon Fused Glass Tile
Harvest Moon Fused Glass Tile
Sometimes, things happens. A mold gets dropped, an edge gets knocked against a hard surface, stress occurs during a firing, or a mold arrives broken in shipment. Before you give up and toss out a broken mold or texture tile, think about other ways you can use the pieces that remain.

Recently one of my texture molds that is used for making coasters had a little mishap. As I looked at the broken pieces wondering what to do with them, the half circle reminded me of a moon. I decided to create a moon and mountain scene -- below are the steps I followed.

Broken texture tile
Broken texture tile

Tutorial

The broken mold was a GM137 Weave Texture coaster mold from Creative Paradise (link below). First, I kiln-washed the largest remaining piece. There was still a lot of tile left to work with, though it certainly couldn't be used for its original purpose!

Next, I cut pieces of 1/8" fiber paper into the shape of mountains. On one of my recent walks, I picked up some nice grasses and they had been drying on my workbench. I arranged these on top of the mold and fiber paper until I had a layout that I thought looked pleasing. Once I was happy with the layout, I removed the grasses, held them over a piece of paper, sprayed them with hairspray, and dusted them with a chestnut brown fine frit.

Designing the layout
Designing the layout
 
Frit coated grasses
Frit coated grasses













I chose a System 96 Wissmach Luminescent glass in transparent honey.Wissmach's Luminescent glasses are excellent for kiln-carving and texture tile applications. Their coating is typically more vibrant than many of the iridescent glasses, they intensify when fired coating-side down, and are generally less expensive than irids. While not suitable for all applications (i.e., the luminescence basically disappears when capped), this is the kind of application where the glass shines (pun intended!). Here is the layup going into the kiln:

  1. two "mountain ranges" cut from fiber paper, one placed on top of the other to create dimension, and placed on top of the mold
  2. grass on top of the fiber paper (grass, frit-side towards glass)
  3. single layer of honey, coating side down
  4. topped with a layer of Spectrum System 96 clear
Layup, going into the kiln
Layup, going into the kiln

I fired this piece in a kiln with several other pieces of glass, using one of my "go-to" firing schedules:

Segment
Rate
Temp
Hold
1
300
1100
30
2
50
1250
60
3
300
1460
15
4
1500
950
90
5
100
700
00

Wissmach Luminescent -  Harvest Moon Fused Glass tile
Wissmach Luminescent -
Harvest Moon Fused Glass tile
As you can see from the photos to the right and at the top of this page, the fired piece has a lot of beautiful color from the Wissmach glass, and I think the project is a great way to repurpose a broken texture tile.

This piece is approx. 6.5 inches square. For photographing I have this piece in a metal stand, but I plan to fabricate a base for it.

I hope this project sparks some ideas for how you may be able to salvage a broken mold, and also inspires you to check out Wissmach's Luminescent glasses!

Happy fusing,

Dana

Resources:

Creative Paradise's web site: http://www.creativeparadiseglass.com/
Mold: GM137

Wissmach System 96 Glass: http://wissmachglass.com/wissmach96.html
Wissmach Glass can be found at all your favorite glass suppliers!
 
Learn More About Glass Fusing! Bullseye Glass offers a great educational video series for a small annual subscription fee:



Saturday, August 1, 2015

Fused Glass Koi Platter

Close-up of painted koi
Close-up of painted koi
Recently I created a koi platter using paints from Unique Glass Color (UGC) and a Creative Paradise texture tile. I planned to create a short tutorial, so I took pictures of the process along the way. Today I received a few questions about the process, so it's time to write a blog post!

The koi texture tile is 13x7". I often cut the glass for this size of tile ~6 x 12", so that I don't have to worry about the glass migrating over the edges (which will break the glass and potentially damage the tile). That's really not a concern with this piece, but it can be a concern if you add a lot of frit or larger pieces of glass that increase the overall volume of the glass.

Lightly penciled registration marks.
Lightly penciled registration marks.

Painting

For this piece I wanted all of my color to come from the UGC paints, so I used clear glass for both the top and bottom layers. I placed my glass pieces, one at a time, on top of the texture tile and used the tile as a guide for where to apply the paint. Note: I use System 96 glass.

With a pencil, I put registration marks on the tile so when I removed the glass I could replace it back in the correct spot.

Water background. Bottom layer of glass.
Water background.
Bottom layer of glass.




For the water background, I applied Unique Glass Colors NT paints and Artisan paints on the bottom layer of glass. The Artisan paints produce lovely bubbles when fired between two layers of glass.






Koi fish. Top layer of glass.
Koi fish.
Top layer of glass.

The koi fish were painted on the top layer of glass. The white paint is an NT called White Diamond, which when fired, produces a lovely white shimmer.

After painting the fish on the top side, I filled in some bare spots on the back side with the White Diamond.





Glass pieces placed on texture tile.
Glass pieces placed on texture tile.



Once the paint was dry, I placed the two pieces of glass on top of the texture tile, using the registration marks as a guide.






Firing 

Many people prefuse the layers and then fire the resulting piece a second time on the texture tile. I always fuse my layers of glass directly on the texture tile. Below is the schedule I used. Note the slow ramp in Segment two, up to 1250 deg F with a 60 minute hold. This is the bubble squeeze. If I were firing this piece by itself, I might consider omitting this segment since I was using bubble paints and, well, bubbles were desirable in this piece!
In the kiln, ready to fire.
In the kiln, ready to fire.

Seg
Rate
Target
Soak
1
300
1100
30
2
50
1250
60
3
500
1460
15
4
1500
950
90
5
100
700
00

After the first firing, I slumped the piece in an 11.5 inch Origami Bowl Mold from Slumpys (I no longer see this particular mold on their site, but here is a link to the mold on Amazon).
Origami Bowl Mold for slump.
Origami Bowl Mold for slump.

Note that this is a square mold, but I'm firing a rectangle. I centered the glass within the mold and fired away! Here is the firing schedule for the slump:
Ready to slump. The rectangular koi platter was  centered on top of the square mold and fired.
Ready to slump. The rectangular koi platter was
centered on top of the square mold and fired. 

Seg
Rate
Target
Soak
1
200
1100
40
2
300
1225
10
3
1500
950
120
4
100
700
00








Finished koi platter.
Finished koi platter. 

The platter sits nicely on the table. No cold working needed!
The platter sits nicely on the table. No cold working needed!


 And finally, here are some pictures of the finished piece. The origami mold worked out well with the koi design.

This platter sold at the art fair I attended a few weeks later.






I hope this short tutorial has been useful, and helps you with your work with texture tiles and paints. Don't forget to visit the Creative Paradise web site for this and many other texture tiles, and the UGC web site for your paints!

Happy fusing,  Dana
Close-up of the painted koi water. Bubbles and sparkle!
Close-up of the painted koi and water.
Bubbles and sparkle!




















Resources:
Creative Paradise's web site for texture tiles and other molds: http://www.creativeparadiseglass.com/
Unique Glass Color Paints: http://uniqueglasscolors.com/

Want to learn more about fusing? Visit Bullseye Glass's site for Educational Videos! (available for a small subscription fee). Click on the banner to learn more:
Bullseye Kiln-glass Education Online