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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Holiday Candle Dish


Finished candle plate in green Fusers Reserve
Finished candle plate in green Fusers Reserve
This time of year finds many of us in the studio looking for quick projects for holiday markets or gifts. I don't often work in "production mode", but in this instance I was looking for something that I could create multiple pieces of, for our local Winter Gift Market and for the artists' co-op I belong to. I decided on a candle plate in holiday colors.

Following is a quick tutorial on how to create this simple but beautiful holiday gift item. The size of this plate means it requires minimal materials, and it is created with a single firing. This means that you can offer this piece at a reasonable cost for holiday shoppers or give one to all of the people on your holiday gift list!


4" squares of Fusers Reserve green/red/white and clear
4" squares of Fusers Reserve green/red/white and clear

Candle Plate Materials

  • 4" square of colored glass (I've used Spectrum's Fuser Reserve in green/red/white and in red/white)
  • 4" square of clear glass
  • Clear coarse frit
  • Medium frit in complementary colors
  • Mica powder (I used bright gold)
  • SuperSpray
  • Rubber bump-ons


Directions

Mica-coated frit
Mica-coated frit




Put some clear coarse frit in a container. Add a small amount of SuperSpray and then sprinkle in some mica powder. Mix well and spread the mica-coated frit on a paper towel to dry.







Lay out squares of clear
Lay out squares of clear



Arrange the 4" squares on a sheet of craft paper. The craft paper catches the frit and makes clean-up easier.






Top squares of clear with colored glass
Top squares of clear with colored glass



Top the squares of clear glass with the squares of the colored glass.






Sprinkle with frit
Sprinkle with frit


Sprinkle on more clear coarse frit, and then the medium frits in complementary colors. Finally, sprinkle on some of the mica-coated frit. I tried to keep the centers of the candle plates relatively free of large frit pieces so that the candle will sit flatly in the middle.




Ready for firing
Ready for firing

The squares are now ready for firing.

Place the pieces on a kiln shelf prepared with kiln-wash or shelf paper, and fire to a contour fuse. I used the following schedule in my kiln; you may need to adjust for your kiln. Note that this kiln-load had a few larger pieces (8x12"). The bubble squeeze hold and longer annealing hold reflect this.


Firing schedule
















Add bump-ons and sign the back
Add bump-ons and sign the back
Close-up of the glass
Close-up of the glass

After the pieces were fired and cooled, I cleaned them and used a diamond hand-pad to smooth any stray frit from the edges. I finished them by signing and adding rubber bump-ons to the back.



Keep in mind when cleaning that some of the frit edges could be sharp! You can smooth any sharp points with a small diamond file or hand-pad, but be careful not to mar the finish of the plate.

Finished candle plate in red fusers reserve
Finished candle plate in red fusers reserve

For the Winter Gift Market and co-op gallery, I plan to wrap the plate along with a small candle, in clear cellophane to create a "grab and go" gift item for market shoppers.

I hope this short tutorial inspires your creativity for the holiday season. If you have questions or comments, leave a note in the comments below.

Happy Holidays!

Dana


Learn More!

Want to learn more about fusing? Check out Bullseye Glass Educational Videos (click on the banner below)
Bullseye Kiln-glass Education Online


11 comments:

  1. So does the mica not come off because of the super spray? Will have to try this. Thanks so much!!

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    Replies
    1. Hello kk -- The SuperSpray helps the mica to adhere better to the glass, but even mica without some type of flux will adhere wherever the mica is in direct contact with the glass. To clean these, I used a scrub brush (the plastic kind with a handle). This gets off any loose mica, and also any loose frit if there is any. I have some additional tutorials where you can find more info on using mica -- there's a search box at the upper left of the blog. Happy holidays!

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  2. This is great news. I always thought mica had to be capped no matter what. I will certainly try this, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. How much would you charge for this beautiful creation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As with all things... it depends ;). I made these particular pieces as a special for a market, so I plan on selling them at the market for $20. Normally, a piece like this would be a little more.

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  4. What is super spray and is there a reasonable alternative, such as hairspray or glastac?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Brenda -- SuperSpray is a devitrification solution. It softens the surface of the glass, which helps the mica stick. Klyr-Fire works, too, but I doubt hairspray would. I don't know about glastac, but if it is just a glue and not a fluxing agent, I would not expect it to work. Fusion HQ has some of the best prices on SuperSpray: http://www.fusionheadquarters.com/Super_Spray_Overglaze_p/supspr.htm

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  5. I have the Super A for devitrification.. is that the same as SuperSpray?

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  6. I have never used Super A, but I think it should work the same. Traditionally, Spray A had more lead and was not recommended for food-bearing surfaces. Newer formulas, I believe, are close to being lead-free. For a candle plate, however, it shouldn't matter if you are using the older or newer version.

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  7. Hi, Dana. What did you use to sign your name?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Christine, I used a gold Pilot metallic paint pen. They are supposedly "permanent, even on glass". Given that this is an item that won't be washed/scrubbed regularly, I think they will last. I have heard you can also fire them in a slump to make them even more permanent. I've done a few pieces like this but haven't tested whether or not you can scrub it off. If I want something to be absolutely permanent, I will use a diamond engraver (a cheap, battery-operated one from Harbor Freight).

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