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Copyright, All Rights Reserved. All content on this site is copyrighted, Dana Worley, as of the date of posting. Reuse or redistribution of this content is strictly prohibited without express written permission of the author.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Using Fiber Paper to Make Your Own Shallow Mold

Fused glass candle/soap dish
Fused glass candle/soap dish

Based on discussions I have seen on-line lately, I thought I would provide a quick tutorial on using fiber paper to create a shallow mold for fused glass. This project started when I had a leftover frit mixture from another project and thought I would create a quick candle or soap dish for a local Valentine auction. My plan was to slump it into a small square mold I have, but once fired, I felt like the piece needed something to spice it up. I decided to cut a unique shape from the glass and get creative with the slumping mold.
Fused glass project before firing
Fused glass project before firing



Since Valentine was the theme, I shaped my square glass blank into a tear-drop shape. I drew the shape onto the glass with a Sharpie pen, and used my mosaic cutters to roughly cut the tear-drop shape (I was lazy and didn't want to drag out my ring-saw). Next, I took the piece to my regular grinder, first grinding with a coarse bit and then further refining the edge with a fine bit. After that, I worked the edges with diamond hand pads until smooth.

Once I had my new shape, I following the steps below to create my fiber paper mold.

Use a sharp blade for cutting the shape
Use a sharp blade for cutting the shape


Lay out 1/8" fiber paper on top of a fabric cutting mat. Cut around the shape of the glass using a sharp, straight blade. I used a cheap plastic break-away blade that you can pick up at any hardware or "big-box" store. When cutting the fiber paper, try to cut in long, continuous cuts. You'll have a much smoother edge this way.





A continuous cut leaves a nice clean edge
A continuous cut leaves a nice clean
edge


At left is the cut piece.







Mark the inside cut with a sewing gauge
Mark the inside cut with a sewing gauge


I wanted a 2 cm edge for my dish, so I used a small sewing gauge as my guide for marking 2 cm all the way around my shape. (Strange how all my sewing tools have migrated into the glass shop!)







Cut out the center
Cut out the center


Next, cut the center out of the fiber paper, once again, trying to use continuous cuts.







Cut fiber pieces for a decorative edge
Cut fiber pieces for a decorative edge



I wanted a bit of a ruffled edge, so I cut some small squares.







Glue the pieces in place
Glue the pieces in place


I placed the squares around the edge of the fiber paper mold and used a few drops of white glue to hold each piece in place.







Fire to 1260 deg F; 10 minute hold
Fire to 1260 deg F; 10 minute hold


Into the kiln it goes! I placed my fiber mold on a kiln-washed shelf, and placed the glass on top. I fired to 1260 degrees F (hotter than I would normally slump) and held for 10 minutes.






Front of the finished candle/soap dish
Front of the finished candle/soap dish
Back of the finished candle/soap dish
Back of the finished candle/soap dish

Here's the finished piece, both front and back. The piece sits flatly on a table, but since it is intended as a soap or candle dish, I put rubber bump-ons on the bottom so it would not slide.

I hope you've found this write-up helpful. The process used here is basically the same as "kiln-carving" glass. If you want to learn more about kiln-carving, check out this tip sheet from Bullseye Glass, and also the links to the Educational Videos, below.

Happy fusing!
Dana

Resources: 

Bullseye Video: Kilncarving
Bullseye Video, Kilncarved Sconce Project

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to share. I have been rather uninspired, but wanted to make my hubby something for Tuesday. Now I see what I'll make tomorrow. A small dish for his favorite candy/ or coins from his pocket. Thanks again, Dana.

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    1. You're welcome and good luck with the dish! :) Dana

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