It’s been a while since I’ve written about a new project – I should be better at blogging about my work. I like telling about the process, but sometimes getting it from the spoken to the written word just doesn’t happen.
One of my latest projects was a 12″ diameter bowl incorporating stripes of glass and powder stenciled cherry blossoms. This is a relatively simple project, but one that had a couple of challenges as well.
The first challenge was when I selected my glass. I knew I wanted to use the confetti and stringer glass in the project. I also knew that I wanted to have some pink in the stripes as well.
Sample piece fired on top of confetti and stringer glass.
However, when I went to combine the glasses, I wasn’t sure exactly what color the pink glass would fire to as it was actually light pink and blues in its raw state. This particular glass was a special production, so I could not look it up online or in the Bullseye catalog to see what its firing characteristic would be. I sent an email to Bullseye Glass along with the product number and received a same day reply that the piece would fire pink.
So taking it and the other glasses that I planned to use, I fired up a sample to make sure that I would like the color combinations.
The next step was laying out the glass to cut a circle for the bowl. There are many ways to do this, my method is to cut the individual glass into the strip widths that I want and then on my Morton cutting grid, shim the pieces all together holding them in place. I then center my circle cutter onto the pieces and score. I now have nice arcs without having to grind them into shape. It is a little labor intensive doing it this way, but it works for me and I have nice clean edges.
After getting the strips cut and a clear circle base as well, into the kiln it went for its first full fuse firing. The strips were laid down on the kiln shelf first and then topped with a clear glass circle. This allows for the strip lines to be crisp when flipped over in the next stage.
After first firing. Flipped over. The strips are nice and crisp.
Moving on to the stenciling the cherry blossom branch and flowers, I decided to use Woodland Brown and Salmon Pink powder. (Make sure you always use a respirator or mask when using powdered glass).
Another one of those challenges, was that after the first firing of the cherry blossoms, I had to repeat the powder process because the flowers disappeared into the glass. The second application allowed the flowers to show nicely.
The final project was slumped into a stainless steel bowl primed with boron nitrate spray to keep the glass from sticking to the mold.
As with all my pieces, this is available for purchase. This piece can currently be viewed at Wheatgrass Arts and Gallery in Glasgow, MT.