Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Very First Mesh Melt...

I've been wanting to try this technique for ages, and well...I finally found the time to pursue it.
My uncle picked up a stainless steel rack from Bed, Bath and Beyond and some stainless steel wire from the local hardware store. He wired the rack for me, and I stacked it in the kiln.

I've got a good 5-6 coats of Bullseye kiln wash on my shelf, and brushed a bit of kiln wash on the posts as well, just in case the glass ends up going further than I had planned.

I didn't put much glass on the rack, as it's the first time. I'm just curious to see what kind of pattern I'll get with the lines on the rack. I fiddled with a couple of firing schedules I found at Clearwater Glass Studio and

At around 1460, I opened the kiln to see the glass just beginning to fall through the rack, resembling taffy, or that ribbon candy.

[Warning: When you open the kiln at higher temperatures, you need to wear UV protective eye wear, and high temp gloves. Cotton clothing is also less likely to ignite than synthetics.]

When I checked the glass again at 1680 degrees, most of the glass had fallen through to the shelf. Only strings of glass remained on the rack, so I decided to call it good, interrupting my schedule to skip to the next segment of my firing schedule.

It is likely that for this reason, when I opened the kiln, there were shards of glass EVERYWHERE! The high temperatures warped the wire rack, so if I were to do the melt again, I would use kiln posts to support the sides.

However, I am very satisfied with the results of this first mesh melt. The photo below shows the back side (against the kiln shelf) of the glass at top, and the top side of the melt at the bottom. Hmmm...that's a bit confusing, huh?

Bottom side of mesh melt.
Top side of mesh melt.

(Note that none of these photos show the glass hot inside of the kiln. Maybe next time...)

For anyone wanting a hard copy of the mesh melt, or even the pot melt techniques, Brenda Griffith has a great introductory kilnforming / glass fusing book:


BDY said...

So cool and interesting! Thanks for sharing!

Deniece said...

Beautiful pot drop! Thanks for sharing.


Calyx Ann said...

Thanks:) I've got a few ideas for these, and I think they'll turn out great; but I've got a few more steps, starting with sandblasting...

Nick Green said...

Hi, just found this on Pinterest. Is it possible to stop mid melt and capture the dripping mid flow (to make a sculture? I've only done a weekend workshop yet but am hoping to get started some point soon with my own kiln. Would you just find it melting and then turn everything off and leave the door open? or is that dangerous? K

CalyxAnn said...

Hi, Nick ~ It could be possible, depending upon your setup. You would not turn everything off and leave the door open, as the would cause all the bits to stop popping off and flying as they cooled. There are a few people doing drops...One gentleman, Jack DeNina leaves the screen in, but I think that eventually, the screen and glass may start popping apart. I'd check out Linda Humphrey's "bumps" tutorials and search for Gregory Thompson.


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