Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Jim Flora's "Chance Encounter" in Glass

Thought I'd share the video I finished a week or so ago. I watched it again tonight, and I think it turned out pretty well!

It's a fairly concise description of the whole fused glass process for making a slumped platter with frit. So, if you're curious...check it out!

Chance Encounter (1970)
by James Flora (1914-1998)
used by permission


Creating Functional Fused Glass Art with No Days Liquid Fusing Adhesive

-No Days Liquid Fusing Adhesive
-Carolina Frit in various sizes
-System 96 fusible glass

-small spoon for scooping frit
-various tools for moving frit

Inspiration for creating fused glass artwork can be found in books, paintings, textiles, nature, magazines and more. For this piece, I asked permission to use Jim Flora’s painting “Chance Encounter.” When using another’s artwork, it’s always a good idea to ask permission, especially if you plan on selling the piece.

When creating fused glass artwork for slumping, one of the first things you need to consider is the mold you’ll be using. The mold will dictate part of the design. You can fire a smaller piece in of glass in a larger mold, but if your fused glass piece is too large for your mold it can break your glass or your mold.

After deciding upon your pattern, trace the mold you’ll be using on top of your template. Trace around the mold on top of the glass, as well, or lay your clear glass on top of template and trace the line from the mold.

Now, you’re ready to cut your glass.
I’m using a pistol grip glass cutter by Toyo. I prefer this cutter because of the amount of control and the extra leverage it offers. When following a pattern or line on my glass, I prefer to cut away from myself, because that allows me to see the line. I’ll often use both hands when cutting freeform. The hand that’s not holding the glass cutter gives me a little extra precision.
After you’ve made your score, you can begin to break the glass. When using running pliers, squeeze on them with gentle but even pressure and you’ll see the score begin to run across the sheet of glass. If you’re scoring a long or curved section of glass, it’s sometimes helpful to begin to run the score from one side and then turn the glass around to finish running the score from the other side.
When removing smaller bits of glass, it’s helpful to use a breaker grozer tool. After removing the small bits, you can groze off any burrs or flares left on the glass, avoiding the grinder.

When you’ve got your glass cut and cleaned, you’re ready to start laying down frit. The project I selected has a large color palette, but I can achieve varying colors by mixing frit. If you’re new to layering and mixing frit, try making a sample plate with various frit mixes. Make sure to take notes on the colors that you mix, as some colors will react differently than expected due to glass chemistry.

Using clear glass as a base allows you to see through to your pattern underneath. I’m using Carolina Frit made by Slumpy’s. It’s available in a wide variety of colors and is System 96 compatible. For more intricate designs, the extra fine frit works best. For greater coverage, the medium or coarse frit sizes work well. You can create custom colors and various textures by mixing frit sizes and colors.

When laying your frit down, there’s no need to to worry about exact placement, as you can move it around easily after wetting it with NO Days Liquid Fusing Adhesive. If the frit doesn’t move around easily, add a few more drops of adhesive. If the frit is swimming in adhesive, add a bit more frit. Use your tools to move the frit around, straightening the edges and nudging the frit into place.

Tamping the frit together occasionally will prevent it from toppling or shifting in the kiln when the adhesive burns off.

Once you’ve laid down a section of frit, it becomes easier to build your design up against the existing lines.

Continue with your design by adding frit, wetting it with adhesive, cleaning up your lines, and adding more frit. In order for the design to be solid and show up well, you’ll need to layer the frits at least an eighth of an inch thick, up to 1/4” for coarser frits.

When the adhesive dries, it holds incredibly strong. If your design dries and you need to rework it, simply add a few drops of NO Days Liquid Fusing Adhesive to the area that needs to be worked and wait for it to soften up. Then you can move the frits into place.

When you’re happy with the design, let the adhesive dry thoroughly and fire in the kiln.

Here are some sample firing schedules to get you started. It’s a good idea to keep a journal of your firing schedules for reference so you can change them as needed.
(NOTE: These schedules are good for a larger kiln; for a smaller kiln, like a Firefly, Hotbox or Caldera, you'll need to tweak the annealing end of the schedule. Slow down after the hold at 900. Something like, 100 dph to 850 with no hold, 50 dph to 700 with no hold, 300 dph to 100 with no hold, and then off.)

Sample full fuse firing schedule:
300 degrees per hour to 900 degrees - hold for 15 minutes
150 degrees per hour to 1250 degrees - hold for 30 minutes
1000 degrees per hour to 1480 degrees - hold for 30 minutes
AFAP 900 degrees - hold for 45 minutes
150 degrees per hour to 700 degrees - hold for 0 minutes
After your kiln has come down to room temperature, you’re ready to give your piece it’s shape!
Place your plate in a mold that has been prepped with a glass separator and you’re ready to fire your kiln for the slump schedule. Wait until your kiln comes back to room temperature before unloading your pieces.

Sample slumping firing schedule:
300 degrees per hour to 750 degrees - hold for 10 minutes
300 degrees per hour to 900 degrees - hold for 30 minutes
300 degrees per hour to 1150 degrees - hold for 15 minutes
300 degrees per hour to 1250 degrees - hold for 30 minutes
AFAP 900 degrees - hold for 1.00 hour
150 degrees per hour to 700 degrees - hold for 0 minutes

Now, you’ve got a set of custom plates for entertaining, gift giving, or just proudly displaying.

For more project ideas and instructional videos, visit http://www.Streuter.com.
For ordering information or help with questions, email info@streuter.com.

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