Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Making Fused Glass Pattern Bars - Part 2: Design

My last post ended with me firing my second batch of pattern bars.  Unfortunately, the kiln failed and I needed to replace the relay, which delayed me for a little while.  For the second batch, I used longer glass pieces, which seemed to increase the height of the end product.

Once the bars come out, they may need to be ground around the edges to remove the glass burs as well as make them flat and smooth.  This will help as you lay them out since you want the cut glass to line up rather than have little areas that flare out.

After the bars are ground, they are cut up with a tile saw.  The slices are about 1/4" wide.  To help with cutting, it's good to have a fused piece of glass that you can put against the end of bar to avoid chipping as the blade runs through the end.  Also when the bar gets thin, I like to put a piece of glass underneath to steady the bar.

Here are the results from two firings of blue/green and multi-colored pattern bars.

The next step is to sandblast the bars to prevent devitrification.  After this, the bars are ready to be used in a design.  These were just loaded into the kiln today.

After they're fired, I'll coldwork the edges to make sure they are smooth.  Then, I'll fire them again, turning them over (so what you will see is the reverse of the photo).  And the last step will be to slump them so they can be shaped into plates and platters.  My goal is to have about 10-11 pieces done by 3/12 for a juried (in person) event.  In a later post, I'll show you my set-up for the jury and you can see the finished pieces.

This is a new effort for me.  These are already a favorite of my husband.  I like the result but find that I don't enjoy making these as much as some of the other things I've made.  Let me know what you think!