Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fused Glass Pattern Bar Bowl: Lessons Learned

In my last post, I wrote about how I was able to save some of the glass that failed and showed a picture of the blank before it was slumped.  Well here's the final product:

I am thrilled with the result and it's been sitting on my kitchen table since I finished it.  This is also my first bowl as I was space constrained in my old kiln and in general I hate the idea of creating excess glass from cutting out circles (all circles are made from squares).  Although now, I'm planning to make more and have my sights on another larger bowl mold.

In the process of making this, I learned a couple of things that I thought I would pass along:

  • As the rim shows, you can no longer have a layer of clear and a layer of color, which is the normal fusing process.  The deeper the slump, the more the rim will show.  In the future, I might reverse the color (e.g. white on one side, black on the other) or have two layers of the same color.
  • I incorporated the pattern bars right into the fused blank and ended up using my tile saw to cut off the excess and grinder to neaten up the edges.  This process worked pretty well and saved me from a lot of grinding!  To determine where to cut, I used a protractor and drew a circle with a white DecoColor pen (this is what many manufacturers use to mark glass as it doesn't come off easily).
  • I needed to use a level to make sure the mold and glass was sitting evenly before I slumped it.  The mold I used is a ball shaped mold but when you put it on posts, it can shift depending upon where you have the posts.  Fortunately, it didn't look right in the kiln so I was able to adjust it before I slumped it.
As I live in the Bay Area, we just got a Bullseye Resource Center here.  One of the benefits of the Resource Center is that Bullseye has all of their molds on display with a sample of what the slumped glass looks like.  This is so helpful as the slumped glass looks differently in person than it does on their website (this is because you have the scale and depth that you don't have in photographs).  Based on looking at the bowls, I've returned two unused bowl molds and am purchasing another one that I most likely would not have purchased based on what I saw online.

Looking forward to making more of these!


  1. What a beautiful piece! What mold did you use?

    1. Thanks, Jessica. I used Bullseye's 12" ball mold.

  2. Thanks! I've been looking for a good bowl mold, but (as you pointed out) it's hard to tell what you're seeing when shopping online. I'll check that one out! Again, I love your piece (and blog!). Thanks for taking the time to share what you do!

  3. Hi,

    When I have see this bowl I just expected that it's very expensive but when I have read this blog I am socked that how you made this. Great job Lynn.
    Fused Glass Skylights

  4. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent information I was looking for this information.

    clock table & 3m command