Monday, 21 May 2007

Creating a Glass Dish Part 2

When the glass components of the dish are dry I arrange them on a primed kiln shelf and glue some decorative fused glass blobs onto the hearts with Elmer's glue. I leave the glue to dry thoroughly before I place the kiln shelf in the kiln. I us a liquid primer that I make up myself and apply it with a haik brush. Haik brushes are quite hairy so I am careful to rub off any hairs that stick to the shelf. I give the shelf five layers of wash and dry each one with a hair dryer before applying the next. I used to spray the wash onto the shelf but this was too messy as the spray bottle kept clogging. Also, I like the texture the brush marks give to the base of the glass.

Now I switch the kiln on for the initial heating phase. I start at No. 2 on the kiln dial for the first hour and bring the glass up to it's strain release point by 150f every 30 minutes. When the heat reaches 1000f I put the bung in the kiln and take the kiln up to 1,500f at a faster rate. When the glass reaches its strain release point I look through the bung hole to check on the glass. The kiln holds this temperature for between 5 and 15 minutes (longer if its float glass) to soak the glass. By now the glass should look nicely rounded and glowing. I remove the bung and turn the dial back down to 2 (on my Aim kiln I reach 8 on the dial) until the temperature reaches 1000f. This is the rapid cooling phase and when the kiln reaches 1000f I replace the bung and leave it to soak at this temperature.This enables the glass to anneal so that becomes tempered and won't shatter when the kiln is cold. I like to leave the glass to soak for a minmum of one hour . Then I turn the kiln off and leave the glass to cool to room temperature.

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