I started with some drawings. Deep shapes cannot be cut into glass unless a Taurus saw is used as it will fracture under the stress. Of course, I don't own a Taurus saw, just a glass cutter and a grinder, so I had to plan where I could make cut lines that wouldn't make the glass leaf look "pieced" together. The final drawing was redrawn in thick black marker pen so that I could see the design clearly through the glass.
I made a prototype of the design in float glass so that I could work out any problems before I committed to the final piece. As you can see, I didn't spend enough time grinding the curved shapes on the leaf and the curves flattened out slightly when fused.
Because this is a flat design (the customer didn't want any additional texture or glass blobs) I wanted the actual red leaf to have some depth so I bought a sheet of streaky red and clear Bullseye glass from my favorite glass suppliers, Warm-Glass UK.
Streaky glass is tricky stuff. The streaks of color are random so it's hard to position the leaf design so that the best streaks are used. I only had one sheet so I couldn't afford to make any cutting mistakes. Of course, the best streaks were in the centre of the glass so I have lots of small pieces left!
I fused the leaf onto opal white and clear Bullseye glass and then slumped it into a dish mold. Fortunately the line between the leaf parts has fused closely together and has not made the deep ridge that you see in the prototype. Next, I emailed the image of the finished dish to the customer and awaited her verdict.
Success! The dish was shipped off to Germany and here is her feedback:
"The dish has safely arrived this morning. Simply great! Many thanks."