Lately, I’ve been using up a lot of my small scrap glass to make small glass dots. I cut the scraps into tiny pieces and then place them on a kiln shelf to be heated until the pieces form dots. I use these dots as design elements in my plates etc – sometimes as the centre of a flower or just a dot decoration.
Here’s all the scrap glass laid out on the kiln shelf. I left it overnight as I usually start my kiln in the morning in order to take advantage of my solar panels. As I walked into my studio the next morning, I couldn’t help admiring the layout and was inspired to use the nice pattern (when the dots were properly formed) for a plate design. So I took a photo as a reminder. When the dots came out of my kiln, I had to thoroughly wash them as opaque glass tends to pick up kiln wash on the underside. Kiln wash is used on a kiln shelf to prevent the glass sticking to the shelf but if the glass is not properly cleaned between kiln firings then the residual kiln wash can become trapped, leaving a scummy look on the piece.
This photo shows the finished dots laid on a piece of clear glass ready for tack fusing (heating the glass until the pieces are hot enough to stick together but not flatten). Whilst the design isn’t the same as my original photo, I like the way the different coloured dots flow.
It’s a lovely tactile plate and I’m happy with the result.
It’s just under a week to go to the fifth annual Festival of Glass on the third Sunday of February. The event is held at Christian College, 40 Collins Street Drysdale. I’ve attended all previous festivals as an exhibitor and will be exhibiting again this year. It’s a wonderful opportunity to talk glass with people, which I love. Admission is free.
The Festival of Glass is an initiative of the Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Assoc. In their words – ‘The annual Festival of Glass celebrates the beauty and versatility of glass in art, craft and industry and promotes collaboration between people who work with glass.’
I made a daisy plate last week and thought I would take photos at each step of the way. These plates make me feel happy when I’m making them – they just look so nice and bright. This plate is 30cm square and the plate has a slight curve to it.
Making a plate is a two step process. First you fuse your design into one piece. The piece is then washed and placed onto a mould to slump into shape. Fusing and slumping require different temperatures. To try to fuse and slump at the same time will distort the pattern.
Many families have a tradition of collecting a new Christmas decoration each year. As they put up their tree each year, they remember where the decoration came from or who gave it to them. Some people also like to give Christmas decorations as gifts to loved ones, colleagues and even teachers.
I’ve just spent the morning rearranging my lampwork glass rods and trying to colour co-ordinate them. This is my old storage system – PVC pipes. When I first started lampworking and didn’t have many rods, they were simply stored upright in glass jars. As the stash grew, it became difficult to find the right rods and I often caught my clothes on them as the rods were sticking up.