Making stuff out of glass

by Suw on May 8, 2006

So T'Other and I had a shitty week last week – if you want to know why, then just read this post at Strange Attractor for an insight. We really needed a break by the time Friday came, so after a lovely dinner out with Michael Tippett from NowPublic (which apparently still gets people visiting via the link I gave 'em when they launched in February last year!), we packed to go down to Hampshire to see Kate.
Aaaaah, just what we needed. Walks in the bluebell woods. Tea at a nearby stately home. A nice gin and tonic in Kate and Steve's conservatory. A play with the neighbour's cat. Lovely.
But the most fun thing was that I got to play with the Vicar. Not a real vicar, you understand, but Kate's kiln, which she's named Vicar, after the Vicar of Dibley.

Here's me preparing to start making a glass bowl. What you can do, you see, is to arrange the glass in a cunning way and then heat it up until it melts, or 'slumps', and then it all fuses together and you have a… heap of fused glass.
My idea was to make like a little wall of glass, and put a sheet on top of it and the whole thing would slump and make a bowl. So this is what it looked like before we fired it.

I was a bit worried we'd end up with just a huge mess, but it worked. Not, perhaps, perfectly but well enough for a first try.

Unfortunately, it was mid-afternoon on Sunday by the time we put the kiln on, and it takes several hours to heat up to 1400F, and even longer to cool down again, so I didn't get to bring it home with me, but it does look rather cool, if a little misshapen.
I also use this stuff called 'frit', which is like chips of glass, or a glass powder, which you can use to decorate the glass you're fusing. I ended up doing this very rough sort of picture thing, which may make an interesting coaster. Or something.

Anyway, I can't wait to get back to Kate's so I can play more! This whole glass thing is fun. I could really get into it. Trouble is, now I want a kiln and there really isn't anywhere to put it. And I think T'Other would be a little perturbed if I went out and spent that much money on something so big before we get our nice new flatscreen monitor for watching DVDs on. Still… gives me an excuse to go down and play with the Vicar again.

Anonymous July 3, 2007 at 7:23 pm


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