Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Glass Work

After setting up working with glass yesterday, Andy was going to show me after lunch but it turned out to be very busy in ceramics and I didn't get the chance. I occupied my time making more mugs using porcelain and clay, keeping busy. Today I went back to work with glass and it wasn't too busy so Andy could demonstrate and help me out with what to do.

First, he showed me how to cut glass, wearing gloves and goggles! Here is my first attempt at cutting, slightly wonky and un neat, but my first go at it!

Andy showed me a few examples of materials and leaves and things fused inbetween two pieces of glass, I really like the way this looks. You can see all of the detail and texture in the leaves.

This is really cool! It is glass frits and copper wire fused inbetween two pieces of glass. It gets fired once and then a mould is made out of plaster for the second firing so it slumps to create the bowl shape. I would really like to try this!

This type of glass is called bullseye glass and is used to make jewellery among other things. Andy informs me that it is quite expensive! I would really like to have a play with it though, the aesthetic and look of the glass is of a different quality to the glass frits I am working with today.

A box of glass frits.

Confetti- another type of glass to decorate with, very sharp though, use gloves and pick up with tweezers! A problem with this material that Andy told me about is that because it is curved and then put inbetween the two pieces of glass to be fused it can often crack when fused.

Stringers- These can be broken or bent using a small tea light candle to make shapes and images.

Making a mountain!

Preparing the glass-
To prepare the pieces of glass to create images onto first I had to file down the edges once I has cut the glass to size. My glass cutting skills are not the best I must admit, but it is my first attempt! To file down the edges of to glass I ran cold water over the edge and use a file sponge to smooth the edges. Then dry with a piece of newspaper!

I used glass frits to create the image of a mountain. Using PVA glue mixed with water to stick the frits to, I created the image to go onto the glass. I found it quite difficult to create imagery using the frits as it is a powder all of the colours blend together and not every bit I wanted to stuck to the glass. I began to look how I wanted it to on one side but on the other it looked very messy and nothing like a mountain!

How it looks without the second piece of glass on top. This side is the messier side.

I much prefer the way the image looks from the other side through the glass.

I add some white and more colour to the sky. I am pleased with the image on this side but not so much on the other side, it is messy and the clours have blended together. But maybe they will add another image to the glass once fused together, who knows! I am excited to see.

Then, Andy suggested it would be possible for us to make a mould, which I got terribly excited about!
Here is the mould ready to ut the plaster into. To make a mould for glass work the plaster has to be mixed with flint.

Mixing mixing.

The plaster and flint takes about an hour to dry. However the mould needs to completely dry out for a couple of days as it will be being heated to such a high temperature in the firing.

After seeing the earlier examples I really wanted to try fusing some leaves inbetween the glass. The textures and colours of the leaves at the moment are really beautiful and I want to see if I can preserve it! In this one I have added a bit of glass frits to add a bit of colour too. An experiment that I hope goes right!

Some of my failed glass cutting attempts, pretty disastrous!

My glass pieces ready to be fused!

I had an brilliant day today, I really enjoyed learning about glass and more processes and materials that are available for me to learn. Even though I has some struggles I hope to work with glass some more, improve and get the hang of things such as glass cutting. I want to play around and explore more!

Key points of the day;
  • Cutting glass is difficult to get the hang of!
  • It is quite difficult to create images using glass frits, I wonder what other ways I can explore to image make onto glass. 
  • Leaves and materials can be fused into glass! 
  • I can make a bowl using a plaster and flint mould, I am very excited about this. 
  • Bullseye glass is used alot to make jewellery, it is expensice but I would like to play around with it as it creates a different aethetic.

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