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Posts Tagged ‘Bullseye glass’

Dog bowl/cat bowl

The bottom shelf is still cracked, but I figured I could get away with using it, once I took it off the little posts and made sure it looked more or less level. I absolutely had to get last night’s disc slumped immediately. I’m too tickled by it.

This features another of the new molds I got at the beginning of the week (I think that’s them all tried now): like the round slumper, which is proving such a hit with me, this is another one I’ve seen and coveted at the center where I first learnt stained glass and now go to hang out and chat while pretending to work…

It’s known there – and possibly universally – as the dog bowl, though it’s much less catchy official title is something along the lines of small deep dish with flat base. Something like that. The shape suggested the design, which I thought was really obviously a cat trying to fish in a goldfish bowl. As though seen from the bottom of the bowl – from the fish’s perspective, with the cat looking in over the side. I used powdered frit for the cat (I could have used more, and maybe will another time, though I’m not displeased with it. I meant a sort of tabby effect, but maybe it could be denser. The eyes are in light aventurine green (fine grade), which is slightly sparkly, although I do find that getting it exactly where I want to go is more of a chore with fine frit than it is with either the powder or the coarser grades. Powder I flick off the end of a teaspoon with a cocktail stick or the end of a small paintbrush which I then use to move it around on the glass, while the medium and coarse frit can be applied with tweezers or thumb and finger and a certain amount of caution.

Fine frit just seems to spill off the teaspoon and then bounce around on the glass rather too much. But it gave the cat wonderful eyes. The goldfish was one of those “striker” colors Bullseye are so fond of. I think it’s quite awkward to work with colors that are completely different in the pre- and post-fired states, especially when you’re working with a bunch of reds that are all varying random shades of yellow. Or there’s a purple that starts out as a pale, pale blue. I can’t be the only person to have been thrown by that one to interesting effect. The yellow was pale and wispy, and came out of a mixed trimmings bag (at the risk of making it sound like smoked salmon!), but I had a vague idea that it turned much darker, and it did indeed go a perfect yolky goldfish orange. Whew.

I’m going to put this dish in my Etsy shop, and see if it attracts any interest.

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I did a really stupid thing last week. I was cutting a 12″ disc using my new second-hand-from-eBay Silberschnitt circle cutter when a slight crack appeared running in from one edge. At the time I was pretty pleased with myself for getting the disc out neatly without it breaking across at the crack. I thought it would close up again in the kiln. Silly me. Probably that would have been the case if, a) I had been using two layers of 3mm glass rather than one, or b) I had thought to place part of the design over the crack, thus effectively providing the necessary double layer at that point.* As it was, with a firing to 1345° for 20 mintes, the crack opened up a couple of millimiters over a length of about two inches. Useless. And – by my standards – an outrageous waste of a square foot of glass. Not to mention that some of that glass was the ludicrously expensive sunset coral.

I have spent much of the last week mitigating this error. Otherwise known as throwing good time after bad.

First I thought about the possibilities of a) and b) above and decided to place another “leaf” over the troublespot where the crack had opened up. So the next night I did that. It didn’t work. The design could take the extra element, but the crack was still there, albeit smaller. A couple of days later I visited my friend and begged some coarse clear frit for repairs. According to Bullseye’s catalog, the coarser the grade of frit, the clearer it will come out of the kiln (I think they are talking about casting), so I figured I should give myself al the help I could get at this point, and the poor disc was already looking a bit sorry for itself and was risking devitrification with every additional journey into the heart of hotness…

Well, that sort of worked. At least there was no hole in it any more and there was some chance of turning it into a passable dish. Last night it went back in, in one of the new molds (the one they call the “round slumper”, which baffled me until I got the exact dimensions and then decided seems to mean “flattish dish”, but maybe they think that might look silly in a catalog).

OK. Not great. But OK. The mold is good, anyway. The dish is in the cellar, already.

*Put succinctly for the uninitiated, glass likes to be around 6mm thick. If you layer it thicker than that, it will tend to flow outwards at heat, if you use less thickness – i.e one layer of standard fusing glass – it will tend to contract as it tries to puddle into a 6mm-thick mass. Both these problems are minimized, if not eradicated, by a conservative firing schedule.

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