Kiln Formed Glass Art by Connie Gates--Handmade in the Pacific Northwest

Scraps and Stains

My studio is filled with bins and tubs of scraps, so I am determined to use them in creative ways.  I have always loved the eclectic blend and hues of various wood used throughout my home so, I  have decided to follow suit with glass. This piece utilizes many many pieces of scrap and end cuts, along with scrap pattern bars.  As I cut and began assembling the colorful pieces, I had no pre-conceived notion of design but did begin by drawing a 15″ circle.  As luck would have it, the pieces and colors started to act like they all belonged where they were placed, much like a puzzle.  I kiln fired the piece and was pretty pleased with the results.  As is the case with most pieces that utilize edge construction, the design that is fired against the kiln shelf usually always maintains the straightest lines, so I like to flip the piece over and re-fire it.

In the past, I learned that after the first firing of opal glass directly on a kiln washed shelf, a pattern of sorts is created and left in the remaining kiln wash on the shelf.  If a fresh application of kiln wash is not applied before the next firing, some mighty undesirable results can occur on subsequent pieces.  Well I was in a hurry to get this puppy re-fired so in all my brilliance, I covered the kiln shelf with fiber paper and avoided re-applying new kiln wash. To my dismay, the pattern bled through the paper and onto the piece during it’s second firing.

This piece is turning into a lot of work, but I am determined to see it to the end.  My intent now is to sand blast the stain out of the piece.  Once that is done, and since this was the first of a three step slumping process, I’ll go for the second slump when I get my courage up.  If I do my job correctly, this will end up being a very colorful deep bowl with a lovely matte finish.

Here are pictures of the assembly and the stain.  More to come!

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