Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bronze Flower Crowned Glass

Hot Glass, Cool Designs

The glass pieces are coming out of the kiln, the colors are gorgeous. Like the fact of the background color creasing and crackling inside the glass, the main designs are clear and vivid and it gives them a vintage antique look.

Have a load firing now, using traditional woodcut and batik images, these are substantial glass focal pieces. Translucent when light is held behind the open glass back, wrapped with metal on the sides only.

This one with the fleur de lis pattern on the front, has already been wrapped in patinaed metal and silver soldered, the reverse side is another woodcut pattern with a tudor rose and crown design. It's large in scale, 1 1/2" x 2" tall, and 1/8" thick. This is unusual for glass, fusing it usually takes it to 1/4" thickness. This is a sturdy glass cabochon with an inner golden bronze glow, really lucious.

Want to combine with the etched brass, to make a gemstone piece with cogs and wheels, a machine age image combined with the conventional or traditional elegant design.

Have been grinding bevels, no matter how carefully, still getting the lopsided 'grinder manicure' on the thumb and forefinger. Probably going to have to clip all the nails back, may not be able to save the shape. A small price to pay for the lovely glass gems.

These two, the armor and the compass rose designs, just came out of the kiln for fusing the clear glass on front and back, but haven't been edge ground and beveled yet.

The deep vibrant blue one with the compass rose design has light images of lettering on the reverse but the main image area is on the front. The compass rose is the directional image on a compass with the eight directions, and this has some nice line designs around it with light lettering.

The brass-bronze one with the armor design has the main design on the front with the old english style lettering and the woodcut of the helmet of armor on it. The reverse side has lettering in an antiquated style, it's illegible but visually interesting. At this stage the glass pieces are 1 1/4" wide x 2 1/4" tall, have to allow extra area for grinding the edges flat and, depending on how they shape out, possibly putting the beveled edges on them.

In the close up of the reverse side the extra clear glass around the edges shows up, this is the part that will be ground smooth to square it up and make a place to attach the metal, whether it's a bevel or a wire wrap.

On some pieces holes were drilled to allow wire wrapping through, but these have such nice images that would be marred by drilling, these won't have the drilled holes in them.

Will take photos as the process goes along, to show how the multiple firings, grinding and beveling and finishing takes these rough glass pieces and completes them.

Also have some small beads with metal cogs and gears fired inside, have to grind and fire polish those so they can be finished off tomorrow. Some of those have a black glass back, and some have a peach color back. Will put silver loops on them so they can be used as connectors, possibly for a bracelet.

These glass pieces are so pretty, smooth and translucent, almost like they have an internal glow to them.

After every step, the enameling, the clear glass caps, the grinding and beveling, the glass goes back in the kiln for another firing.

These two have been fired twice - once to set the enameled design, and once to fuse on the clear glass. They will be fused again after grinding and beveling, to fire polish the edges of the bevel.
Each time the glass has to cool down slowly, to prevent thermal shock and to make certain the glass is annealed well so it is sturdy and won't crack.

Lots of work, lots of steps. The results are great, though. Have always been a big fan of colorful glass.


Rachel said...

The beads with cogs sound awesome -- any idea when you'll post pix?

LLYYNN said...

Look in 'Hearts, Cogs and Gears' post to get some idea of them. Need to fuse some more and make them round. Thanks, Rachel, for dropping by the blog!