A while back, I took the kiln for a test run, to make sure it was working all right after the relocation to Louisiana. Moves are tough on kilns! I made these fused glass gems, and then didn't get around to shaping, beveling and fire polishing them.
They have a black glass backing, to make the dichroic glass really shine when fused. Yesterday, I spent the morning at the studio, just playing around with different things I'd been wanting to do. One of those was to get the glass grinder set up and working again after unpacking it. I have a beveling blade on it, so I can put those nice 45 degree angles on the glass. But I hadn't used it since setting up the studio. The first time I tried yesterday, the water feed wasn't working. To keep the glass cool, a flow of water has to be going over it while you grind. Otherwise, the glass overheats from the friction, and it can crack. Not fun!
I took the water feed line completely apart, flushed it, and got all the different parts working again. When I reassembled it, it was finally working like it should. I shaped and beveled these little faux gems, to make them more consistently rectangular, and to give the fronts a pretty little bevel, like a real gemstone.
Once they were all shaped and beveled, I cleaned them carefully with 90% alcohol, to get rid of all the glass dust and "shavings" from the grinding. Then I put them in the kiln for a fire polish firing, to remove the grinder scratches, and give them a clear, nice finish on the top.
I think they turned out well, after all of that. And now I know my equipment is still working okay. Now, I just need to make settings for them, so they can be used in jewelry!