Before you start: Coat your kiln shelf and the inside
of your mold with kiln wash. If you mold is new it make take a few passes to
fully cover as the steel will repel the wash. Some folks like to heat the
mold to 500 degrees as it coats easier.... I just go over it a few times and
it's fine. You don't have to coat every time you use it unless you scratch
off the wash. The wash must be 100% dry before you start. Coat your mold
unassembled if it is one of the newer 2 part molds. Touch it up if you
scratch the wash when you put it back together.
Things to think about: You can use any kind of
fusible scrap or frit in these molds. Realize that the smaller the pieces of
glass, the more opaque the end result will be. This is because tiny pockets
of air will be attached to each piece of glass. I like some air bubbles as
they add a sense of randomness and chance to the piece but too many bubbles
and you loose the translucency of glass that I love so much. In
general, I use Cullet which is sort of giant frit. It is for casting and was
used in the square paperweight above. You can still see air bubbles because
I also use crushed dichroic glass.
Cullet - Neo Lavendar
If you use opaque glass then you will not see through your
|I used stringer, frit and sheet
glass to fill this mold.
||I used cullet and smashed (hammer
and diaper) dichroic glass to fill this one.
Coat the mold with kiln wash. Triangle Mold.
Coat the mold before assembly.
Set the triangle Mold on your kiln shelf.
Set the mold on the kiln shelf.
the top layer of your dish in the mold first.
mold with glass as desired.
(Paperweight mold filled with cullet & dichro.)
the layer that will be the bottom of your dish into the mold.
(Frit plate mold with final layer.)
your kiln shelf with the filled mold into the center of your kiln.
(Paperweight mold in kiln ready to fire.)
in the works....
Image of paperweight after firing. As you can see this one has some
very sharp, bumpy things sticking out of the top edges. It will
require some grinding and then fire polishing. Also compare the height
of the glass to the mold and then look at the image above of the mold
filled with glass before firing. It was filled nearly to the top but
now is about 1/2 way... which is the size I was actually shooting
Image of paperweight after grinding:
In addition to grinding the edges, I use diamond sanding pads to
leave a very smooth surface. The top of this piece is the same as the
top in the image above where you see all the pick'eds. I decided to
use this actual top (viewed from top of mold) as the top of my piece
since it came out so nicely. If I wasn't going to sand by hand I would
have used the bottom as the top because it is very flat already.
Image of paperweight after fire polishing: in the works - I forgot to
take a picture and I sold it.. sorry.....
Fillng the mold:
The top of the glass as you load it into the mold is the
BOTTOM of your piece. So put the decorations you want on the top in first so
that they touch the kiln shelf.
How much glass? That really depends on how big your pieces
are and how thick you want your piece to be. Remember that there is air
between each piece and, once fused, that air will be gone (for the most
part) so that little pile of glass that is now 4 inches high may only be
1/2" high after fusing. NOTE: FRIT PLATE MOLDS ARE NOT INTENDED TO
BE USED IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE PAPERWEIGHT MOLD. DO NOT FILL THEM TO THE
TOP AS THEY MAY WARP FROM THE PRESSURE. WE WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR
DAMAGE TO THE MOLD IF YOU USE IT IN A MANNER IT WAS NOT DESIGNED FOR, IF YOU
DON'T COAT IT WITH KILN WASH PROPERLY OR IF YOU BEND IT.
Remove the cooled glass from the mold. It may drop right out
or you may have to remove the mold clips and take the mold apart. Look out
for very sharp little spiky things on the edges. If you overfire you will
get more of those than if you fire just right. Any spiky things, aka widow
makers, aka pick'eds, will have to be filed or ground off. Then you can
polish by hand or fire polish... slumping if desired.
Fire Polishing: Because this piece is thick we need to proceed with
caution. Firing too rapidly will cause your piece to crack. It is better to
err on the side of caution! Place your piece into the kiln on a prepared kiln
shelf. Using the SC2, I fire at Speed 2 or 200 degrees per hour to 1365 and
hold for 10 minutes, then lower the temp as fast as possible to 960 and hold
for 4 hours to anneal, then allow the kiln to cool to room temperature as fast
as possible. This will take several hours. You need to be careful here because
if you over fire when firepolishing then you will flatten out your
paperweight and the edges will sort of pillow out too.
The frit plate molds will not create PERFECT shapes... not a
perfect triangle, square or circle.... the exact shape is determined by how
you close the clips, how you put the 2 halves together, whether you bend the
mold while removing the glass or putting the mold together. If you
MUST have an exact square etc... do not use these molds.