This is a very easy project suitable for beginners. Select a
piece of art glass that you like. I prefer transparent colors but you should
select whichever you like best. Blanks for these pieces can be pre-fired so
that they are fairly complex but we are going to make a simple piece with
ONE color and no adornments. For this project I've selected a piece of
transparent red Bullseye glass.
Cut a piece that is about 10" x 10"; you don't have to kill
yourself being exact! I cut the corners off of my square so that they are
not sharp. I also grind both edges of the glass so that I'm sort of beveling
them. This makes a horrible noise so you might want ear plugs BUT it allows
you to fire polish and slump in one step because the edges are not sharp to
begin with. See the image below to get the idea.
The GIST: You will be heating the glass just enough so that
it softens and folds over itself on the mold. We watch it and when we like
the way it looks we turn off the kiln! NOTE: DO NOT OPEN THE KILN UNTIL THE
GLASS IS UNDER 200 DEGREES OR YOU WILL CRACK YOUR VASE. BELIEVE ME .... I
DID THIS TO A WHOLE KILN FULL BECAUSE I JUST COULDN'T WAIT. Ping Ping Ping
is NOT a good sound!!
Coat the mold with kiln wash
Center the glass on the mold on a kiln shelf.
When you like how it looks turn off the kiln BUT don't peek.
Finished: From the top
Finished! From the side
Prepare the mold & kiln shelf. The first time you try to
coat the mold the kiln wash may bead up so that it doesn't provide full
coverage. Some people like to heat the mold to 500 degrees and then coat.
Me, I simply keep coating, letting it dry and then coating again.... after
about 3 coats it has full coverage. You don't have to re-coat every time you
use it BUT as you touch up spots you will find that the kiln wash gets lumps
in it.... these lumps WILL transfer to your glass so every once in awhile
you should clean off the mold entirely and start over. The second time the
mold will be rougher and the kiln wash will stick more readily. The kiln
shelf should be coated .... just in case of mishaps!
Put kiln shelf in kiln, put mold in center of kiln shelf,
center glass on mold. I have a big oval kiln and can do 4 at one time. If
you're doing more than one, don't let the glass touch each other. NOTE: It's
advantageous to have a peep hole but if you don't then read the notes at the
bottom of this project.
Close your kiln and fire at 500 degrees per hour (it's only
one layer so we don't have to be as careful as we would if we were using a
more complex blank but we can't go full tilt because it's a big piece!) till
1300 degrees, at 1200 degrees (depends on your kiln) start to watch the
glass, when you like the way it looks turn the kiln off and go do something
else! NOTE: My kiln full fuses at 1365; adjust your temps according to your