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Left ~ 960º...Right ~ 900º Anneal Soak Temps

Left ~ 960º...Right ~ 900º Anneal Soak Temps

If so, that’s not a good thing.  Halos are stress in kilnformed glass when viewed through polarizing film & if your halos have rainbows you have a lot of stress ~ meaning the glass is likely to break!  I just opened my kiln with the first load of cast glasswork (in commercial molds) using the new annealing temperature announced by Bullseye during BeCon, the glass conference I attended last week.  For my entire kilnforming career I’ve used 960º as the anneal soak, as taught by Lani McGregor at my very first glass fusing class at Bullseye many moons ago.  The new anneal soak temperature, 900º is closer to the strain point  which equals less risk and a more efficient anneal cool.  Ideally, you have multiple thermocouples in your kiln to check temps at critical points in relation to the glass, but I don’t want to get too technical here…

I couldn’t wait to check the results using a polarizing filter comparing the new & old temperatures.  Monday evening I loaded my kiln with a few Colour de Verre boxes filled with frit and powdered glass.  To have an exact replica of a box I’d already made for my test, I used Erbium pink course frit in the kidney shaped box.  Today, Wednesday, I pulled out the lid and placed it between sheets of polarizing film alongside my very first Erbium pink lid.  Please note the irregular edge of that first lid ~ it’s to show you how imperfect I am!  As careful as I’ve been with my film, I notice all the scratches on it, however I want you to focus on the glass atop the film.

So looking at the top photo, the lid on the left, my very first, and comparing it to the lid on the right from this morning you notice three times as many halos or whitish spots on the left!  I will be readjusting ALL my firing schedules!!  All the glasswork annealed properly at 960º is still good, durable, and safe from breakage, but as you can see, 900º is better.  For me as an artist, and for you as a patron of my work, a student learning from me, or an associate with whom I trade information 900º is the anneal soak temperature to use!  If interested, you can view Bullseye‘s new annealing chart for thick slabs here.

Blue Oval 960º : Aqua square 900º

Blue Oval 960º : Aqua square 900º

For a little color I also checked a couple boxes of differing colors, then wanted to compare the same shape box.  Interesting, yes?

Aqua 900º : Red 960º

Aqua 900º : Red 960º

Back to Boxes

May 6, 2009

 

Cast Glass Box with Lid

Cast Glass Box with Lid

My shipment of new box molds should be arriving any day now. I have the kidney shape that Craig at Colour de Verre (http://www.colourdeverre.com/index.php?cat=4) gave me and I’ve made a couple of them.  The box pictured here is a pink so dark that it almost appears black.  The lid embellishment is CdV’s Lotus Flower mold.  I have a new box in the kiln using clear frit with purple powder which will give it a ‘veined’ appearance & can’t wait to see how it turns out.  

I LOVE these lidded glass boxes!  I’ve tried making various glass boxes in my kiln to no avail for years, so am excited and happy to find a reusable casting mold that works.  The other shapes are round, elliptical, and rectangle.  The lids can be embellished with a cast accent, using another CdV mold or my own original mold, then tack fusing it to the lid.  

Frit Cast Glass Box with Embellished Lid

Frit Cast Glass Box with Embellished Lid

Don’t forget the auction in my previous post!  You have until this Friday, May 8th at midnight to bid on the puzzle vase.  I’m so thrilled with the response at this point that I’m throwing in an extra surprise for the lucky high bidding winner as a thank you!

Preparations

April 20, 2009

Frit Cast Hearts & Tree

Frit Cast Hearts & Tree

Today I have a ton of ‘finish’ work to do in preparation for the ‘Glass Gallery’ show which is coming up too fast!  I can hardly wait for the kilns to be cool enough to check out yesterday’s work!  I wasn’t planning to post any new photos until after the upcoming show, but Kathleen’s comment on my previous post gave me an idea to tease you until then.  The left photo, taken yesterday shows my cast hearts & tree upon opening the kiln door.  


 

Fresh out of the kiln

Fresh out of the kiln

 

 

 

Photo on the right shows the glass removed from the molds & ready to cold work (grinding then polishing the edges smooth).  These are my own molds made with reusable casting material.  In the background, you can also see a commercial butterfly mold filled & ready to go in today’s firing.  At the Glass Craft & Bead Expo I purchased a number of Colour de Verre molds to try out & those are what I’m waiting for, cooling in the kilns this morning  ( http://www.colourdeverre.com/index.php ).

At the show, for the first time, we’ve invited some of the suppliers we use to join us.  If you are unable to attend the Portland show, you can visit them at their websites!  Here are some links (you may have to paste the link into your browser):

Bullseye Resource Center:   http://www.bullseyeglass.com/

Glasshopper Patterns:  http://www.glasshopperpatterns.com/

Elements Glass:  http://www.elementsglass.com/

Roses Glassworks:  http://rosesglassworks.com/

The participating artists are all members of the Oregon Glass Guild.  You can see a sneak preview of the show by clicking on the ‘Member Gallery’ at http://oregonglassguild.org/ 

Of course, not all members will be showing, but you’ll get a taste!  And here are just a few of the participating members:

Heather Fields:  fieldsandfieldsblownglass.com

Alex Farnham:  www.farnham-art.com

Serena Smith:  sjasdesigns.com

Donna LaPlanate:  www.confusionartstudio.com

Jane Godfrey / Sondra Radcliffe:  www.artglassambiente.com

Bob & Rox Heath:  CandlelightGlass.com

Jenny Newtson:  www.firebrandbeads.com

Hope to see some of you there – don’t forget: visit my booth # 44  & tell me you follow my blog for a special token of my affection!

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