Cerium Oxide to the Rescue

Fused Stacked Glass PlateWhen I full fused this stacked glass piece it looked great when I took it out of the kiln. I slumped it the next day and it still looked great. I was giving the plate a final cleaning getting it ready to take some pictures when I noticed a few tiny little specks. They were only visible when the light hit the piece in just the right angle. They were difficult to see, and I doubt anyone would have noticed. But I did, and I did not like it.

I couldn’t identify what the spots were. They looked like tiny water spots. After unsuccessfully cleaning the plate several times with various cleaners I tried a cleaner I had for Corning Ware. Corning Ware is glass right? So why wouldn’t it work on this? I tried it only to find that it made the glass dull. Ugh! Now I was thinking about sandblasting and refiring the piece. This is not a problem when the piece is still flat, but once it is slumped in a mold, it’s a bit trickier. Fire too hot and the piece could lose its shape. Fire too low and the top might not get glossy.

But a moment of brilliance prevailed! I had some cerium oxide on hand. Cerium oxide is a very fine abrasive powder used to do a final polish on glass. It is mixed with water and usually applied with felt disks on flat grinders. I don’t have this kind of equipment (yet), but I do have a Dremel tool. I used some on a felt polishing tip and it worked like a charm. Now it’s perfect!

This piece is designated to be a raffle item for an upcoming event benefiting Comfy for Chemo. I’ll be posting more on this in the near future.


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2 Responses to Cerium Oxide to the Rescue

  1. Margot, thanks for the great tip as I have had this happen and didn’t know what to do. I just wanted to check if you refired this to slumping temperature after using the cerium oxide, or is the cerium oxide fine enough that it left the piece with a nice glossy finish? Thanks for your help!

    • You are welcome! I don’t know what caused the spot but in this case, the cerium oxide was enough. This won’t work if it is devit. For that I sandblast (or use etching cream) and refire. But that needs to be done before the slump.

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