Handkerchief Drape Vase

Drape Handkerchief VaseI just pulled a new handkerchief vase out of the kiln. I love these vases! They are always a wonderful surprise. Well mostly always. I have had one or two that looked weird. But this one turned out great.

Handkerchief vases, or drape vases, are made by positioning a piece of glass over a stainless steel form. It is slowly heated in the kiln until gravity starts to do the work of shaping the glass. A lot of variable go into how the piece will turn out. The type of glass, how it is positioned on the form, how hot the kiln is and how long I keep the glass at the highest temperature all play a role. The results are never the same.

I really like the way this handkerchief vase turned out. There is a lot of “movement” in it. The glass is clear and black on the inside while the outside is an iridescent glass. The swirl pattern on the glass helps to accentuate the flowing lines of this piece. It’s really hard to capture this in pictures, but here are a few.


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6 Responses to Handkerchief Drape Vase

  1. Love what you are doing with glass, I’m also fusing glass over in the UK and always looking for inspiration. Any chance I can pick your brains with a question, just wondering if you needed to kiln wash your stainless former, as I have heard you can’t kilnwash them cold as it doesn’t stick. Any suggestions please?!

    • Thanks Sam! Yes, stainless is a pain to kiln wash and it won’t stick cold. I’ve tried a variety of ways to get the kiln wash to stick. You can heat the form in the kiln, then carefully remove it with gloves onto a heatproof surface and brush on the wash. You will have to repeat this step several times as the mold cools to get an even coat. I know one artist that puts his mold on concrete and uses a blow torch to heat the form. Recently, I started using the spray on boron nitrate release that comes in a can. It’s not cheap, but it is way easier, however, I have found that sometimes it leaves a haze on the glass that may or may not come off. The good news is once you have either one on your stainless mold you won’t have to reapply for while.

      Always happy to share what I know. Also, two good bulletin boards for information are http://www.fusedglass.org and http://www.warmglass.com

  2. I am glad I just found your work online. I have been attempting to make a hankerchief vase for a wedding gift and it keeps failing. The first one got too hot and slumped way to far and the second one slumped unevenly leaving two sides stuck to the mold. What is your hottest temp that you hold at? Once the piece hits that temp how long do you hold it there? Do you open the kiln to look at it, b/c I have heard you shouldn’t do that b/c it may shock the glass? I am fusing two pieces of glass together first and then slumping them…if you could answer these questions and give some advise I would really appreciate it!

    • Glad you found me. Always nice to know someone is actually reading my blog. The highest temperature I go to is 1220 degrees F. As soon as it hits 1220 I take a peak. You can do this as long as you don’t leave the kiln open too long. Just crack it open enough to peak in for a second or two. Then I’ll peak in again every 2 or 3 minutes. Hold time depends on the glass and how many layers. I’ve had some that were done as soon a it hit 1220 and others that took 30 minutes. Most of them are done to my liking in 10 minutes. Good luck. Let me know how it goes.

  3. Hi, Margot….
    I just discovered your site and spent the last couple of hours looking and drooling. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. I have a question about the glass you are using. Did you create the flat for the vase yourself? I saw another piece on Etsy with some beautiful ‘tropical’ glass (she called it that) that ended up in swirls. It is not combed, but I could not find that glass anywhere. She draped it, I think, over something to create an unusual shape with scallop edges. Did that create swirls??
    So do you create your own glass?
    Thx!

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