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Experiment with Glass Powder

Fused Glass Plate

I just finished this fused glass plate which was an experiment in using glass powders. After watching the Working with Powders video on the Bullseye Glass website I wanted to try this.

A painting that I have in my kitchen served as the inspiration for the design. I cut a stencil out of poster board for the bird. Using the stencil, I placed it on a clear piece of glass. When I lifted the stencil, I blurred the edge of the design a bit. I used a paint brush to clean up the edges. I also used a small paint brush to manipulate some powder into the limb shape. I placed the clear glass with the powder design on top of a green piece of glass and fused it.

In general, I am happy with the results. Based on what I have learned though, I will be doing some tweaking on the next piece.

Here is what I learned:

  • Use a sturdy stencil. It is important to be able to pick up the stencil without it bending. It has to support the weight of the excess glass on it.
  • Be sure to carefully remove any excess glass powder. It will show up in the finished piece.
  • Using a paint brush to manipulate the glass will not produce a crisp edge or sharp line. I should have used a razor blade or other flat tool to get a sharper edge.

Here is a close  up of the bird that shows how the edge was blurred. I will definitely give this technique another try.

3 thoughts on “Experiment with Glass Powder

  1. chaniarts says:

    i do this a lot. there’s a clay tool that i use for cleaning up edges. it has a hard rubber wedge instead of a brush. they make different shaped tools that have different points and thicknesses, you need one that’s pretty sturdy or it bends a lot.

    http://www.dickblick.com/buy/product/156170-rubber-tip-modeling-tools-double-end-clay-shaper.html

    another thing you can do is sandblast an image through a stencil or cut pattern. if you blast so that it’s actually an indentation, you can fill up the indent with powder or even mica. a razor blade cleans up the edges well. you can then cap with another sheet of glass and it will seal well.

    2 examples:
    mica and glow in the dark powder: http://i587.photobucket.com/albums/ss312/chaniarts/House/BackBarConstruction.jpg
    glow-in-the-dark powder: http://www.glassartists.org/Img50557_Glass_in_concrete_structure.asp

    these are 1″ thick slabs, made by blasting an image into 1 piece of 1/2″ float, then fusing another piece on top of the image.

    • Margot says:

      I try to avoid glue as much as possible. I didn’t use any glue on this one. Just had to be very careful when moving it to the kiln. The powder actually doesn’t move around much. Larger frit sizes have more of a tendency to move around. I have on occasion used a fine mist of hairspray to help keep things in place. With the powder on top, I haven’t had any bubble issues.

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