Flip & Fire Fused Glass Technique

Flip and FireThese pieces are back in the kiln for a second firing commonly referred to as a Flip & Fire. The Flip & Fire technique is particularly handy when working with linear patterns or strip construction. After a first full fuse firing the glass that is against the kiln shelf will have sharper, cleaner lines then the side that is facing up. The shelf side will also have a matte finish and may have some texture from the kiln shelf. The piece can be flipped and slumped as is but it won’t have a shiny top. If the desired end result is to be shiny then a Flip & Fire before slumping the piece is necessary. In a Flip & Fire the piece is turned over so that the side that was against the kiln shelf is now facing up. It is then heated slowly, to just hot enough and long enough to shine up the glass.

For these pieces I also cold-worked the edges before the Flip & Fire. These are 9mm pieces that were dammed in the initial full fuse. I used strips of fiber paper around the perimeter that were slightly less than 9mm high; but I still had some needling around the edges. I should have made my fiber paper strips even shorter closer to 6mm. I had to grind the edges to clean up the rough areas. I also sandblast the side that will face up just to be sure there is no kiln wash or shelf paper residue anywhere.

The kiln is clicking away as I type this…. Hopefully all will be wonderful when I check in the morning!

2 thoughts on “Flip & Fire Fused Glass Technique

  1. Jim Scheller says:

    Nice, Margot! When you do the “flip” side what process temp did you take it to for how long? I imagine it was not as high a temp as the first fuse since the piece is 9mm think and you would not want to re-dam it. (?)
    I’ve been noodling about what you have called “flip firing”. I’ve been shining up the bottom of my thick see-through transparent pieces by cold-work the “down side” with an angle grinder using progressive grits (60/100/200/400/800) before slumping into the mold. The result is good but it is quite time consuming.

    • Margot says:

      Jim, Yes, I do go to a lower temperature. How low depends on what I am doing. But I don’t think I have used the same schedule twice! I am still tinkering to get to a schedule that will work for the majority of what I want to accomplish. Not sure that is possible. If I just want to fire polish the edges, I can usually achieve that at around 1300 degrees F for 5 minutes. But if I have sandblasted the top I will go to 1400 degrees F. Then it’s a matter of peeking in the kiln to see when everything is glossy. That can be anywhere from 0 to 5 minutes. You are definitely right about not wanting to go to high on a 9mm piece since that could distort the piece. On one of my pattern bar plates I actually did re-dam it for the flip and fire because I wanted to go high enough and long enough to eliminate a seam from the bottom side. Then I cold worked the edges on my grinder with progressive grits to 800. The slump temperature (1215 degrees F) was then enough to give it a nice finished edge, though not a high polish. I hope to add a wet belt sander to my arsenal some time this year which should help with the edges. Also, I find when I use kiln wash instead of shelf paper for the full fuse, I get a shiner back side. You have some beautiful pieces and you are a Pink Floyd fan!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *