My first plate using a pattern bar that I created is finally done. It is a long process, but the end result is worth it. This technique results in a unique one of a kind piece that can’t be recreated. If you “Like” my Facebook page (and if you don’t, you should) then you have been following along in the process as I posted pictures. Here is an overview of the process from start to finish.
First I created the pattern bar. In this case, it is called a flow slab. Strips of glass are stacked and placed in the kiln in a damn. The glass is heated until it flows together and creates a slab. It takes about 6 hours for the glass to heat up and melt together and a lot longer to cool it down. It took more than 24 hours before the kiln was cool enough for me to open it up. If you are a glass fuser and want more information on how to create a flow slab pattern bar, visit the Bullseye Education Online website. They have some great educational videos. Some are free, some are for members only. It is well worth the money to become a member to access these videos.
Next I sliced up the pattern bar using a wet tile saw with a diamond blade. This is a very slow, noisy and messy process.
I decided to do a small plate first using just two of the pattern bar slices. I arranged the pattern bars and bordered them with some glass. I used three layers of glass: a thin 2mm clear glass, a second layer of 3mm clear glass, and a 3mm transparent blue glass. This was dammed and fired to a full fuse.
Unfortunately, I was not precise enough in positioning the blue glass. There was a slight gap where the strips meet. This bothered me so I cut off the offending part. In the end I liked this design better. This is one of the things I love about working with fused glass. I often start with an idea in mind and it changes along the way usually ending up better than I had originally planned it. Not always better… but usually. I also sandblasted the piece to remove a bit of kiln wash and devitrification. It went back into the kiln to fire polish everything.
The next day the piece went in the kiln again, this time to slump it into the soft curve of a sushi plate.
In the end it took a total of 4 firings each one taking a day to complete. I am looking forward to using the rest of the pattern bars to create something really grand!
4 thoughts on “Fused Glass Pattern Bar Flow Slab Plate”
Amazing and very creative ingenuity. You sure are hung up on your hobby. Congratulation.
Uncle George – At this point it is way passed hobby into obsession and part time job! Only wish I had discovered my love for glass earlier.
Thanks for this. I’m planning to get started with pattern bars. Can you recommend a wet tile saw to buy?
I bought an MK Wet tile saw. Mine is a 7″ and has been fine, but If your budget can afford it, I would get a 10″ blade. I also bought a diamond blade specifically for glass. I have read that any wet tile saw will work as long as you have a good blade. In fact, I worked with a $100 home depot tile saw for several years before I upgraded. It was okay for small pattern bars, but not for slabs. It did not have a sliding table. Check out the website http://www.hisglassworks.com for some good information.