If at first you don’t succeed …

Fused Glass… try, try, try again. That is exactly what happened to this fused glass piece.

The first step in making a fused glass dish is to take pieces of glass and place them on a shelf in the kiln and fully fuse the pieces to make a single flat piece of glass. In this process the side of glass that is against the kiln shelf will always have some texture. It picks up the texture from the glass separator that keeps the glass from sticking to the shelf. The kiln shelf side also has a matte finish while the top side is glossy. In the next step the piece is slumped into a mold with either side up, but normally the glossy side up. On this piece I chose to slump it with the kiln shelf side up. At the end of this post is a picture with pieces ready to be slumped where you can see the difference. Two of the pieces are kiln shelf side up.

Unfortunately I was disappointed with the result. The matte finish was not consistently even. In some areas it looked less matte. My guess is it had something to do with the mold being thicker in those areas retaining more heat. I can’t really be sure. But I was sure that I didn’t like it. So the piece went back into the kiln for a third time. The now slumped piece was slowly heated to let it fall flat again. The fourth and final slumping had a much better result. Almost perfect! Yes, almost. When the piece slumped down into the mold one side was lower than the other. Possible reasons for this include heating too quickly, the piece was too large for the mold, or the opalescent glass slumped down before the transparent glass. It is not very noticeable, but enough so that this piece won’t be for sale in my shop.

If you are a fused glass beginner and a subscriber to Bullseye Glass Education on line check out the video lesson Slumping Basics. If you you are not a subscriber learn more here: Bullseye Kiln-glass Education Online

4 thoughts on “If at first you don’t succeed …

  1. Kristin Anderson says:

    Margot, thanks for the valuable info. I always wondered what would happen if I reheated something after it was slumped and it sounds like this is no problem at all. If you don’t mind, I am curious if you had the mold side up or down when you reheated it flat? I was amazed at how well it reheated back into its straight lines.

    Thanks again, Kristin

    • Margot says:

      Kristen, I just put the the dish right side up on a flat kiln shelf. I too was amazed at how well it worked. I thought I was going to have to cut it square or at least grind it, but it turned out perfectly square. Could be I was just lucky, but at least I know I can salvage a piece if I am not happy.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I’ve discovered that opal glass seems to be slower to slump. I have a 6 inch drop ring and a footed drop pedestal for it, to make the cutest little candy bowls. The first 2 bowls I made were clear glass sprinkled with frit, and they fully slumps and joined with 30 minutes of hold time.
    Then I did one that was an opal top (green/white swirl) and a translucent bottom (forest green), and when I went to pull it out of the kiln, only the top piece came with. Turns out 30 minutes wasn’t long enough for the opal to drop through the ring and meet up with the translucent foot. I ran it again, this time for 40 minutes, and it fused just fine. I do all the opal bowls at 40 now.

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