Lessons from the Kiln

Back in April I made a pattern bar in one of the classes I attended at Glass Expo. I finally got around to using some of the slices from it.

The first lesson is it really helps to have a good tile saw when cutting up pattern bars. My little Home Depot special was not very good at it. I have a diamond blade on it, but it was difficult to cut the slices up thinly and evenly. Looks like someday I’ll have to invest in a better saw.

Since my slices were a bit thicker than wanted, I ended up using a base layer of thin clear glass, then two more layer of colored glass. I cut strips of glass that I placed around four of my pattern bar slices. Using three layers of glass in my design, I probably should have dammed the piece with some fiber paper to keep the shape. I thought maybe I could get away with it since the bottom layer was thin glass. However, you can see in the picture how the strip that had the pattern bar pieces in it is shorter than the rest.

There is also some kind of mark on one of the pattern bar slices. I was careful to put the pattern bar slices immediately into water as I cut them and gave them a good scrub and rinse. I have read that sometimes the grit and scum from grinding and cutting can cause this problem.

So now I will need to do some cold working. In other words, I will have to grind the sides even. Maybe use my hand pad sanders to buff out the mark, and add some clear frit over it. Then it’s back into the kiln for another firing.

2 thoughts on “Lessons from the Kiln

  1. Ellen says:

    Try soaking any cold worked piece in an equal mixture of hot water and white vinegar for at least 15 minutes before drying and refiring. Has worked very well for me.

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