Tuesday, September 15, 2009


My wife claims I'm a hoarder. I don't think I am. Especially not after seeing the crazy TV shows about clean houses, hoarders living in/with cat feces, and the like. But I do tend to keep a lot of stuff around that I might, however little that chance might be, use sometime in the future.

This piece shows how I used two of those carefully packed away "treasures". I'd been glass blowing for a while, but wanted something I could work with at home. Blowing glass at home isn't for the faint of heart nor the weak of wallet. So I got a little 13" octagon kiln and started playing with fused glass.

One of the very first pieces we made was a slumped plate using a lot of scrap strips on a transparent green base. I say we - as in "my wife and I", she was all gung ho at first, but she lost interest pretty quick. Once it was fused and slumped the plate wasn't all that wonderful. It was dog-boned in as we'd heated too long, too high temperature, and all the other myriad mistakes one makes when starting out. It was an OK plate, but it fell into one of my "I have a use for this someday" tubs.

On a side note, I keep everything in those blue plastic tubs you get at any of the big box stores these days. I watch for sales and bought them by the dozen. I have about 20 of these filled with Christmas decorations, and another half a dozen or so filled with the outdoor holiday decorations. These are not part of the "Jeff hoards everything" collection. There are about 30 or so tubs stacked in the pole barn - they do stack quite well - filled with "stuff".

Another item in one of the "cool glass things I may use one day" tubs, is the small pyramid shown in the picture above. I cast this in a mold I have out of glass powders. I should have known better but it shrank quite a bit as the powders melted. I knew that. But it didn't turn out quite as big as I wanted - can't even remember the project it was going to be used for anyway - so I put it away for future contemplation.

I found the two items one day and had this crazy thought - could I fuse the pyramid to the plate. So I sawed off the dog-boned edges of the plate, turning a 12" square into about a 10.5" square but was able to save the pattern. I loaded the plate in the kiln on the slumping mold and contemplated the firing schedule. I was worried about the pyramid deforming and that would just be ugly. I set the thing to ramp up very slowly and go to a very low tack fuse point. I then watched it carefully to make sure it didn't deform. The piece had to have a very long anneal cycle. So I waited patiently until the next day and it did survive. There is some slight rounding on the edges of the pyramid, but not too bad. The pyramid is solidly fused to the plate. I can't tell if there is significant stress, but its been through about 9 months of sitting out on the shelf, including two periods of no heat (don't ask), and seems to be surviving OK.

It will probably end up back in the "what the heck I'm I going to do with this thing" tub pretty soon as it still isn't one of my favorite pieces, but it did show the way for some sculptures I've been pondering.
Anyway, I found it

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