Monday, March 9, 2015

New and Beautiful Technique from Bullseye Glass Company

To set my flat fused bottles apart from many other artist's flat fused bottles, I would sometimes apply bronze, silver and gold leaf to the back of the bottle. This jazzed up the clear bottles and set my work apart from the others. The metallic leaf gives an interesting shimmer to the look. Because it's not fired on, the bottles can't be washed. But I sealed the foil on the back, and it could be wiped with a damp cloth.

I was reminded of this when I went through my email last week. I'm on several email lists and often retail businesses are marketing the same things--one-time sales, deals, and specials. But that day I got a real treat from Bullseye Glass Company. It was this very detailed project using silver foil fired between two layers of glass (below). They even included a firing schedule! 

Because I haven't fired foil directly in the kiln, I decided to dig around on the internet to see what other people have said about it. And I'm glad I did. Silver can stain the kiln shelf THROUGH the glass and stain future projects with the ghost of the silver shape. The information I found didn't indicate if this happens even with using fiber paper, so that might prevent the staining. However, if the silver itself gets on the kiln anywhere, it will stick and stain any glass it comes in contact with during firing. So if the silver ions come in contact with the shelf, any glass that you place there and fire in the future will turn yellow. I haven't found any information about how to clean that off, either.

I do want to try this out sometime, but I will be extra careful.

May all of your scores run true!

2. Place silver between layers of paper and tear into strips. Layer the silver between Red and Clear sheet glass. Keep the silver away from the perimeter to minimize potential shelf contamination. Fuse the layers together.
3. Cut the fired sheet into jewelry components.
4. Coldwork the edges to smooth them. We used a small flat lap grinder.
5. Drill small holes with a rotary tool and a diamond coated drillbit. To open up or countersink the hole with a flame or conical-shaped diamond bit. This can help with stringing the finished piece. (See Drilling Small Holes in Jewelry and Ornaments for more information.)
6. Clean the drilled components, and then re-fire to firepolish according to the provided schedule. Note that cooler temperatures will maintain crisp edges, while hotter temperatures will achieve more softening. Fired effects will vary depending on the characteristics of the ground edges as well as how your kiln fires.

Suggested Fusing Schedule
300°F (167°C)1225°F (663°C):45
600°F (333°C)1425°F (774°C):10
AFAP900°F (482°C)1:00
100°F (56°C)700°F (371°C):00
AFAP70°F (21°C):00

Suggested Firepolishing Schedule
300°F (167°C)1000°F (538°C):30
600°F (333°C)1275-1325°F (691-718°C):10
AFAP900°F (482°C)1:00
100°F (56°C)700°F (371°C):00
AFAP70°F (21°C):00

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