If you know me on Facebook, then you know I’ve recently acquired a kiln, and set up shop, creating fused glass at home. It’s a Paragon benchtop kiln. I don’t have a picture of it yet, but that link will take you to a similar kiln, although mine doesn’t have elements in the top.
I hate to disappoint, but this isn’t about my first fusing in my new kiln. That will come later.
This is about a class I took in March at Aquila Glass School. It’s called Fused Glass 2: Squares and Rectangles, and follows the Intro To Fusing class I took in January. I had to wait over a month because I needed a class that was scheduled on a Saturday, since it’s my only guaranteed day off. I was pretty excited when I went.
I think the second class is better than the first, largely because you get control over what you’re making. You select a piece of glass from Aquila’s supply, and the instructor cuts you a 6 inch wide strip. From there, you make decisions about what you want to make. There’s a 6×6 piece, which can be a sushi dish, a square plate (in a couple forms) or a bowl (in a couple forms). Then you get a 4×6 piece, which is usually a plate, sushi dish, or a business card holder. Then there’s a 4×4 inch piece, which is the same options as the 6×6.
I ended up with a beautiful piece of what Bullseye calls their cranberry pink. I didn’t realize it when I grabbed it, but it was iridescent. Irids are popular, they’re a metal coating sprayed onto a piece of glass that give it one of three luster finishes: silver, gold, or rainbow. Cranberry pink only has one coating: rainbow. Below are 2 swatches of colour, taken from Bullseye’s online store: the first shows the pink (bottom right is what it looks like fired), and the second is the irid coating. That swatch looks really orange, and it’s not.
After I got my glass, I had to learn to cut it, and then design the pattern I wanted. I went a little overboard the first time, and wanted to do something more complicated than my limited skills allowed. So I settle for a basic idea: plates bisected by a dark grey stripe. Here’s what they looked like before firing:
I know, they don’t look like much. They came out much, much cooler.
Here’s the stack of fused glass plates after fusing and slumping.
And Here’s a few closeups of the actual plates. Don’t mind the lousy photo backdrop, that’s my deck railing, which is almost as old as I am. We had a sunny day, and I took advantage of it with my crappy phone camera.
Notice how the 4×6 is gold, and the others have a faint purple tint? That’s the irid, with the rainbow coatings. They’re not uniform, so your rainbow tint will start blue on one side, and end up gold on the other. Nature of glass. Makes for interesting sets though, when you can follow the gradient across.
Irid doesn’t photograph very well. It’s tough to capture the changes in colour, but I tried. The last two photos are the 4×6 with the gold irid, and my 6×6 with the purple/blue irid.