Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Full Week…

It’s been interesting.  A mix of good (and bad).  My mom suffered a TIA (It could have been worse), we hosted two Syrian nuns at our house (They’re peace activists working the lecture circuit), my brother-in-law was in town (he took us out to eat two nights in a row) and my dog ended up at the vets with severe pain (it turned out to be compressed disks in the spine).  She’s doing fine; heavily medicated with visions of the Cheshire Beagle.


Anyway…back to fusing!

I’ve been using a Slumpy’s 8 inch mini melt and have been abusing it as part of my learning process.  I’ve done about as many things wrong as I have done right but now I think the bowl is toast after about a half dozen melts.


Yup.  It’s cracked and ready to assume room temperature permanently.  The mini melt system is a great way to get into pot melts but it is kind of a one trick pony; there’s only one bowl made for it and it has only one hole.  I spent some time to consider my options on what to do next. 

If I went with ready a ready made pot melt system I’d potentially end up paying through the nose to get multiple bowls. Technically you should the same (or similar) colors for each bowl that you use otherwise your melts will end up muddy to black (like my last two did before the Mini melt bowl gave up its’ ghost). In addition I have a small kiln (Paragon Fusion 16 with a 6.5 inch max height) so my options on ready made melt systems are a bit more limited.  Delphi Glass looks like they have a pretty nice melt system that will fit into a shallow a kiln but then again I’m running into the cost of multiple bowls.

Now terra cotta pots would be a bit cheaper but the issue there is that I would have to chop off at least half of the pot in order to get it to fit into my kiln. I’d be paying extra and then throwing a good part of it away.

I needed a good compromise and I think I’ve found it.

I decided to try using 8 inch terra cotta saucers in conjunction with my still functional Slumpys 8 inch casting ring. 




Here is the result after a full fuse to get rid of the pig tails and thin the melt out.  It ended up being 8.5 inches in diameter after a full fuse.


Not to shabby. This is the 2nd melt I’ve done in this saucer and it seems to be holding up well so far.

Here is my next act.


Now these saucers only set me back 2.50 at Home Depot.  A regular flower pot would set me back 6 – 10 dollars because I would have to get a slightly bigger one and then cut the top two thirds of it off to get it to fit into my Kiln.  Ready made pots would set me back 12 – 20 bucks a piece.  If I can get these to last a half a dozen firings or more then these saucers are great deal.

But what’s the catch?

  • The first melt will suck up about 16 ounces of extra glass that will coat the bottom of saucer. With subsequent melts it’s all gravy.
  • You’re kind of limited on the total volume of glass you can safely put in there without the glass spilling over the sides of the saucer.  I’ve calculated you can safely put in enough glass for a 10 inch melt (maybe 11 inch if you push it)

But those are compromises I’m willing to accept for now.


Blogger Labels: Saucer,Mini Melt,Slumpys,Terra Cotta,Fusion,Glass

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