Thursday, January 9, 2014

Now that was a fail (but redemption draweth nigh…)

The idea started out innocently enough.  I wanted to do another piece for the artists guild and decided to use the most eye poppingly colorful melt I had done and mount it in a 12 X 12 inch picture frame.  The plan was to add a border, tack fuse the piece on to a 3mm piece of clear glass and put the entire piece into the fame. 

I wanted to do a clear border and have pieces from another melt radiate out sort of like spokes on a wheel.  I picked out some clear glass from my hoard of blown glass and washed the pieces thoroughly.  Some of the chunks  were pretty big so I decided to break them up using a home made frit maker (I got the idea from a post on a glass forum).  now some of the glass was crushed into to small frit and I added some of that as well.  At the the time all the frit looked clean to be but as the cliché goes “appearance can be deceptive”.


Well the spokes didn’t melt (or look) like I thought they would and there were tiny dirty bubbles scattered throughout the border.  Pretty nasty looking!



After a brief expletive laden moment of fear, loathing, and panic I determined my best shot as salvaging the melt was to cut off the border using my glass cutter.  It was a little nerve racking but it wasn’t that hard to do. 


The pieces from the border ended up in file 13.  Here’s the piece after I ground the border.


I ended up going with the same collage border I had been recently using for some plates.


I think the results are a lot better!



So what happened with my frit maker.  Well when I read about it on a forum the idea sounded simple enough.  The frit maker consists of two pieces of galvanized pipe; one two inches in diameter with a cap on the end and a longer piece one inch in diameter also with a cap on the end. I put the glass in the bigger pipe and use the smaller pipe to crush the frit.  After re-reading the post, I see forgot to perform one step: I should have used a magnet to remove the bits of steel that got dislodged from the pipe during the crushing process.  That’s what made the frit “dirty”.  At least this explanation sounds good to me.


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