Friday, 14 March 2008

A Powder and Frit Fused Panel

An example of how the studio and equipment hire works in the studio occurred yesterday. A few weeks ago an artist from South West Scotland rang up and booked the kiln and a studio bench for a day. Thursday was agreed upon after discussion of her requirements. I essentially provided the space for her to realise her work in glass.

She worked with a sheet of 10mm float glass and powders which she over layed onto the glass with a small canister with a fine screen as the top. Throughout the day the image began to appear. The real difficulty in doing this work is judging the depth of colour that the powders will produce. Obvious piles of powder and frit will produce more dense colour, but it is not always easy to tell where the powder is thin, even when done over a light box.

This is the panel prepared and sitting in the kiln ready to fire.

We discussed the differing firing characteristics of our two kilns. Where she would go to 795C for a full fuse of float glass in her 400mm square kiln, I go to 835C for 40 minutes in my 2 metre kiln to get an invisible seal of two or more sheets of float. Since this was already a single layer, that temperature and soak was not necessary. She wanted a bit of texture, but not a rough one, so we settled on 825C for 10 mins. She was also unsure the effect of size, ca. 650 by 750mm and thickness in relation to the smaller work she does in her kiln. So we settled on a modification of Stone's schedule for 10mm glass - a little slower heat up and a little longer annealing soak (a lot longer actually).

I'm happy to say that when she came in this afternoon, she was pleased with the result.

The finished piece still in the kiln.

The piece came out of the kiln with a profile so that the frit pieces were noticeable, but not sharp or lumpy. Everything was fire polished and shiny. Notice how much brighter and more intense the colours are after firing. The variations in density of colour is related both to the thickness of the powder application and to the amount of frit applied. Some is more obvious than in other areas. Where she applied frit over the powder, small clear halos appeared. She had planned for this and compensated by applying more powder over the fritted areas.

This is one example of how I work with an experienced glass artist. Artists and enthusiasts who are not so experienced get a bit more involvement from me.

No comments: