I meet great people with wonderful ideas when I go to Warrandyte Market.  This is such a story.

I’m going to share with you the Step by step to Scarlet Joy.  Here are different plates that I make.  A lovely customer came up to me and asked me to make her a special platter as a centrepiece for a special event in her home.   She wanted the centre feature from Distant Horizons (shown above) and the scarlet out side as seen in Red Heiroglyphics:

Red Heiroglyphics by Jenie Yolland

We discussed the design further and another design was born!  In order to produce the work I needed to create the centre pattern.  To do this I fully fuse some art glass “stringers” into a sheet of clear art glass.

Stringers in deep turquoise

You can see how fine the stringers are.  They are like very leads in pencils.  Stringers are available in an enormous number of colours.  Anyway, I line up the stringers on a clear piece of glass using graph paper as my guide ensure that the stringers are consistently perpendicular .  (I forgot to show you this step.)

Tack fused stringers on clear glass

I then put the glass into the kiln for a tack fuse.  That is when the glass doesn’t completely melt flat into the base glass but only slightly melts into it.  You can see that there is still some dimension left on the surface of the glass above.

Now that the centre feature is finished, I get a full sheet of glass (which comes to me 1220mm x 610mm) and cut it down to the size of the work on order.  In this instance it is 350mm x 200mm.  I cut using just a regular oil filled glass cutter, a square edged ruler and running pliers.

Sometimes the glass comes with an uneven edge (this is because it is double  machine rolled – somewhat like rolling out pastry – more on this in another blog, if requested.

You will notice that between the scarlet on the internal edge and the clear there is a single deep turquoise stringer that was part of the new design.

Once this has been washed and dried and reconstructed, this “blank” is put into the kiln to full fuse.  This firing schedule depends on your own kiln.    My full fuse works really well at 766 degrees, but other people need to take their kilns to 804 degrees to achieve full fuse.  Each person who does this keeps a log book of what works and what doesn’t in their kilns.  It may depend on where an item sits in the kiln etc etc.

Ok, now you have a clean dry finished work, but it is perfectly FLAT!  This is not what the customer wanted so when I am 100% happy with my finished blank – I select a mold and put the work onto the ceramic mold.  The molds are made specifically for art glass and they have tiny holes in the base to let the air escape.  Let me know if you want to know more about glass molds.  There are millions to choose from and you can make your own with some fabulous new products.

A shelf of molds in my studio 2012

When the glass slumps into the internal shape of the mold.  To do this I put the kiln on to a much lower temperature than for the full fuse.  The glass just needs to soften to take the shape, it doesn’t need to fully melt to incorporate other pieces of glass.   In my kiln, I take this only to about 676 degrees and sometimes less than that depending on the thickness of the glass and the glass type.

And the next thing you know – voila it is ready to sell.  I put a sticker on it and wrap it ready for my customer to collect…..and then, if your customer is truly really delighted she will send you a photograph of it being used on that special day!   Thanks Jennifer.

So that’s it.  That’s how an idea becomes a modern functional object!




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