Sunday, December 19, 2010

The biggest piece I have ever made!

A friend asked me if I could make a large (roughly 12x30") piece as a gift.  Well my kiln is big enough so I didn't consider any other factors and said sure!  After some planning and discussions we came up with a basic design that could be done with KL Board instead of purchasing or creating expensive ceramic molds.  Here is a basic rendering of the planned plate (The grays actually represent streaky glass but I was stretching capabilities of my software to get this far):

Now I had a plan and needed supplies.  Off to Ed Hoys for the glass and KL board (and of course a few other cool things).  I needed 2 sheets of streaky glass, roughly $70 / sheet.  If cutting went well I'd use about 1/3 of each sheet - but at that outlay it didn't occur to me to buy extras in case cutting went badly.   

Once I headed into the studio to start cutting the glass I panicked!  I have never tried to cut a single piece at that size before!  It took me two days to get the courage to cut the glass, and then only after making arrangements to go back to Eds for more if it went badly.  With my backup plan in mind I took a deep breath and began cutting.  SUCCESS!!!

Here is the raw base glass

Glass in the kiln before and after full fuse.  
After the full fuse I was thrilled... it came out just as planned.  Now the really fun part, cutting the KL Board and making the slump mold.  KL Board is excellent for this sort of thing.  It is not cheap, but if you make components you can reuse them in all sorts of combinations and that was my plan.   The only downside is that it creates a dust that you shouldn't breathe when you are cutting it, so on goes the mask and air filter.

Here is KL Board in the package and once I had cut it into strips:

finally i built the structure in the kiln and placed the cleaned glass on top:

The slump came out great!  

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