A Multi-Step Process
Warm glass is about the reaction of fusible art glass as it is heated to kiln-forming temperatures of up to 1500⁰(F). While that reaction is generally predictable, the varying properties of the specific glass and the exact firing conditions make each firing unique. This 9 ½” square plate is made from more than 40 pieces of 4 different kinds of glass. What you see here is the result of 4 separate kiln firings taking over 50 hours of firing time.
Starting with a Pattern Bar
The organic design of color in the center of the plate is created from a pattern bar. The bar itself is approximately 30 strips of glass in three colors (black, white, and red) that are fused together to form a 2” x 6” x 1” glass brick. Firing time: 16 hours.
Cold Working the Pattern Bar
It is the profile of the bar that is of interest, so the bar is cut into 10mm slices using a diamond bladed tile saw. Once the design layout of the slices is determined, a glass grinder is used to square and smooth the edges of each slice so they fit together nicely in the center of the plate. Finally, a series diamond pads are used to smooth the surfaces of each slice.
Making the Base Plate
The second firing creates the “blank” or base plate. To complete the plate, three layers of glass (clear, black, red) are wrapped around the organic color design. Firing time: 14.5 hours.
The base plate is fired with the top (clear) side down. After some additional cold working to smooth and round the edges of the base plate, it is fired again face up “fire” polishing it to a glossy finish. Firing time: 11.5 hours.
Forming the Plate
The fourth and final firing is to shape the plate by slumping it into a hardened clay mold. Firing time: 11 hours.
The Final Product!