Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Casting Pendants from Glass Frit and Powder

Every Star, Every Planet, cast fused glass pendant

I decided to do step-by-step photos of the process of making a small frit and glass casting in my new pendant mold. In the spring I did mold casting for the first time of small teardrop pendants. The new trillion shaped mold is larger and deeper, giving me more ability to layer and have more depth and interest in the pieces.

Glass powder, frit and cut pieces of dichroic glass being layered in the mold. The blue color is the kiln wash that must be brushed or sprayed on the mold and allowed to dry before adding glass.

First mold covered in fine, clear frit, second mold being composed with black powder and glass pieces, including some coarse clear dichroic frit. You can just see the edges of the fiber paper I layered on top of the base layer of powder in the second pendant to make a channel. I covered the paper  with a bit more powdered glass, then a solid piece of dichroic glass. A solid piece of clear will go on top before the clear frit.

Clear frit mounded up on both pieces. You get a lot of shrinkage as the glass melts, and it's easier to do some final addition of frit after you have carried the mold to the kiln. I clear up any stray bits with a small, soft artist paint brush.
Here is the second pendant with the channel for a cord. These both turned out to have a lot of tiny, tiny bubbles, which I love the look of in these dark pieces, because they remind me of looking up at the night sky out in the country or a view of a distant galaxy. I went up to 1550 degrees on these firings and kept them between 1450 and 1550, looking frequently, to soak for around 15-20 minutes. (I don't have firing schedule/temperature controls on my small jewelry kiln.)
Two more pieces with approximately the same process, except that I used all frit and no base of powder for the aqua one. I think for my next firing I will go up just a tad higher, then soak it a little longer and see what effect it has on the bubbles.
Pendants "In My Galaxy" and "Every Star, Every Planet" are now available in my Etsy shop

This post appears on HopeStudios blog with lots of other cool stuff, including a recipe for a chickpea pot pie that looks really tasty! Also linked here and here.

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