Fused Glass: Puddles!
Our First Fused Glass Projects <3
Randy and I went to our first class at Creative Escape Glass in Springfield, MO. We were excited about glass fusing, but not sure what to expect. We signed up for two projects on this first visit, frit fused cabs in a mold, and puddles. The artist that helped us make these projects was very fun and helpful, and I stalk her on Instagram where she shares her beautiful pottery! ( I gotta get me one of her cicada mugs!!!) The owner wasn't in the studio that day, but I felt we were in very good hands.
Our first project, pictured above, was frit layered into a mold for fusing. I didn't get pictures, but what we did is we layered the frit into a mold very similar to this one, that had been sprayed with 2 coats of ZYP Boron Nitride to keep the glass from sticking.
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Our second project during this visit to the studio was to make puddle cabs: a two step process where you stack, fuse, smash, and fuse a final time. These puddle cabs will be the featured project for this blog entry.
We started off by cutting 2" squares from bins of scrap glass, so I'm not certain of that color names we used, but I am fairly certain that all the glass is bullseye brand 90 COE.
We used a morton cutting system and a collection of pistol grip glass cutter, grozing pliers, and running pliers (shown below) to cut out our shapes.
We then stacked the squares and left them to be fused. I don't know what the firing schedule was, as that was done by the studio owner, but here is how they came out:
Randy's puddle is the completely blue tone glass on the left, and mine (Yvonne's) is on the right; I was Not expecting the milky/cream glass to turn this salmon red color when fired, so I have made a note to myself in our own budding glass studio to be Very careful with labeling/storing striker glass separately to avoid these kinds of surprises.
The next step was to literally smash the glass wrapped in a towel with a 4lb sledge on a small anvil. We got a bit of video of the smashing, but as this is my first blog post -ever- I'm not sure how to put a video in, so we'll save that for a future post ;)
After smashing the glass, we used a glass grinder very similar to this one to make so that some of the puddle shards would sit on their side without toppling over. Even with our efforts to make flat bottoms, some pieces still fell over in the kiln while fusing.
We also had prepped some unglazed ceramic tiles with 5 layers of kiln wash, each layer applied in a different direction with a very wide haik brush. This keeps the glass from sticking to the tile, which we were using as a small portable kiln shelf.
Kiln shelf, Haik Brush, and Kiln wash
This is how the smashed pieces of puddle looked from the top and side before firing.
Randy's Puddles before firing
Yvonne's Puddles before firing
We were not present for the 2nd firing of the puddles so I don't know what the firing schedule was, but the term "full fuse" came up a lot.
One of the kilns at the studio that I am interested in investing in for our home studio is the Jen-Ken Kiln - AF3P ProFusion Fiber 16 which I have found a similar kiln online from one of my favorite glass companies, Delphi Glass, with the very nice TAP controller. Hopefully we'll be able to welcome this kiln to the family before too long!
We returned to the studio the following week to pick up our finished puddles, and we are immensely pleased with how they came out! We will be including these First Time Puddles in our Jumbo Craft Along Kits for March, 2020.
Thank you for stopping by!
Like I mentioned, this is my first-ever blog post so I am really excited to start exploring this new medium of sharing crafty shenanigans with yall! If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comments below, and if you'd like to support our work and join our Craft Along Club, check us out on Patreon
3/13/2020 07:18:28 pm
Beautiful pieces. I’m so smitten with glass. My sisters fiancé just gave me a kiln I intend to play with once my house remodel is completed! 😁
3/13/2020 07:27:13 pm
Interesting kiln! I am only used to the ceramics kiln, and the idea of an "upside down" one was intriguing! Thanks for sharing your class as I love learning about new things!
3/13/2020 07:46:31 pm
Wow, those look beautiful!
3/13/2020 09:15:31 pm
How amazing! You two did such a wonderful job and each piece turned out beautifully. It's going to be a fun journey watching your skills grow and grow over time. Thank you for sharing of yourself and your work! xo
3/13/2020 10:05:17 pm
This looks amazing. Thank you for sharing. I can't wait to see what you do next.
Thank you much for sharing these new adventures, Yvonne and Randy. How I wish I were 30 years younger and able to have a go at all these different crafts but being able to share the process with you guys like this is a wonderful experience. Where I live there are no opportunities for classes in these things and travelling isn't an option any more so I am incredibly grateful for the Internet which allows me to explore by proxy! I am really looking forward to seeing how your glass work progresses and maybe even having the chance to purchase some of your awesome creations in the future. It sure looks like a lot of fun 😉😊
3/14/2020 08:15:05 am
Just love how you explained each step. Had no idea how this process was accomplished. Thank you for your willingness to teach us along with your learning process. You are so open to new ideas is why I think you make a great teacher. Looking forward to maybe getting some of yours and Randy's work. Great job on your first blog.
3/14/2020 08:36:22 am
3/14/2020 08:08:16 pm
Those puddles are so pretty ❤
3/15/2020 01:19:00 pm
If you are willing to travel to Georgia, check out William Holland Lapidary school in Young Harris, Georgia. They have glass fusion classes AND you get to work their kilns! They also have classes on chain mail, cold fusion, wire wrapping, etc. Call or write for their catalog. If you come to Young Harris, ga. Give me a call anytime, would love to show you around our little town. (706) 400-0636 Carolyn Brown
3/15/2020 08:19:16 pm
Oh WOW !! I love how they all turned out :). Very interesting to see the steps to finished beauty. I think the surprise red added a special touch.
3/15/2020 09:23:34 pm
Gorgeous!!!! And....what else can be said?
3/15/2020 11:18:46 pm
Sounds like y’all had so much fun ty for sharing the glass is beautiful
3/16/2020 02:56:58 pm
This was such a great post! I've always been fascinated by glass but have yet to try it (mostly because of the cost/time), so it was cool to get to see the process. I love your puddles - the colors are gorgeous - and can't wait to see what else you create.
3/18/2020 03:03:36 pm
Hi Von, Randy, and Family. I'm so glade you found Delphi. I've been with them for many years. I've never had any problems,or breakage. they ship fast, and are great on the phone.Before you get another kiln. As the owner of 4 kilns all different sizes. 1 was for pottery I've been a potter for 31yrs. i only remember that / when my son was born. Anyway look at the next size up or one that can do other things. Like taller? i used my pottery kiln for years. Then I got a small one great but i wanted a little bigger one. See where I;m going. :) I must go still not feeling that great. Enjoy the glass & never limit what you want to do with it. Like you have a choice.you will want to try them all. Love you all even the nwbes... Sam will be fine. Crap I hope this makes sence
4/14/2020 11:57:12 pm
Hi there. I just saw your most recent video on cleaning bead release from your beads. Congratulations--Lampworking is totally addictive. Many of us use our dremels for cleaning the release from inside the beads. It only takes about 20-30 seconds per bead. It still has to be done when the bead is wet and I always clean and oil my dremel afterward. I've been torching for a couple of years and I wish I'd started when I was your age. I'm 70 now and crafting more than I ever have.
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Yvonne Williams is an artisan educator and Craft-Addict who currently resides in South Western Missouri. As lead designer of Back to Earth Creations, she specializes in Mixed Media with focuses on Wire wrapping, polymer clay, chainmaille,and leather working. With the help of her partner in all things, Randy, she runs two youtube channels, active social media accounts, hosts weekly livestreams and monthly auctions, and manages a small urban homestead.