How to ........
On this page I will show you how I make some of my handmade designs. The pictures will show you the stages I go through to perfect my objects.
How to make a Daisy Bowl
First I take an A4 sheet of white glass and cut slender strips using my wonderful cutting system to make sure the lines are straight. I then cut these into little squares to make the mosaic edging. After that I choose the yellow beads that I have previously made for the flower centers and hand cut the petals for the flowers. The petals are curved but glass likes to crack in straight lines so sometimes this is challenging! Each flower has 7 petals and I have found that 11 flowers makes the most balanced design, so that is 77 hand cut petals!
Next I grind each of the 77 petals to shape using my electric grinder. Water is used to keep the glass cool and smooth the edges. This is not my favourite part of the process in winter when my workshop is chilly. I get very numb fingers! After that, each piece is cleaned and glued on. It is very important to wash away any impurities as even the grease from fingerprints can leave a mark after firing. Lastly I fill all the gaps with clear glass frit. This is made of tiny pieces of glass that enable me to make the surface level. I like to use a feather to make sure that the frit is in all the nooks and crannies.
Now it is time for the first firing. I place the decorated glass circle in my kiln for its first fuse. Here you can see that I don't waste space so I group together all the pieces I know will need the same amount of heat. The top temperature is 795 degrees and the glass will be in the kiln for 7.5 hours, during which time it will become liquid and fuse together. This is called a full fuse. I have an air vent in the kiln which I can peep into and see the glow.
Once the kiln is cool I put the circle of glass back in on a ceramic mould and re heat it. The glass melts and takes on the shape of the mould. This is called slumping. Let the kiln cool down and you have a daisy bowl.