All glass artist have buckets ( or dustbins) of left over glass. Left over bits of cut cathedral glass or fusing glass is always good for mosaics ,smaller projects and such like. But if you, like me, struggle with ways of using the piles of fired fused glass, maybe these few suggestions might help.
We all have disasters with fused projects that have gone pear shaped- thermal shock, wrong annealing program or just plain didn’t like the finished article. Often, the issue and fear of re-using the glass, is concern that the stress caused from previous incorrect firing/annealing, will result in breaks/cracks in any piece made from it.
I have been doing a number of tests on stress damaged fusing glass and have been quite pleased with this particular method, whilst not original or new , it is still fun to do and the results interesting.
I cut out a circular ring from small kiln shelf to act as a hot dam and lined it with fibre paper. Then I broke up about 2500g of scrap fused glass and put it in a pot melt vessel suspended above the hot dam. I put in a slow ramp and annealing program and went to a target temperature of 920c- held for 1 hour. After allowing for the kiln to come down to 30c ( resist opening early)- I removed the spiral cast , set up a drop- out mold and used a slow ramp/annealing program again for slumping -target temperature -677c held for 1 hour. The thickness of the spiral blank was 18mm which meant I could go for a high drop ( 18cm). The resulting pattern structure which is drawn out from the spiral cast can be very interesting ( see photo).
There is no evident cracks within the piece and I cannot detect any stress areas. I will be doing some cold work on it this week ( grinding and polishing) and will show the finished work next week. So far I’ve made six slump bowls and three drop outs using old fused glass and all have come out OK. That pile of old fused glass is getting smaller.
Anyone who requires further info ( firing programs for example) please get in touch.