I'm a fused glass artist and I love to create things.
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Often Unpredictable Results in Glass Fusing

This piece was a custom request from my cousin and my best attempt in making a fused glass King Tut. This was probably one of my most involved pieces, and also one of the weirdest end results. Let me begin........

I was really playing with different ideas about the colors to use as there is not an actual "gold" glass that would work. I decided on a marigold color and had another "idea" in the works. So I got down to business and cut each piece of glass by hand and layered the glass to make this design. This took a few days to get the pieces just right. (make sure to click on pictures for close-ups)

Then, into the kiln to cook at 1500 degrees (another day passed). This is how it looked after coming out of the kiln:

Next, came my "idea". I wanted to paint King Tut with a liquid gold. This liquid comes in a teeny tiny bottle of just 2 grams (& is a bit pricey, I might add). After you apply the gold (which is actually a dark liquid brown color) to the glass, it then is heated in the kiln w/air vent to burn off the organic components, leaving behind a thin ‘bright’ film of 22 karat gold. Now, I have used this before on ceramics and also on glass, although when I used it on glass previously, I only brushed a VERY small amount onto the glass to highlight certain areas. In fact, that little bottle I purchased lasted me for years. Since I wasn't sure how much I would be using on the King Tut piece, I went ahead and purchased another bottle. Now, you would think I wouldn't be hasty and just use practically an entire bottle of this stuff on this piece without looking into it first. (Again, you would "think"). I really saw no harm in painting the entire thing with a thick layer of this dark brown liquid gold. So, into the kiln it goes again. Here's a picture of what it looked like before the gold gets fired. I was sooooo excited..........

.........until I opened the kiln:

Nooooooooooooo - this did NOT just happen!!!!!!
OK, the color looks great. The breakage, not so much. I tried to take it in stride and hoped to piece it back together w/o a hitch. Not so easy. Seeing my frustration, the hubby said it would make it look more ancient this way (I wasn't buying it!). I did end up gluing, setting, filling, re-painting, and finally framing. The end result:

Perfect - no.
Ancient looking - maybe.
Cousin happy - we'll see this weekend.
Lesson learned about using this stuff in excess....... f*%king priceless!


For Quilts Sake said...

Oh no! You did a great job fixing it...the final product looks great!

Marg said...

I know the feeling, I did a loud oh no when I followed this down and saw the broken king.
Great recovery,ain't fusing fun

Deb DiSalvo said...

lol Marg! It is fun! :)

Amy Lilley Designs said...

You are a funny girl...(do I see a Streisand profile in your future??)...I think the great king looks just that GREAT...you get points for a massive recovery effort and quite a stunning result...if your cousin's not happy, call me (I'm sure she'll love it)...LOL!

Ruth said...

Great fix! I don't even see the cracks.

Chrisbeads said...

Stunning work! You do some amazing stuff and the recovery of this piece is awesome. Love your work.

Anna said...

Amazing piece Deb! Is it me or does he look a little surprised to be broken in that one photo?! :)

Suzie said...

Hello, I love your King Tut, turned out great. I have a question about liquid gold. I used it twice on clear wine bottles and the 2nd time I vented the kiln til it reached 950 deg F and both bottles turned out more bluish/purple. You can see the gold on 1st one if you turn it at an angle and the 2nd one gold is visible at all angles. I was told to vent the kiln to prevent this but where did things go wrong?

Thanks for your time.


Suzie MacDonald