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!