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Irid-on-Irid Project Overview & Materials
Now you can put your understanding of iridized glass to use in a fused glass project.
To complete this project, you’ll need the following:
Basic fusing tools:
As with most glass fusing projects, you’ll need a glass cutter and a kiln. It is important that you fire this project on a kiln washed (primed) shelf without any shelf paper or fiber paper in the kiln. This is explained in the section on firing the glass.
You need two pieces of iridized glass where each is the size of the finished work. In the example shown here we use two 6 x 10 inch (15 x 25 cm) pieces.
The best results are usually achieved using a clear iridized layer and a colored iridized layer. Avoid using glass where the glass color and iridized color are low contrast. For example, amber glass with a gold iridized surface rarely produces satisfying results. Using a clear iridized glass on top of a black iridized glass almost always works well. When making large projects, consider small tests to ensure that you will be happy with the results.
Materials used to protect areas of iridized surface during blasting are called "resists."
While there are heavy-duty vinyls manufactured for this purpose, they are really overkill for this technique. Iridized surfaces are very thin and light sandblasting removes them quickly. For this project, masking tape and white (Elmer’s style) glue are ideal and inexpensive.
Sharp craft knife:
For cutting your design in masking tape, nothing beats a new craft blade. Dull blades will tear the tape, leaving rough edges.
Most glass sandblasters use either aluminum oxide or silicon carbide (carborundum) as blasting medium. For this project, you must use aluminum oxide. Silicon carbide fractures glass at a microscopic level and usually results in an unattractive haze when blasted surfaces are sandwiched between layers of glass (as we do here).
With everything we need ready to go, let’s start the project!