Fusing glass rods
September 5, 2008 at 4:02 pm #9180
This is my first post so I hope that this goes through as it is supposed to.
I have a project coming up that will be weaving glass for a bowl. I had thought to use soft glass maybe Morretti glass which is softer than Bullseye or even Boro which is harder than Bullseye. Any suggestions?September 5, 2008 at 4:29 pm #10648
I have woven glass bowls with both harder and softer glasses with no problems at either end of the hardness spectrum. I use a rippled piece of stainless steel to form the strips, then weave them together.
If you are concerned about how the hardness affects the wearability/usability of the bowl, I haven’t had problems there.
There may be someone who can talk to the specific benefits of each type of glass– I really haven’t encountered too many issues except to remember to adjust the temperatures for the specific glass. Oh, I have had some concern with Bullseye and refirings– sometimes I will fuse a specific element in the strips. The second firing has sometimes come out devitrified. I think it may well be a firing schedule issue rather than the glass since I don’t consistantly have the problem.
The one issue I had with using stained glass (rather than glasses that are specifically meant for fusing/melting) is to be careful about the iridescent coatings on the glass. Because some are created with hazardous metals, I worry about leeching into the food that could be placed in the bowl.
I know I probably didn’t offer anything of use, but good luck with your project.September 5, 2008 at 5:23 pm #10649
Are you just wanting to use the Moretti rods because they’re softer? (Moretti = 104 COE) It seems to me that using rods would be more expensive than using regular sheet glass. The effect sounds like it would be nice, but it seems like the rods will flatten out some during the multiple fusings, so I’m not sure of the advantage of using them. I guess if you were just slumping them and had a lot of control over your heat, they might end up more rounded than sheet.
Boro would be stronger. With a COE of around 32, it would also be more heat-resistent. I love the way that colors of Boro react, so they might be some interesting design results there. But last time I bought Boro rods, they seemed much more expensive than Moretti.
I also fused Moretti sheet, millefiore elements, and some lampworked items once, and used the same firing schedule I’d been using for System 96. My project came out in a big blob…I should’ve used a specific firing schedule for Moretti because it got way too hot. I’ve never seen a fusing schedule for Boro.
Will your bowl be more decorative, or for heavy use?September 8, 2008 at 3:41 pm #10650
Thanks for the replies. Where does one find the rippled piece of stainless for the weaving? What temperatures should I use for Boro? I’m leaning more towards the Boro as it may give the piece a more durable usage later. I’m also interested in the possible looks of the Boro. Another question. Where would I go to get a good color chart for Boro?
LaNita & CompanySeptember 8, 2008 at 3:43 pm #10651
This piece is a contracted piece for a coffee table but I’m sure will end up being used for something.
LaNita & CompanySeptember 9, 2008 at 7:29 pm #10652
The place I got my stainless mold is Fraser Kiln http://www.fraserkilnmolds.com/WeavingMolds.html. However, I noticed that Slumpy’s also is carrying them.
When I saw them at Fraser, I seriously looked into stainless roofing material that is wavy. I had a local roofer who was willing to cut a piece for me out of extra material, but it turned out that he had long pieces that were only 3-5 inches in width.
Certainly, you can simply lay the rods/strips on top of each other and fuse, but I like the ability to interweave the colors and come up with variations that can sometimes be surprising.
I also found some wavy stainless steel soap dishes at one of the local bath stores and have used that with good success for smaller pieces.
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