Making A Dichroic Cast Glass Pendant
In A Glass Fusing Mold
A fused dichroic cast glass pendant made from clear and black dichroic pieces, medium frit and clear fusing glass pieces.
The glass is kiln formed in a commercial casting mold and produces a pendant 1.1/8 inches wide x 2.25 inches long. Frit castings can also be made with this mold.
Small pieces of black dichroic are used to line the bottom of the mold, medium frit and small pieces of clear are placed over the dichroic .
Clear dichroic is then layered over the clear glass and frit.
The fused cast pendant can be made from Bullseye or System 96 .
There are a number of ways to make the small clear pieces you will need.
You can cut them with a glass cutter, break them off with grozing pliers or use wheeled nippers.
I find it is easier to use wheeled glass nippers as you can nip the pieces in half very quickly if you need to.
Safety glasses must be worn when cutting the small items. If you are using mosaic nippers cut along the edge of the glass so that you can control the size of the segmnts.
Try to hold your hand around the sheet so that the cut pieces fall into your hand.
If you have a pair of safety gloves wear one on the hand catching the glass, many nipped pieces will have needle sharp ends. Use tweezers when placing pieces into mold.
On a general note wheeled glass nippers are a very handy tool to have in your tool kit, glass rods can be nipped to length, pieces easily cut from glass edges, glass strips can be quickly cut into pieces, these are just a few of the jobs these nippers will do.
Wash and dry the scrap items before cutting, as it is very difficult to clean the cut pieces. Try not to hold the sheet in the areas that you are cutting.
For this project you will need the following:
Clear fusing glass
Clear medium frit
Wheeled mosaic nippers or grozing pliers.
Glass fusing kiln.
Proceed as follows:
Step 1. Apply kiln wash to fusing mold.
Step 2. Cut glass into pieces.
Step 3. Place black dichroic glass into bottom of dry mold, dichoric side uppermost.
Step 4. Put pieces pieces of clear glass and medium frit over bottom layer.
Step 5. Clear dichroic is then placed over the clear glass and frit layer. Cap this layer with more clear glass and medium frit to fill in the gaps.
Step 6. Build glass up towards the center of the mold to help counter shrinkage. This happens because the glass tends to compact down into the mold and may end up two thirds of its original thickness. Generally the smaller the pieces the less they will compact.
Step 7. Place mold into fusing kiln on small kiln posts to ensure air circulation around the mold and fire as follows for System 96,for Coe 90 increase by 25 F (15 C):
300 F (150C)/hour up to 1470 F (775 c).
Hold 30 minutes.
Check to ensure that glass is fully fused. If the glass is not completely smooth you may need to refire until it is smooth and level.
If glass fusing is complete turn off glass kiln.
Allow to cool to room temperature and then remove.
Check dichroic cast pendant for spikes as cast glass can quite often have spikes around the upper edge. If any spikes are present remove with grinder or abrasive pad.
Clean completely and place back in kiln, fire polish to remove abrasive marks. Do not place back in mold as the marks may not be removed if they are covered by the mold.
Use prepared kiln shelf for this process, monitor closely as the glass will spread if the pendant is over heated.
Once completed you should have an original piece of glass art with the layered pieces of dichroic cast glass clearly visible.
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