Glass fusing part 2

For those of you waiting with baited breath for the glass fusing results from the kiln, here is the resulting bowl.

It all came together nicely and we are quite pleased with our first attempt.

glass fused dish

Glass Fusing

glass fusing kilnHaving enjoyed our glass fusing course, we have bought a kiln. This is it, sitting on its homemade stand, made from the wooden pallet used to deliver glass.

So far we have tried some fusing, bottle slumping, bead making and bubble making with baking soda. Results have, on the whole, been quite interesting. Only the bubble making has proved a little problematic. I clearly used too much baking soda, resulting in massive exploding glass bubbles, rather than the desired small trace bubbles. All good fun.



Some before and after pictures:

Before firing:                                   After:                                      Close up of exploding bubbles:

glass fusing before

glass fusing bubbles 2

glass fusng bubbles








glass fused bowl before slumpingThe green plate above is going to be my first slumped bowl. This is how it looks at the moment, after the initial firing from above.

It is now sitting in its slumping mould. It is all a bit experimental. I have made the mould from vermiculite sheeting, carved into shape using my woodcarving chisels.

Come back tomorrow to see whether or not it becomes a bowl after firing tonight, or alternatively a new style of molten glass lump stuck to a sheet of vermiculite. Fingers crossed.


Solving a problem with a Soggy Bottom

Soggy bottoms are not just the preserve of the Great British Bake Off. As a consequence of bouncing along lanes and roads worse even than today’s pot holed surfaces, an 82 year old Austin Seven can also suffer a sagging rear end.

This year the time came to address the problem, with a new set of springs. So far I have only fitted the rear set, the main culprit for Mildred’s problems.

Come some nice spring (no pun intended) weather, when I can once again comfortably sit in the drive without risk of my own soggy bottom, I will replace the front one too.

These pictures show the dramatic change before and after, with Mildred now sitting about 5cm higher on fresh, taut springs:

austin seven springs

austin seven springs








In between these 2 pictures was about 7 hours of pushing, wrenching, levering, heating and bolting. With new pins, nuts and bolts replacing the old parts.

All in all, very satisfying. For those interested, there are a few more detailed pictures below of the chassis rail after removal of the old spring, the new pin compared to old, and the new spring being eased into place, with the pin not quite in alignment yet and in need of some persuasion.

austin sevenaustin seven spring pinIMG_20150706_112550

Fused Glass work

We are always interested in learning new craft skills. Working with glass has always particularly interested us, perhaps because it is so permanent. The colours will never fade, the finish will never tarnish and it will never wear. It also makes use of light to show itself off and light is a wonderful natural thing.

Having said that, glass is a very difficult material to work with, both because it is inherently breakable and limited in what you can produce shape wise, and because there is a firing process that changes what you have assembled. Some glass, like pottery glaze, also changes colour on firing.

Whilst visiting a farmers’ market a couple of weeks ago we stumbled upon this lady and within a week were on an ‘introduction to fused glass’ course. We had a great day with her, and only 1 other student, who had some previous experience. We were therefore able to compress our ‘introduction’ and move on quickly to some more advanced work.

fused glass finishedI made 2 pieces on the course. The first was an ammonite. This was made from a flat piece of lace glass, overlaid with coloured ‘segments’. It then had fibre board placed behind it to give embossed grass shapes. I then added green ‘strings’ to the front to add some accent to the grass. The pictures below show work in progress to achieve the final fired result above.

fused glass workfused glassIMG_20151210_140300