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Winter Catch Up

Winter is a great time to catch my breath, work on new projects, and start to get caught up before show season starts again.  Not sure if any of these things are ever fully accomplished, but I try.  One product I have been working on for a few months is what I call "Broken Glass Bowls."  I first clean a bottle fully, then smash the bottle with a hammer.  This not only smashes the bottle into pieces, but serves as a great stress reliever.  

Once the bottle is smashed, I gather up all the broken bottle pieces and place them into the kiln in a circular pattern.  The kiln is then fired to about 1500 degrees for about 14 hours.  If things go well, I have what is called a "blank"  This is simply a flat sheet of glass that still maintains a "shattered" look.  It has taken many trial & error kiln sessions to get the right look. Until I got the right firing schedule, sometimes the glass came out in a puddle, other times it did not slump enough. Once the blank has cooled, I cold work the edges to remove any sharp areas, or burrs that remain. 

The blank then needs to be cleaned fully, and placed back in the kiln for another 14 hour session.  This time I place the blank in a bowl mold that will give it the curved edges.  After 14 hours, it comes out of the kiln an (hopefully) is a beautiful bowl like you see here:

Another concept very similar to the broken bottle bowls is what I call "Glass Nugget Bowl.  This is essentially the same process as above, but instead of shattering the bottle, I cut it up into small nugget sized pieces of glass.  Nipping all the glass pieces is a labor intensive process, but the results are stunning.  Have a look for yourself:


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