Wednesday, August 7, 2019

more work on the heron box

I've reassembled the mold for the box part of the heron piece, you'll remember it had broken in three pieces, and I'm ready to start filling it with glass.

you can see along the inside edge of the mold at the top some of the damage that it sustained

with the reservoir on top

I'm going to use some billet and some frit. 

frit left, billet right; same color

The difference between billet and frit is not just that one is solid and the other is crushed but also the amount of air that gets trapped and the resultant 'cloudiness'. A nice solid piece of glass will melt and not trap any air giving the piece clarity. Frit will trap zillions of air bubbles throughout the piece, the smaller the grain size, the more air trapped, giving the piece a more translucent look. So while I have cast a piece using all billet and pieces using using all frit I have never cast a piece using both so I have no idea, no vision in my head, how it will look re the intensity of the color and the amount of clarity or how even those qualities will be throughout, though since every surface of the box will have come in contact with the mold surface or been ground down, no part of it will have the smooth shiny surface of the billet. I finally settled on these percentages: 1/4 gray blue billet, 1/4 clear medium frit, and 1/2 gray blue fine frit, a little less than 6 1/2 pounds.

I didn't think all the glass was going to fit in the mold and reservoir but it did (that dark color in the center is the billet pieces peeking through) and now it's in the kiln. Won't know how it comes out til Monday, maybe.

This is the biggest box I've attempted so far. I've done them with the same length and width but not nearly as deep or if as deep then not nearly as long. The other components have been cast and washed but no finish work done on them yet and I still have to fix the piece for the top. The egg and sticks cast perfectly! Yay!

And the heron head inlay came out well I think except for the end of the beak which is not under fired but a form of devitrification, so one of my gurus tells me, probably because of too wet a mold, packed in too tight, too much intermingling of the silica in the glass and the silica in the mold. I'm hoping some cold work will remedy it good enough and I can avoid re-firing it.

All that glass that isn't egg or sticks or heron head has to be cut or ground off.

I'll be spending weeks on that part which is the cold work, the grinding off of excess glass, softening rough spots, and smoothing out all the surfaces. It will be anything but cold as I'll have to do that work over at the shop in, of course, the hottest part of the summer.


  1. This is quite something to follow. I feel like watching episodes of a captivating series. Wait! It is a captivating series.

  2. This is looking so beautiful, the heron's head is magnificent, I can't stop looking at it - so much skill here - happy cold (hot) working

  3. Wow, just wow! So much work goes into each individual component. I am off to the kitchen to fire up the oven and make a peach pie for Kevin. Kevin is terminal with stage 4 stomach cancer and if Kevin wants a peach pie, he shall have a peach pie and damn the heat! The entire community in my park has rallied and we all do the things that Kevin feels like doing, as it may well be the last time he can.

  4. Being an artist sure does require a lot of WORK!!! Of course it is called "work" but reading this gives a whole new meaning to the word. The results are stunning. Your work is always awesome.

  5. Thank you for sharing. i am new to "stuff from your head". Enjoying this thought process.

    1. welcome then. nice to have you along for the ride. I don't always talk about my work. there's lots of gardening posts and just general what I've been doing.

  6. This is all so fascinating, especially the part about about billet and frit. Glass work is such careful work, with such detailed artistry. It has a touch of science, too, doesn't it. Lovely pieces so far.

  7. I am so glad the sticks and the egg turned out well, and I think the heron head looks beautiful. Fingers crossed for the box mold itself!

  8. I love seeing your work process! And man that seems tedious - but maybe it's kind of meditative? That's how my crochet gets if I'm in the right frame of mind.

  9. This is going to be absolutely amazing~ What a lot of work!


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