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Long and Short Strips

Like the other strip cut projects I’ve done, it’s important to cut the pieces precisely in order to achieve the end effect. Here are all of the Dark Amber Tint and French Vanilla pieces. You can see the scrap just off the cutting mat to the left. The thinnest strips are only 1/4″ wide in order to make the finished piece as thin and light as possible. I wasn’t able to get all the strips to break along the scores.

All the Pieces

Grind It

In order to minimize the scrap, I salvaged some of the pieces by simply grinding off anything crooked. I used the Glastar All Star G8 Grinder.

Glastar Grinder

Start Construction

The construction of the piece is very straightforward. The tallest pieces of vanilla are on the left. The tallest pieces of amber are on the right. In the middle section, the amber and vanilla are the same height.

Start of Construction

Closeup of End

On the right side of the platter, the amber pieces are taller than the vanilla. At fusing temperature when the glass flows, the amber will flow and partially cover the vanilla.

Closeup of Construction

Entire Piece

All the strip cut pieces are in place, bounded by a 1/8″ thick and 1/4″ tall strip of fiber paper. The paper will keep the molten glass from sticking to the dams. The dams contain the glass and prevent it from flowing and spreading. I cut these dams and the 10″x20″ mullite shelf on my 7″ tile saw specifically for this project.

Finished Construction

The Finished Construction

The platter isn’t even fused and it’s already photogenic.

Closeup of Construction

In the Kiln

The half size shelf was so much easier to lift and place in the middle of the kiln. This baby is ready to fuse.

Into the Kiln

After the Fuse

As usual, in my excitement to look at the fused piece, I forgot to take a picture of it in the kiln. This closeup of the fused project shows needling at the edges where the glass came into contact with the fiber paper. It crept up the taller paper to create these tiny points. Although I knew this would happen, I didn’t want to make the fiber paper any shorter than 1/4″.


Grinder to the Rescue

The lapidary grinder at Bullseye Glass’s Open Studio in Pasadena is my favorite piece of equipment when it comes to a straight edge. I start with the 60 grit wheel to do the shaping of the edge, then progress to 120, then 270, and finally the 600 grit to give the edges a matte finish.

Lapidary Grinder

Shaped Edges

Here’s a closeup of the coldworked edge: rounded with a perfect matte finish.

Smooth Matte Edge

Opposite End

A view of the other end of the platter.

Another View of the Edges

Ready to Slump

Just about finished with this piece. Back into the kiln one more time on a Rectangular SlumperĀ mold (8925) coated with shelf primer.

Ready to Slump

After the Slump

As hoped, the rounded edges took on a high gloss during the slump. The overall dimensions of the finished platter are 5″ x 15″, and a little more than 1/4″ thick.

Glossy Edges

Final Result

The wow factor in this finished piece completely relies on accurate strip cuts right at the start and then damming them into a tight rectangle. I think the gradient from mostly vanilla to mostly amber has a warm and subtle feeling of flow that completely belies its simple beginnings.

Finished Platter
With Grapes


SEGMENT RATE (deg F / hour) TEMPERATURE (F) HOLD (hours:minutes)
1 350 1225 :30
2 600 1500 :15
3 AFAP 900 2:00
4 100 700 OFF


SEGMENT RATE (deg F / hour) TEMPERATURE (F) HOLD (hours:minutes)
1 200 1250 :30
2 AFAP 900 2:00
3 100 700 OFF

* The firing schedules may be designed for other projects that were fired with this one. Everything was fired in a Paragon GL-22AD.