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01.

Stringers and Spacers

In this photo, I’ve already cut the clear Tekta glass for the plates (3mm thick, 10 x 8 inches). There are also a couple of small coasters I’ll be doing off to their left. The plates and coasters are sitting on a set of four small ceramic dam pieces, elevating them from the gray cutting mat just to make it easier to pick up later.  For the green lines I used Spring Green Transparent 2mm stringer (all of the glass in this project is made by Bullseye). For the blue, I used Turquoise Blue Transparent 2mm stringer. For the yellow, Medium Amber Transparent 2mm stringer.

Stringers and Spacers
02.

Close-up of Spacers

The small pieces of yellow glass are used as spacers between the stringers. By standing them on edge, two together, the 3mm thickness of the yellow glass translates into a consistent 6mm space between the stringers. Everything is glued down with GlasTac Gel.

Close-up of Spacers
03.

Two Sides of the Sandwich

Two, identical layups are ready, one closer to the camera, one further. Both are required for this project, as you’ll see in few seconds.

Ready to Tack Fuse
04.

Into the Kiln

The two halves of the project (along with another that is mostly red) are loaded onto a mullite kiln shelf with ThinFire paper as a separator between shelf and glass. The point of the tack fuse is to bring the glass up to a temperature where the pieces tack together but don’t move, let alone melt or fuse.

In the Kiln for Tack Fusing
05.

Tack Fused

The piece has successfully tack-fused, the stringers still in place. There’s just the slightest bit of movement as the little spacers lean one way or another. The ends of the stringer droop over the side of the clear Tekta base. Neither makes a difference to the project.

Tack Fused
06.

Score It

In order to cut off the spacers, I flipped the glass over to expose the smooth side. On my waffle grid cutting system (Cutter’s Mate), I put down a piece of cardboard so the spacers didn’t sink into the waffle grid. I scored it with the diamond wheel just like I would any piece of glass.

Score It
07.

Break It

Tack fused glass acts just like a single piece of glass when it comes to cutting. I scored the glass, then used running pliers, and the ends broke off straight and clean. This part always amazes me.

Break It
08.

Nice and Neat

The pressure from the running pliers ran a break up the score line resulting in a nice, straight edge.

Cleanly Cut
09.

The Ends

These are the pieces that were cut off, in case you were curious.

The Ends
10.

Bubble Sandwich

Now we begin to see the form of the end result. I take one of the identical tack fused pieces, flip it over, rotate it 90 degrees, then place it on top of the other tack fused piece. When they are fused, the little empty squares created by the stringer will trap air as the top and bottom come together.

Bubble Sandwich
Sandwich Close-up
11.

Place the Two Halves into the Kiln

At the back right are the two halves ready to be fully fused.

Ready to Fuse
12.

Fully Fused

From here, that looks like a flat and fully fused piece of glass.

Fully Fused
13.

Ready to Slump

Now that the glass is fully fused and flat, we’re ready to give it a final form. From the start this project has been designed for the Square Slumper mold, No. 8635 (8.5 x 8.5 x 1.5 inches).

On the Mold
14.

Third Time in the Kiln

At the back right is the fused glass, centered on the slump mold, balanced at just the four corners.

Ready to Slump in the Kiln
15.

Slumped

For once I’ve remembered to photograph the slumped pieces in the kiln! That’s the end of this project.

Slumped
Results

Final Result

I made this plate at the same time I made the red version.  Although all of the steps are the same, some of the photos are different, if you want to check it out.  That makes this my third bubble plate, and I don’t think I’m done with this fun effect yet.

End Result

Close-up One

Couldn’t resist a couple of close-ups.

Edge Close-up

Close-up Two

Last one, I promise.

Bubbles Mania
Obligatory Grapes

TACK FUSING SCHEDULE (RUN TIME 8:54)*

SEGMENT RATE (deg F / hour) TEMPERATURE (F) HOLD (hours:minutes)
1 300 1000 :00
2 225 1225 :30
3 AFAP 1400 :00
4 AFAP 950 1:00
5 100 725 OFF

FULL FUSING SCHEDULE (RUN TIME 13:34)*

SEGMENT RATE (deg F / hour) TEMPERATURE (F) HOLD (hours:minutes)
1 150 1000 :15
2 225 1225 :30
3 AFAP 1475 :20
4 AFAP 950 1:30
5 100 725 OFF

SLUMP FUSING SCHEDULE (RUN TIME 12:34, 17.1 kWH)*

SEGMENT RATE (deg F / hour) TEMPERATURE (F) HOLD (hours:minutes)
1 150 1000 :00
2 100 1200 0
3 AFAP 950 1:30
4 100 725 OFF

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