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01.

Stringers and Spacers

I’ve already cut the clear Tekta glass (3mm thick, 10 x 8 inches). It’s sitting on a set of four small ceramic dam pieces, elevating it from my 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 red, I used Sunset Coral Transparent 2mm stringer. For the yellow, Medium Amber Transparent 2mm stringer.

Stringers and Spacers
02.

Close-up of Spacers

The small pieces of black glass are used as spacers between the stringers. By standing them on edge, two together, the 3mm thickness of the black 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, side by side. Both are required for this project, as you’ll see in few seconds.

Ready to Tack Fuse
04.

Final View Before Tack Fusing

Just wanted to show an end-on view of half the project, ready to be tack fused.

End-On View of Stringers and Spacers
05.

Into the Kiln

The two halves of the project (along with another that is mostly green) 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
06.

Tack Fused

The piece has successfully tack-fused, the stringers still in place.

Tack Fused
07.

Tack Fuse Close-up

There’s just the slightest bit of movement as the little black spacers lean one way or another. The ends of the red stringer droop over the side of the clear Tekta base. Neither makes a difference to the project.

Tack Fuse Close-up
08.

Make It Square

The reason the size of the clear base glass was 10×8 inches is that I knew I’d need to cut off the spacers.

All Square and Trimmed
09.

Nice and Neat

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.

Cleanly Cut
10.

The Ends

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

The Ends
11.

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 red stringer will trap air as the top and bottom come together.

Bubble Sandwich
12.

Place the Two Halves into the Kiln

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

Ready to Fuse
13.

Fully Fused

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

Fully Fused
14.

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
15.

Third Time in the Kiln

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

Ready to Slump in the Kiln
16.

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

Though I’ve done the bubble plate project before, I’m still amazed at the end result. It’s a real puzzler for some people when they first see it. I think that’s part of my delight.

Bubble Plate, the Red Version

Close-up One

Couldn’t resist a couple of close-ups.

Corner Close-up

Close-up Two

Last one, I promise.

Bubbles Forever
Always With the 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.