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Diagram and All the Glass

I drew this project in Illustrator first. I knew the dimensions of my slumping mold but then wanted to make sure that at least an octave of keys would fit. I also wanted to leave a small gap between the strips of white glass that would be the white keys so that they’d be separated by a black line.

Diagram and All Glass Cut

White Keys Done

I’m using the liquid version of GlassTac (the red glue) for this project because I needed to be able to slide the white keys around until the gaps between were identical. I created the gaps by eye.

White Keys Glued On

Layup Done

Then I added the black keys.

Black Keys Glued On

View from the Side

The drops of glue on top don’t bother me since I know they’ll burn off clean. I elevate the entire piece on small pieces of dams that I’ve cut with a tile saw. Elevating it makes it easier to pick up once it’s complete.

View from the Edge

Ready to Fuse

Loaded into the kiln with a couple of other projects. This was a long fuse because of the Patty Gray mold at bottom right.

Ready to Be Fused


It looks good from here!

Keyboard Fused

Wavy Edge

Because the glass was thicker where the black keys were stacked, the glass flowed farther, giving the back of the keyboard a wavy edge. But since a regular keyboard doesn’t look like that, I decided to remove the wobbles.

Wavy Edge

Loose Grit

The wavy-edge keyboard is peeking in at top right. The shiny gray slurry is 80 grit silicon carbide mixed with water. It’s on a 1/4″ thick plate of glass, which rests on two black rubber mats (with holes). The whole thing is on a piece of plywood between two sawhorses. As with the 2mm stringer bowl, I used successive grit slurries (80 grit, then 120, then 400) to change the shape of the edge and remove any scratches.

80 Grit

Straight Edge

By the time the 400 grit was done, the edge had a smooth matte finish. When the piece is slumped it’ll fire polish to a gloss.

Straight Edge

Ready to Slump

Here’s the fused keyboard ready to slump. I’m using the Rectangular Slumper mold (8925). Looks like a good fit.

Time to Slump

Glossy Straight Edge

Per the usual, I’ve forgotten to take a picture of the slumped piece still in the mold. But here you can see that the straight edge that had a 400 grit matte finish is now glossy.

Glossy Straight Edge

Final Result

I’m very pleased about the softly rounded edges of the front of this keyboard platter, and also the gentle curve of the entire piece. Something about this piece makes me smile every time I look at it. I think I’ll have to make more.

Final Result
With Grapes


SEGMENT RATE (deg F / hour) TEMPERATURE (F) HOLD (hours:minutes)
1 200 1000 :15
2 300 1225 :30
3 350 1470 :20
4 AFAP 950 2:00
5 100 700 OFF


SEGMENT RATE (deg F / hour) TEMPERATURE (F) HOLD (hours:minutes)
1 300 1200 :30
2 300 1225 1:30
3 AFAP 900 1:00
4 100 700 OFF

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