One of my latest designs! Fun earrings that I've made, simply put, by "pressing" a design into the glass and then filling in the detail with metallic glass paint
Like many other makers and artists, I'm doing less selling and shipping at the moment. In my case this means more time for designing and finishing old projects. I've finally been able to make some progress on designs and experiments that I started last year...or even earlier!
One of the most challenging was this pressed glass project.
I was keen to make some fun and bold earrings that were also light weight. This meant flattening the glass. I also had some metallic glass paint that I'd been itching to use.
On a long drive I worked out the basic plan and got started.
It began with the very many steps of learning 3D printing.
Plus several trips to the library.
The plan was to make a 3D stamp with a design which I could press into porcelain to make a clay stamp. The clay stamp could then be used in a kiln to press a design into small pieces of glass while at the same time flattening the glass.
Things did not usually go to plan...since I really didn't know what was possible in the first place. Some of my favourite results remain in the work-in-progress stage.
Once I had at least a couple stamp designs with promising results, I focused on perfecting the kiln-firing. There were quite a few tests with different temperatures, glass and clay thicknesses, shapes and sizes.
Once I was committed to a tall triangle shape with a mismatched colourblock design, it was time to test many different colour combinations. I cut the glass and glued the pieces onto a special kiln paper which separates the glass from the clay.
This was one of the more satisfying tasks. I love how they look just as they are.
In the kiln, being pressed down by the clay tile stamps.
They aren't quite as orderly and attractive when it's time to take them out of the kiln.
And they get even messier looking once I have applied glass paint. But not for long.
Next is the most laborious part where I use a couple different grinders to shape the pieces, a drill to create holes and some burs to soften the edges of the holes. I don't have photos for these messy jobs. Maybe next time I will stop and wash my hands and take a pic.
The pieces are cleaned and checked in case they need to be redone. Then I go about the task of matching pieces to a partner. Maybe not my favourite job as they are all a bit different and I am a perfectionist;) but by the end it is quite satisfying to have pairs of these lovely glass pieces to be made into earrings.
A few pairs of the final results.