Fusing FAIL.

Sometimes it’s not all puppies and rainbows in the Kimagine Studio.

Sometimes, the idea that’s in my head and what actually happens when I try to make what’s in my head are two very, VERY different things.

I had a marvelous idea the other day, inspired by this stained glass pattern:

I thought, “Oooooh! I’ll make cloisonne in glass! It’ll be awesome!”

So last night I set to work, and cut glass for two pendants; one with a clear back and one with an opal-white back. I made all the little circles and squiggly lines out of fine silver cloisonne wire, and set them on the glass bases:

lineworl

This morning I filled all the circles with different colors of glass, and put a “topper” of same-sized clear glass on top of each:

ready (2)

(That bit of purple and blue you see at the bottom is a 3 1/2″ square coaster I figured I’d make, so as not to waste space during the firing.)

I then fired up the kiln! I added some extra time so that it wouldn’t make too many bubbles, and then puttered around the studio, marking down times when it reached the different stages. It was almost ready to go to the fusey, melty part of the firing when I peeked in and saw that BOTH THE GLASS TOPPERS HAD SLID OFF BOTH PENDANTS.

Arrrugh.

At that point it was a matter of opening the 1200 degree kiln, taking out the shelf and trying desperately to get the toppers back on, all while mumbling a myriad of obscenities. I managed to get one back on, but when I tried to mess with the other one it cracked.

Arrrugh.

I shoved everything back into the kiln and let it do its thing. Several hours later, here’s what I have, and it is definitely NOT awesome:

mess

This is the one that cracked. Definitely NOT a success.

so-so

This one didn’t crack, but it didn’t come out nearly as nice as I wanted it to. The colors reacted to the fine silver wire and the yellow you see around all the silver is the “staining” of that reaction. Also lots of trapped bubbles that don’t look very nice.

The firing wasn’t a total waste, though – the coaster came out just fine!

coaster

Some bubbles, but they’re scattered and small enough to be cute instead of annoying.

I’m going to give the pendants another try later on in the week, and try using smaller fine silver round wire instead of the flat cloisonne wire. I will also try some different colors. Apparently the big culprits are reds, oranges and yellows, and guess what was in this batch?

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