Monday, 13 August 2012

My way of firing multiple cabochons.

Well you've seen the home made glass cutting tool, the kiln and the finished creations. I thought I should show you how I layer very small, 1/4" pieces of dichroic glass on the kiln tile prior to the firing process. 
But first a bit about the kiln tile. You can see they look a bit pink, and they are. This is the kiln wash or shelf primer, a powder that is mixed with water and then brushed onto the tile. You need a minimum of four coats of this stuff and I usually do about five to six. Over doing some would say but when glass is fired and there is'nt enough kiln wash it sticks to the tile and damages it beyond repair. This pink colour will turn a creamish white after a firing. I usually get about 3 firings before the tiles need sanding down and the kiln wash re-applied.

That's enough of tile preperation for now but I will come back to it in the near future and give you my experiences of Thinfire paper, an alternative.

Now back to what I am posting about.
As you can see, when I do a firing I make sure its worth while. One hundred on the upper tile and about sixty on the lower tile. Fewer on the lower for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there has to be room for a ceramic tile spacer and secondly the lower layer cabochons fire slightly different to the upper layer. 
I don't know if you have noticed in the above picture but not all have a top clear Tekta Glass. About fifty (well fifty one, because there was a gap) small squares or glass are bare upper dichroic with a plain black base glass. This has to be done to get the thickness right. You always have to remember glass wants to be round and about 6mm thick. Keep that in mind when firing and the rest mostly follows. Oh yes, also don't forget glass sometimes just has a mind of its own and does something completely unexpected. Good and Bad!
A lot of these cabochons are ear marked (excuse the pun) for stud earrings. And on that note here is a finished pair of dichroic glass stud earrings set on solid silver posts and solid silver butterfly backs.
You can find these and many more of my jewellery creations at 
www.stevesmithjewellery.co.uk and also by clicking the shop button at the top of this page.
Hope you enjoyed reading my way of making dichroic glass cabochons. I am sure others will have there own ways of doing the same but this works for me.

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