A Challenge in Glass…

Wow! Have I ever had a challenge in recent weeks. A client had asked me to make a glass logo from a picture he sent me. I willingly took the challenge and so the adventure began! (See finished product at end of this post!)

First, I made some pattern pieces from the picture he sent me of the team patch. I have actually found that using the plastic sheets used for quilting, works great for making patterns for glass as well. The plastic holds up when gotten wet and you have something you can keep for future reference. I actually like to mount a zip lock bag, with glue strips, in the back page of the file folder to house the pattern pieces I am using for whatever account I am working on.

NOTES…NOTES…NOTES…Keep a notebook in your kiln area & take tons of notes during the process of creating a glass piece for a customer. You can never have enough! If you are like me, I am working on more than one thing at a time. Notes are a great way to find your place again and will help if you ever need to reference this project in any way! Use scrap glass to make “mock-ups” of the look you are trying to attain. Something cheap! This will help save money and product. You may need to make at least 5+ samples before you or your customer is happy.

Make sure when quoting a price that you take this possibility into consideration. You will spend a great deal of time until you get the right look. Make sure you ask plenty of questions of your client. The one problem I had with this project was during communication, my client kept telling me he wanted a crackled glass look.

I am sure there are other ways to do this, but I will share a few I tried:

1. Crushed glass between two pieces of glass. Make sure glasses have same COE and keep an eye on your piece in the kiln. You may have to adjust your time and do several “kiln peeks” to compensate for fusing too long.

2. Place crushed glass on top of base glass & don’t put a clear cap on piece. This just causes the crushed glass to leave a texture on the base glass.

3. Using 1/8″ thick fiber paper, cut to size of piece, place fine crushed glass on top of paper, spray lightly with water. Take a toothpick or X-acto knife to move glass around. Let dry. You will want to leave gaps so it will look like a swirl. This technique leaves an unattractive finish on bottom of piece of glass. Turn over glass piece, bottom facing up, place in kiln and do a fire polish.

4. My favorite!! Use a Dichroic Splatter on top of your base glass/colored glass. Top with a clear cap. This gives depth to your piece. Yes, I finally understood what my client wanted when I came across an awesome dichroic piece of glass. He had no idea what to call the look, so I did a ton of research, (including the items up above), and fired sample after sample.

After much prayer and persistence, it finally dawned on me that what he was talking about was the dichroic glass. Whew!! Finally! :0)

Needless to say, I learned to ask for a picture of something they are referencing when ordering a custom piece. This sure would have saved time, product and my ever lovin’ last nerve! Just kidding~! Hope this post helps someone out there! Just keep on keepin’ on!