jeudi 19 février 2009
Ready for the kiln
Here is a shelf load of potential items of jewellery ready to go into the kiln. In fact they are firing now as I write this. I cannot wait for midnight tonight when I can open the kiln. The firing process is quite long as the glass has to be slowly brought upto temperature, held at various points along the way, and then brought very slowly down to room temperature. The final process is called annealing and has to be done to strengthen the glass. If this section is skipped or done too fast, then the glass can crack and craze and can even shatter some time later, this would be particularly dangerous for a piece of jewellery worn close to the skin.
I tried to take the picture at a slight angle to show the different layers of glass, some pieces are two layers and some three. Some use thick glass and some think. I am still experimenting with the glass and my kiln, so I keep careful notes of each firing. As each piece looks so different after firing I draw a plan of the kiln shelf or take a photo when it is set up ready to go, then I number the pieces and describe what I did to make the different layers and I also list each particular glass type that I have used. You can see from the picture that the top layer is larger than the bottom one or two layers. This is so that when it slumps down in the kiln the top layer goes slight round the other layers to get a good seal on the edges. The difference in size is very slight, in fact in the photo the differnce on some of them looks enormous, it is not, that's just the angle and the light. As I am an artist and not builder, engineer or other precise craftsperson, I do not measure anything precisely, I use my 'eye. I do not want pieces to be so perfect and contrived that they look as if they have been made by machine.