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Fused Glass Project: Suspended in Amber Pt. 3

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Fused Glass Project: Suspended in Amber Pt. 3

Hi everyone!  Thanks so much for tuning in to part 3 of our fused glass tutorial series: Suspended in Amber. 

In this series we worked on an idea we had been chewing on for some time:  Using different colored insect decals and different colored glass (kindly provided by our friends at Bullseye Glass New York) to make glass pieces that looked like insects in amber.  

In total, we used 9 different glass and decal combinations to create an array of interesting and unique effects.  In Part 1 of this series readers will find an outline of the techniques we used as well as firing instructions.   In Part 2 of Suspended in Amber we discussed the different glass and decal combinations we used in tests 1-5

Now in the third and final installment of our series we will explain the glass and decal combinations we used in tests 6-9.  So without further ado, let's get started.

Amber with black decal on the left, clear glass with platinum full coverage decal on the right.

TEST 6.

In test 6 we used solid color platinum decal to create a reflective, mirror effect. 

In this case we pre-fired the black insect decal on amber glass.  We cut-to-shape a piece of platinum decal and pre-fired on clear glass. 

Check out the way that the decal on top reflects back from the platinum sandwiched between the layers!

For the final fuse firing, the platinum decal on the clear glass was sandwiched between the two layers of glass.  The black decal on the amber glass was the top-most layer of the stack.  I guess you could call test 6 The Platinum Sandwich

Test 6: The Platinum Sandwich  was one of our favorites.  Reflections, depth and even some well-placed bubbles (purely accidental) give this  Insect in Amber  a very interesting look.  The way the platinum peeks out between the two glass layers is also a very nice feature. 

Test 6: The Platinum Sandwich was one of our favorites.  Reflections, depth and even some well-placed bubbles (purely accidental) give this Insect in Amber a very interesting look.  The way the platinum peeks out between the two glass layers is also a very nice feature. 

Platinum decal on Amber and Black decal on Clear.

Platinum decal on Amber and Black decal on Clear.

TEST 7.

Once again, we are inspired by the depth that can be created with glass.  In this case we used the exact same decal in two different colors.  The topmost piece of glass (amber color) was pre-fired with a platinum decal and the bottom piece of glass was pre-fired with a black decal on clear glass. 

For the final fuse, we wanted to get the most possible depth, so we arranged the glass layers so that the black decal on the bottom-most clear glass was actually touching the kiln shelf.  The top-most platinum decal on the amber glass was on the very top.  No decal sandwiching was done in this test. 

Test 7. Shiny platinum appears to cast a black shadow in this depth-of-play piece.

The  black insect  was pre-fired onto the amber glass and the  platinum full coverage  decal was pre-fired onto the clear glass.  

The black insect was pre-fired onto the amber glass and the platinum full coverage decal was pre-fired onto the clear glass.  

TEST 8.

For test 8, we revisited platinum full coverage decal.  In test 6 (previously in this post), we sandwiched the platinum between the glass layers.  For test 8, we decided to fire the platinum on the very bottom-most layer of the glass with the platinum itself actually touching the kiln shelf.

Test 8 on the left.   The platinum seems to have burned away a bit during the final fuse firing, whereas the platinum in test 6 on the right retains its full character and color.  Also note the interesting image distortion in the black insect decal on the left, which was sandwiched between the 2 glass layers .  The insect on the right sat atop the glass during final fuse and thus exhibits no distortion.

Test 8 on the left.  The platinum seems to have burned away a bit during the final fuse firing, whereas the platinum in test 6 on the right retains its full character and color.  Also note the interesting image distortion in the black insect decal on the left, which was sandwiched between the 2 glass layers .  The insect on the right sat atop the glass during final fuse and thus exhibits no distortion.

Black decal on amber glass and copper decal on french vanilla after the pre-firing.

Black decal on amber glass and copper decal on french vanilla after the pre-firing.

TEST 9.

For this test we pre-fired a black decal on amber glass and a copper decal on french vanilla, a Bullseye glass color known for its chemical reactivity.  We noticed a minor burnishing reaction with the copper decal and the french vanilla color - the decal was not shiny and had an oxidized look.

For the final fuse, the decals were both sandwiched in the middle of the 2 glass layers.

Test 9. The Double Decker Decal Sandwich.    Both the black and copper decals are sandwiched in the middle, touching.  We especially liked the translucent wing pattern provided by the copper, which became rather ghosted in the final fuse. 

Test 9. The Double Decker Decal Sandwich.   Both the black and copper decals are sandwiched in the middle, touching.  We especially liked the translucent wing pattern provided by the copper, which became rather ghosted in the final fuse. 

Thanks for tuning in.....

We hope you've enjoyed the Suspended in Amber series.  The use of decals in fused glass is a relatively new and fluid art form and we hope you are feeling inspired! 

Thank you for liking and sharing our tutorials and if you would like to hear about other tutorials we post in the future, consider signing up for our newsletter! 

All Together Now!  All 9 tests from the Suspended in Amber tutorial series.  To learn about basic technique and firing schedule, read Part 1 of our series.  Details about each of the 9 different insects are described in Part 2 and Part 3 of the series. 

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Fused Glass Project: Suspended in Amber Part 1

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Fused Glass Project: Suspended in Amber Part 1

One of the best things about our line of work is we get to experiment with different mediums.  When we first started Milestone Decal Art in 2008, we were almost exclusively working with ceramic and porcelain.  Soon we started playing with glass and we have not looked back ever since.  What we love most about glass is the fluidity and transformation that happens in the kiln.  Waiting for the kiln to cool down after we've done a glass firing is always a very exciting time...

Follow our three part series:  Suspended in Amber to learn some interesting new glass fusing decal techniques.

A while back we took a class at our local Bullseye Glass Resource Center here in New York where we used some amber colored glass.  Of course we couldn't help but think about our insect decals and how *awesome* they would look suspended in that beautiful amber.  So we shared our idea with the wonderful staff at Bullseye and they in turn shared some glass to help us see where we could go with our "big idea".  One of our favorite things about Bullseye Glass is their commitment to supporting artists to explore the possibilities of glass as a medium.  Using decals with hot glass is an emerging form and we have enjoyed a very supportive relationship with the great people at Bullseye.  You can also buy our decals in their online shop as well as their Resource Centers.

For the Suspended in Amber project we tested 9 different combinations.  Because we will be going into great detail for each of these 9 combinations, we will be reporting on our results in a three part series.

So without much further ado, let's get down to the nitty gritty.

For this project you will need two equally sized pieces of glass.

For this project you will need two equally sized pieces of glass.

The technique

For this technique we used insect decals in Black, Gold, Platinum and Copper. 

For glass we used combinations of Bullseye 3mm Medium Amber, Clear Transparent, French Vanilla, and Opaque White

The tools we used were a Toyo cutter, a straightedge, running pliers, and the ever useful sharpie maker.

 

For this project we layered 9 different pairs of glass rectangles. The leftmost piece of glass in each pair was fired on top.  The rightmost piece of glass in each pair was fired on the bottom.  Make sure to read all three parts of this three part series to see our results.

For this project we layered 9 different pairs of glass rectangles. The leftmost piece of glass in each pair was fired on top.  The rightmost piece of glass in each pair was fired on the bottom.  Make sure to read all three parts of this three part series to see our results.

DECAL PRE-FIRING SCHEDULE.   This is the firing schedule we use to fuse the decal without melting or slumping the glass.  You can also use this schedule to fire a decal on a piece that you have already fully fused or slumped.

DECAL PRE-FIRING SCHEDULE.  This is the firing schedule we use to fuse the decal without melting or slumping the glass.  You can also use this schedule to fire a decal on a piece that you have already fully fused or slumped.

Step 1.  Measure and cut your glass to fit the decal. 

Step 2. Apply your decal.  You can find our application instructions here.

Step 3.  Fuse your decal to your 3mm glass piece using our decal pre-firing schedule for glass.

Step 4. You will now add a second layer of glass for the final fuse firing.  At this step you have several options depending on what look you would like to achieve - sandwiching a decal between two pieces of glass; having a decal on the top most layer as well as sandwiched in the middle; or even having a decal on the underside of the lower glass layer are all possible options.  Play with it and have fun!

DECAL FINAL FUSE FIRING SCHEDULE.   This is the schedule we use for final fusing. 

DECAL FINAL FUSE FIRING SCHEDULE.  This is the schedule we use for final fusing. 

Step 5.  Use Glasstac between your glass layers to ensure that your glass doesn't shift during firing.

Step 6.  Fire your glass according to the final fuse schedule.

     

 

 

 

Et VOILA!  The results of our final fuse firing.  Please visit parts 2 and 3 of this post to learn about the specifics of each individual piece.  Let us know what you think in the comments area of this post!

Et VOILA!  The results of our final fuse firing.  Please visit parts 2 and 3 of this post to learn about the specifics of each individual piece.  Let us know what you think in the comments area of this post!

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