Castuary again

Life in the patience zone

>>>>Castuary: Life in the patience zone

castuary1The kiln hit process temp* last night, stayed that way for eight hours and about two minutes ago reached its annealing soak. It’ll soak for another 23 hours and 58 minutes, then start the long, downhill slide to room temperature.

By my calculations it’ll hit room temperature Friday morning at 5:15 AM. Another 24 hours of resting, and it’s mine.

But right now, we (the glass and I) are in what I call the patience zone, and it’s the part of Castuary that drives me nuts.

It’s a terrible place, but it’s where you live (well, where I live, anyway) when you’re into glass casting. What’s done is done, what will happen will happen, and there’s not a daggone thing to do but wait.

  • Did I use enough glass?
  • Am I going to get a bad color reaction?
  • A good color reaction?
  • Did I hold the glass long enough to pick up really good detail?
  • Long enough to fine out some bubbles?
  • Did the investment hold or do I have a new glass kilnfloor?

Opening a kiln is like Christmas and a train wreck all at the same time. Oh, I know the bloody mold and firing schedule are, if anything, over-engineered, I know I calculated volume correctly (29 pounds of glass, give or take a few ounces), I know the chemistries predict a potential reaction between only two of the 11 glasses I used and I want that reaction… but I’m still going to be surprised on Saturday morning.

Hopefully in a good way.

In the meantime, I’m lulling the glassjones with some more tack-fuse experiments and also a housewarming/wedding present for cousin and new cousin-in-law who just arrived in glassland. (And had the good taste to admire my work. I swear, I’m too easy. Praise my glass and the next day it’s gift-wrapped on your doorstep. This is why I never have enough stuff for a full show.)

These are mostly variations on a theme, stuff I’m doing just to get them out of my head while the REAL heartwork is pounding on my motor centers and screaming to get out. And all this tack-fusing has given me an idea I’m calling tack-casting right now…but could be very interesting and potentially heartwork if I can develop it.

But with all this, my thoughts keep arrowing down to the kiln…and Saturday morning.


Update: Wanna see what came out of the kiln? Meet The Lady.

*what most people call process temp, or the hottest point in the firing cycle, the point at which the good stuff happens…or not



  1. Cynthia Morgan November 6, 2007 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    Hmmmm. You know…I’ve been working on doing something similar with putting feet and bases on bowls. I make the flat blank for the bowl and the base/feet separately, put the base in the bottom of my mold and surround it with fibre paper, then slump the glass on top of it.

    I go very slowly after I hit the strain point, with a soak at what would normally be a bubble squeeze temp, and then head up about 75 degrees past that to the final process temp. It’s as much a tack-fuse as a slump, and it works beautifully to adhere the base permanently to the bowl as it slumps.

    Only problem is that it’s a pain to anneal–the shortest time I can anneal to avoid stress on the polarizer is about 4X the anneal soak for the thickest point (usually the base), and a slow cooldown.

    Anyway, you might try that. The fibre paper is usually easier to work with than investing a whole new mold.

  2. Janet McFadyen November 6, 2007 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    Cynthia it sounds very interesting I was trying to figure out how to do some deep sided bowls with tacked on cast items and just couldn’t figure out how to do it so I went to the tack fuse lips onto discs then a draped free form melt … I would have prefered to slump into a mold than a free form drape but just couldn’t get it worked out and so moved on to possibly revisit. I will be very interested in what you discouver…Janet

  3. Cynthia Morgan November 6, 2007 at 12:47 am - Reply

    Hi, Janet…

    I don’t think it’s the same thing. I’m thinking about using some kind of very soft investment to hold glass in place for a special kind of tack fuse, then dissolve under running water, leaving a very delicate tracery of glass intact. I can’t imagine that no one’s done this before–though I asked Linda Ethier about it a couple of months ago and she’d never heard of it–but it seems like a good solution for exact color placement and shape management, i.e., work the glass cold to get it exactly the way you want it, invest it, and then fire to bond it permanently together.

    I usually let these things percolate in my head for a month or two, just working out the angles, until I start trying it. I THINK this’ll make some pretty cool stuff, but it’ll probably be mid-December before I get to it. (I’ve got, among other things, Alicia Lomne’s pate de verre class to attend… yeehaah!)

    Anyway, once I get farther along I’ll probably blog about it and post some pics.


  4. Janet McFadyen November 5, 2007 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Cynthia that is what I am doing in my kiln right now…tack casting look at the lip service dishes on my blog…. are we doing the same thing? …. I have a whole assembly line going with some new dishes…. what do you think is itthe same idea? Janet

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