Stumpbowl completed: lessons learned

>>>>Stumpbowl completed: lessons learned

So StumpBowl, my first playing around exercise in a long while, is done and I think I have managed to create the vitreous equivalent of the hooked rug. Humpftt.

I’ve learned some valuable lessons, though–for one thing, the combination of cut segments of rod on a 3mm sheet of clear glass is really heavy, and putting it at the edges of the piece meant a lot of weight dragging the glass down the slumping mold. I had a long-slow-low firing schedule, probably too long, so the glass just kept traveling until it collected at the bottom. The glass that’s left at the bottom (the Pimento Red you see at the base) is a bit too thin.

I actually like some of the effect–I wanted to get some bending and movement in the tack-fused rod segments, and the extreme weight differential helped. Overall, though, it’s too cramped and thick at the top.

The second lesson is a harder problem I’m going to have to think about…I wanted a wildly varied texture that begged to be touched, so I had upright rods in all different lengths mixed with flat sections of sheet glass and relatively flat collections of medium-sized frit. Volume-wise, though, the glass was pretty thin and flexible around the frit, and those areas folded into “ears” during the slump. (you can see them on the left and right of the top of the bowl in the above picture).

Solution there is to either equalize the thickness with a second sheet of 3mm glass (which kinda defeats the purpose) or run a series of shallower, easier slumps before going more steeply vertical, to allow the glass to come down equally.

What I did like: I got some variation in slump direction for some of the longer rods, particularly in the middle of the vessel. This is a test piece for a more extreme piece I’m planning, with much longer rods tack-fused to the surface, so it’s nice that it worked. The freakystreakystriker rods from Bullseye were especially cool-looking here.

I continue to be enamored of this particular vessel shape, which is fairly extreme as far as my kilnforming goes–it’s steep enough that I’d more normally do it as a blown piece. This is also a cool-looking vessel from the inside, almost like the side of an aquarium. It’s definitely a look worth exploiting in a future piece.

So…the finished bowl isn’t to my taste but it was a fun five-finger exercise that gives me some good ideas for future pieces.




  1. Cynthia Morgan February 26, 2008 at 10:53 am - Reply

    Thanks, Steve. I still think it looks like a hooked rug and don’t really care for it, but am amazed at the number of people who do. They come into my glassroom, ignore what I think is much better work, and head straight for StumpBowl, run their hands across it, oooh and aaaaah. 😉

  2. Steve Hewitt February 26, 2008 at 7:12 am - Reply

    Fantastic bits of information along with pre and post completion photographs. I’m sure that many people have learned a great deal from your postings.

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