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April 2018 Newsletter

In this edition:

- Fresh From the Kiln

- Upcoming Events & Sales!

- April's Blogs * blogs will now only be on Elegant fused glass not Fused Elegance for more information read this blog.

- Did you know ...

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Fresh From the Kiln:

This is a new texture mold I bought recently and just had to use it. I love the sun and moon designs.  This mold a really nice one. I haven't decide if I will slump it or keep it flat. If I slump it, it can be put in a bowl hanger. If I leave it flat then I can either make a stand or figure out a way to hang it.

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Several Production Fused Glass orders

Several Production Fused Glass orders

In addition, to the large fused glass production order I'll talk about in this month's newsletter "Did You Know" over the last three months I had several other production orders. The first one was soap dishes for a hotel in California. They have ordered from me several times and I really love the color of these soap dishes. Below is …Read more.

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Fused Glass Wind Chimes

Fused Glass Wind Chimes

It's spring time so I made some pretty fused glass wind chimes. I made them with brass chain, stainless steel chain and copper wire.  I think they are all pretty cool I even took some to my store in Denver.    This fused glass piece is a bit different. I made the light …Read more.

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Custom Fused Glass Mushrooms

Custom Fused Glass Mushrooms

Last month I received a request to make some purple fused glass mushrooms for a great customer of mine. I made these with a screen-melt technique, which is one of my favorite techniques. This first picture is trying out the recycled glass bottoms. I like them, but I thought sandblasting them would be nicer.   So …Read more.

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Fused Glass Mantel Sconces

Fused Glass Mantel Sconces

In April of 2017 I did an entire newsletter on Creative Paradise's molds. I love creative paradise's texture molds. I used some different colors in my fused glass mantle sconces. This first one is iridized white, lady in the woods. She's beautiful and she looks amazing with the light behind her.  This fused glass …Read more.

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Fused Glass Flower Hangers

Fused Glass Flower Hangers

I've blogged about my fused glass flower pockets before. This time I thought I'd make some fused glass flower hangers, which instead of sitting they hang. The first fused glass hanging pocket, is a triangle. I fused some vitrigraph on top and used stainless steel chain to hang it. The second picture is what it …Read more.

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Custom Fused Glass Spoon Rests

Custom Fused Glass Spoon Rests

As I've mentioned recently I've had a lot of custom fused glass orders. Here is another custom fused glass order I finished recently.   I really like these spoon-rests. I made 12 fused glass spoon-rests for a great customer of mine.   It was not as easy as it sounds though. Some …Read more.

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Fused Glass with Mica

Fused Glass with Mica

I've blogged about Mica before and even wrote a DYK about it. I love mica, it's a mineral and actually comes in a rock form but most people think of it as a powder. Mica is used in cosmetics and electrical components. For these pieces I used mica (gold, copper, silver, pearl, and rose gold) I got from Jodi (glass …

Read more.

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Trip to Montgomery

Trip to Montgomery

For those of you who follow my newsletter, you know I go TDY (Temporary Duty) a lot. I just got back from a TDY to Maxwell AFB, in Montgomery Alabama.  I've been to Montgomery several times, this time we stayed down town close to the Alabama river.                       One thing …

Read more.

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Did you know ...

This section is used to answer any questions you may have or to pass on tidbits of information that add value and enhance knowledge regarding fused glass, metals, or jewelry in general. Let me know if you have anything you'd like me to include.

This "Did you Know" is about how my newsletter is going to change for the next 4 months. For those of you who follow my newsletters, you know my passion for glass. A few years ago I met a wonderful guy named Paul. He was a glass artist but was selling the his glass, molds, basically everything he had to make glass he sold. Well he broke my heart with his story and we became friends and I bought his molds, glass, etc. Anyway, one of the things he did for me in return was to tell his production customers about me and I've had several production orders over the past couple of years and I even bought a bigger kiln to help out with the demands of production work. 

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Recently I was asked to so some glass plate samples for a Ritz-Carlton in Florida. They gave me their idea, but I wasn't comfortable with the concept so I changed it a bit and made my own sample. They liked my plates so much that they are changing to my fused glass plate design for the "whole room". This is the biggest production order I've made and will take up my time and my kilns for the next 3 1/2 months.

This is my prototype for the big plate, since it's hand created they know each one will be different. They are much prettier in person. But it's so difficult to make so many.  Making 1 is so different than making 200!

This is my little plate and I just love it. I love the color and the texture. Each one is slumped individually therefore they are all so different. I also make the design different for each one. Each one is so different. Sometimes I think I have the paint the same thickness and it's lighter than I would have guessed.

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So much goes into each handmade fused glass. Each plate takes 2 pieces of glass to make. So first I had to buy almost 100 large sheets of glass, These are the two crates of glass I'm working my way through.

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To get as many circles out of each sheet of glass I draw the pattern on the glass, then do my best to cut the glass in a way to preserve the circles. Since this is such a big job I had a table set up in my garage so I can cut the sheets without killing my back or having too much breakage.

Since it takes two circles for each plate. There are 200 large plates and 200 small plates, so 400 large circles and 400 small circles. So time consuming and so much work!

So this is a perfect cut circle. I'm so proud that of the 100 I cut I only broke 5. Most of which were when I was trying to break them out of the larger sheet. Luckily I just make the smaller circles out of them.

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Each circle is then washed and cleaned. Luckily I use towels to dry the circles instead of paper towels. I know this sounds easy too but the glass has to be really clean with no marks not even fingerprints.

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After cutting and washing the circles, I hand paint each one the paint. Which is not as easy as it sounds, it takes a lot of effort.  You think you have a good layer of paint but when it fires it's not the way you expect. Definitely harder than you think. The paint has to dry. After they dry I put a thin layer of powder on them and put them in the kiln.

This is my small fused glass dish. I really like my small dishes. Each one is very different.

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Oh and did I mention it takes 36 hrs per firing. That's a lot of firings and a lot of time. This is my first firing. I was able to get 4 large and 4 little plates into my kiln at one time. ironically the next time I loaded my kiln I could only get 3 small plates in.

After the first firing, I have to wash them again (all by hand). Then put them back in the kiln for a Slump firing to take the shape of my molds. These are my little fused glass plates.

 

The large plate is actually slumped on a handmade mold. BTW did I tell you this slump is not an easy slump, it's very difficult. In fact I can' slump my little ones at the same time as my big ones. It's a different firing schedule.

In fact, out of 4 large plates put into slump only one slumped properly. I've had to slump them twice to get the slump right. This is actually not unusual. You can slump again, but it's more difficult to "unslump" especially this type than to just fire again.

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After painting they have to dry flat so I got a bakers rack so I can dry them. Right now I have 24 large plates and 40 small plates drying and ready to fire. The process is definitely taking over my house but I like a challenge.

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Yep I'm going to be very busy over the next few months with this production order and three business trips.  I had 2 business trips in April and another one that starts at the end of May into the middle of June.  That being said, it's so nice to have actual large companies appreciate handmade art. I'll probably keep ya'll up to date on my progress. Wish me luck, I cut my fingers and hands about 10 times the first day!

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So I know what you are thinking, why do we care. Well normally I have 3 kilns to play with my glass, but this job will take my large and medium kiln. Plus technically I can fit a small in there perfectly for firing, but not slumping. So I took one of the molds and cut the ring off so I can slump in my small one too. 

What this means is I'm limited on what other fused glass pieces I can make. So to keep my blogs up I'll have to get inventive in my glass work.

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In addition to my Fused Elegance and Elegant Fused Glass by Karen websites, I'm also on Google +, Pinterest, YouTube, Etsy, and Artfire.

You can also contact my via email: elegantfusedglass@gmail.com

All Fused Glass photos as well as my flame are copyrighted 2018.

Copyright Elegant Fused Glass by Karen. All rights Reserved.