Saturday, 30 January 2010

Draping over steep moulds

Draping over a narrow or small supporting ridge with large areas of glass is difficult.

One solution might be just to invert the whole piece and let the glass slide down into the mould. However, there rarely is enough height in a glass kiln for deep slumps, especially with a “V” shaped mould. It has to be high enough for the edges of the glass to be supported at its edges. You could also approach this by having a first mould with a shallower angle or broader support at its centre. Drape over this first, then use the steeper mould as the second draping mould. This makes the balance less critical.

The idea of supporting the glass is the key to doing this kind of slump that seems to require an impossible balancing act, if it is to be done in one go. Place batt washed kiln furniture at the edges of the unsupported glass. Fire the kiln, but watch until the glass begins to slump. Then reach in with a wet stick and knock the kiln furniture aside to allow the glass to continue its slump and conform to the mould shape.

The lower temperature you use to do the draping and the slower your rate of increase is, the glass will be less marked by the mould. Frequent brief visual inspection during the drape is vital.

Also have a look at a suggestion for the kind of firing required for this here.