Sunday, 16 May 2010

Glass Weaving

In its essence, weaving is creating a series of strips with waves, moving alternate ones a half step along and inserting straight strips into the channels provided.

It can be as sophisticated as you can devise, but remains the shaping of a series of strips through which other, straight strips are threaded at right angles to the shaped ones. As in cloth weaving, there are a great many variations that can be devised.

You can use a variety of material to slump over – covered steel pipe, cut up kiln shelves, brick, fibre board, etc. - but you must remember that you will need at least 10mm height, as the upper and lower pieces of glass are 3mm each and the one inserted will also be 3mm, leaving only 1mm tolerance. You also need to ensure the material slumped over is far enough apart to accept the width of glass you will be threading through. If you are using 20mm strips, you probably will need at least 25mm intervals between the slumping strips. Make sure they are parallel as well as evenly spaced. You will need to soak at slumping temperature longer than for a simple shape, as you want the slump to be close to vertical.

When threaded, you can tack or full fuse the piece and subsequently slump it if desired. The amount of space between the “threads” will depend on the steepness of the slump. If the slump is too deep you will find the lines of the “threads” will be uneven and may even fold over one another.

So this is yet another area of kiln forming that is simple in principle, but requires a lot of experience to get a really good looking piece at the end.