Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Firing wire inclusions

Wire and other metal inclusions often cause bubbles to occur around them.  The standard solutions are to add frit to the corners, or powder or fine frit around the inclusions.   You can also flatten the wire or metal to reduce it height. These most often work well.  Sometimes though they don’t eliminate big bubbles around the metals.

In this case think about firing upside down. This is not the whole piece; it is only the inclusion and the bottom layer of glass.  Place the wire or other inclusion on the prepared shelf. It will be most successful if placed on 1mm or thicker fibre paper to allow any trapped air to escape through the fibre.  Place the base glass on top and take to a tack fuse with a bubble squeeze included.  You might even want to consider cutting the base larger than the final piece to be able to cut off the thickened edges and make a more successful piece at the end.

After tack fusing upside down, the inclusion will be imbedded in the glass with an almost flat surface and little in the way of air pockets at the edges.  Clean very well, especially any spalling from the metal and of course, clean the glass thoroughly.  Cap and fuse with a bubble squeeze again.  The bubbles around the inclusion should be minimal if not eliminated.

This method will allow the glass to sink around the glass making a much flatter piece for the capped full fuse. It should also make for a flatter finished piece with many fewer bubbles.