What is Have Kiln Will Travel?

What is Have Kiln Will Travel?

Have Kiln Will Travel (HKWT) is a fully equipped traveling fused glass studio. Six small kilns are brought on site to teach glass fusing along with a large selection of art glass, and all of the necessary tools. It is the only traveling glass studio in the United States servicing art centers and community education programs.

HKWT is truly a unique opportunity and an ongoing experiment in community education. HKWT teaches the basics, gives you the opportunity to watch your creations come alive in the kiln, and for the jewelry classes you take your works of art home that day.

When Are Events
/Classes - Use the calendar below for a complete listing of classes and their locations.

Detailed Class Information - Use the "Search Terms" section in the lower left column to find detailed blog posts regarding what is taught and what is made in the classes. There are also class specific descriptions found at the "Information Links" section in the left hand column of this blog.

Where To Register For Classes - Use the "Register For Classes" section for links to the art center or community education program that you are interested in.

Fund-Raising Events
- In addition to classes the HKWT concept can be used to raise money for your favorite charitable or nonprofit organization. Use the "Information Links" section to obtain a document with detailed information on hosting a HKWT event.

Blog Archive - Look through the blog (lower left column) for more information on projects.

Calendar Of Events & Classes

----- Have Kiln Will Travel Event Calendar ------ Registration Links Are Below Left of Calendar

Monday, July 5, 2010

Using Glass Paste In Your Designs

This blog post focuses on the use of glass paste in jewelry design. There are various names for this process, but simply put a paste is created by mixing glass powder with a somewhat viscus liquid medium. There are several commercial products on the market you can buy as your medium, Liquid Stringer being one of them. For my medium I use the recipe documented in the video Fritography by Michael Dupille. His medium is CMC based (Carboxymethyl Cellulose) which is a very slimy food additive. When glass powder is added to it the mixture is a fairly think paste which can be put into squeeze bottles and even in a cake decorator bag.

For the item in the image above I used a squeeze bottle and loaded bottles with various color mixtures.The Bullseye glass company makes a lot of different colors so your palette can be fairly extensive. However, you might find powders created by other companies better for this application. The grain size (mesh) of the powder varies a lot between Bullseye's colors. Consequently, some colors clog easily in the squeeze bottle nozzle. When this happens you have to adjust either the mixture ratio (possibly making it too runny), or, increase the nozzle size to get the paste to flow properly. A further note is that you should use a food scale in weighing out your mixture. Getting the mixture just right saves you some aggravation, and noting mixing variations between colors saves you time when making subsequent batches.

Once you have your bottles loaded the fun begins. You simply apply the paste colors in any design you want. For the pendant to the left I used black and white paste. It took a whole five minutes to do.

The steps would be to cut your glass, apply the paste, and let them dry before placing in the kiln. The last step isn't required. You cold put them in wet, but that might cause some bubbling of the liquid during the heating cycle which may distort your design.

There are several other design options. When you fire your glass you can place the piece in the kiln design side down or up. If the paste is down on the shelf then the clear glass base (now on top) will give the piece a nice sense of depth and will be glossy. If the design is up, then the finish will be more mat in appearance, and the design will shrink and distort more. In the case of an abstract design like the picture here the distortions can be pleasing.

The image to the right shows a before and after. These are very simple designs just to get the idea across. Some very intricate and large designs are possible limited only by your imagination or your budget.

The image at bottom right shows glass paste applied in an approximately 6x6 inch square. It was applied in bands of color running left to right in the order of red, black then blue which repeat several times. The mixture of paste was thin enough that a tool could be run through the liquid/paste design, leaving a trail behind. Each vertical line top to bottom is the drag-path of the tool. This technique is called cold raking. The same raking process can be done hot when the glass has been heated to a honey consistency in a kiln and a metal tool is raked through the molten glass, creating the same type of raking path. Cold raking is much safer and controllable of course, because you don't have to go into a hot kiln to do it.

I explain a lot more about the use of powders and paste at my old site (defunct but still available) called EyeCandy.

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