A couple of weeks ago I came up with a few designs for oval fused glass bird medallions. As I have written on March 1st, I have successfully made the blue bird medallion, and then decided to make a pink one. While I had no problems making the blue bird medallion twice, the pink one was totally another story…
I cut a clear oval for the backgroud, pale pink bird body and tail, white eyes, yellow beak, red perch and arranged them into my design. Then I added four flowers made from pieces of coarse yellow and pink frit. I began firing them in my baby kiln and about 10 minutes later, when the temperature got up to around 1100F, I heard a popping sound. I knew it was not right, so I opened the kiln only to find that the background has completely blown up.
The temperature was too low for any of the melting to take place, so I found all the glass in, well, its natural state. The shards that have previously made up the clear oval background have burst out from a single point and stopped where they hit the kiln walls. Amazingly, all the pieces on top of the oval have remained practically in place. When I opened the kiln the pink bird was staring judgingly at me.
I let it all cool, cut another oval for the background, arranged all the pieces and fired it again. When I opened the kiln, I saw that the wire loop somehow got pushed out and lay separately from the medallion.
I let it cool again and took a good look at it. The medallion looked good but it could not be hung without the wire loop… So I decided to try to fix it by cutting out a small clear piece of glass, placing it underneath the oval, placing the wire loop between them and firing again.
I had to heat the glass to a higher temperature than I planned to in order for the medallion to flatten over the small piece I placed under it. In the end, it worked, the wire got attached to the medallion, but I was not happy with the result.
First of all, you could see where the small piece of clear glass was fused into the oval. Second, the oval's border has distorted and the bird looked misshapen. The pink bird now had a different facial expression, it looked scared and ready to fly off its perch.
I had no choice but to try again. This time I decided to change the flower design to match the blue bird medallion. I made the medallion on the left yesterday, let it cool down and inspected it carefully. It worked this time, the pink bird sat proudly on its perch looking very confident.
I suppose, now I can move on and make the yellow bird medallion. I just wonder - how quirky is that one going to be?