Large Butterfly

Creative Paradise Glass has some really nice texture molds. I tend to have a love-hate relationship with them. The first one I ever tried was a disaster, times five! Others have been a wonderful success. Recently I did have another disaster with the koi in a pond mold (DT29), though I will give that one another go, with a modified schedule.

Today I am writing about DT30 Sq.-Butterfly – the large butterfly. On the CPI Facebook page you will see posts from several frustrated artists that have issues with this mold. I went into it knowing that there could be problems, but I was optimistic. It may well be that because I completely documented my entire process that I am thrilled to report I have had no real issues with this mold. You can find their tutorial on the CPI website, but for some reason they have it labeled as DT26 Butterfly Tutorial (instead of DT30).

So, here’s what I did.

Bullseye Glass colors used – Black Opal, Powder, Deep Red Opal, Fine, Aventurine Blue, Powder. I used a powder vibe to fill in the veins and used an earwax vacuum and a small paint brush to clean up bits that went astray. Both tools are highly recommended.

Black in the body, blue in the veins and deep red in the wing spots.

Next. home made medium/fine clear irid frit was added on top of the black body.

Red (1122), Fine was used around the wing edges. Luna was keeping an eye on me to be sure I put the lid back on the frit when I was done with it. 😉

Then for the wings – Tangerine Orange Opal, Fine was used on the outer edges and Marigold Yellow Opal, Fine was used in the center. In the CPI tutorial, an other photos of this butterfly, you see people just cutting the butterfly in thirds with the colors. I choose to follow the outlines of the butterfly. In my opinion, this looks better, since it doesn’t give the impression you were in a hurry and just threw on thee colors.

Next, the leaves. Aventurine Green, Powder was used in the veins of the leaves. Just lightly sprinkle it on, then use your fingertip to lightly brush it off the top of the leaves and into the crevices. Then clean up with a small paintbrush to further move the powder where it belongs. The leaves themselves then were sprinkled with Kelly Green, Fine and then over the top of everything went Emerald Green, Fine. Again, use the ear wax vacuum to remove frit that is not where it belongs.

When complete with the frit, the entire thing was capped with one 3mm piece of Tekta, which was cut to 10″x10″.

Then, into the kiln it goes. The mold is placed on a couple of kiln posts so that it will have plenty of air circulation around it. Only the top and bottom edge are on about 1/4″ of the 6″-long post.

The firing schedule I used had to be modified from the tutorial, since all of CPI tutorials are for system 96 glass.

1 – 275 degrees per hour to 1215 and hold for 45 minutes

2 – 50 degrees per hour to 1250 and hold for 30 minutes

3 – 300 degrees per hour to 1425 and hold for 10 minutes

4 – as fast as possible (9999) to 900 and hold for 90 minutes

5 – 100 degrees per hour to 700 with no hold – off or end of program.

 

Let the kiln cool naturally. I let mine cool until its about 200 degrees, then I prop the lid about two inches. I will then open the lid and let it further cool once it reaches about 125 degrees. From I then leave everything on the shelf until it’s ambient temperature. Today, that was 89 degrees. Since the kiln shelf holds heat, as does the glass, I really don’t want to take it out and put it on a cold surface. If the glass is warm when I take it out of the kiln I will cool it on a towel for a few hours.

This photo shows how the top sheet of glass shrunk to give a natural edge to the glass. I think next time I will fill in those red wing areas where it really pulled in with more frit. I am not bothered the way it is now, but I’d like to see if it won’t pull in quite so much with extra frit in those areas.

The piece was then carefully removed from the mold. I used pot holders to flip it and set the glass on the shelf to further cool.

At this point, it is still in the kiln and needs to be cleaned up (ZYP reside removed). I did a bit of rubbing of the white powder and it came off easily, so I don’t think I will have any trouble. I am contemplating adding some gold to the circles on the wings and wondering what to do with the antennae. But, those will have to wait until tomorrow.

Rainpebbles Fall Sale! – November 14th and 15th

The Fall Sale for Rainpebbles Glass will take place at Rainpebbles HQ on 14th and 15th of November from 1pm to 7pm both days. All of our inventory of unique pieces will be on sale, with some special offers for multiple purchases. For the duration of this sale, all inventory will be offline in Etsy. Any unsold items will be available on Etsy immediately after this sale concludes.
Q&A follows.

1. So…is Rainpebbles Glass going out of business?
A. No, Hell No.

2. So, why are you selling everything?
A. We have decided to focus on 4 areas in 2016:
– Art pieces
– Decorative desk lamps
– Custom vitrigraph production and sales
– Education

So…we are selling any finished pieces that do not fit into the above categories

3. So…are you simply packaging up all of the crap that hasn’t sold so far?
A. Nope. Some of these pieces are stunningly unique. They were designed to be used in a house, but many prospective buyers (we believe) are unsure of how to use them, or whether to even use them. One thing we know is that when people see, touch and feel many of the pieces, they fall in love with them. At this sale, touching and feeling will be positively encouraged.

4. So what will people find when they attend the Rainpebbles Sale?
A. The glass will be on sale in highly congenial surroundings, with soft furnishings, fine music, lots of decorative cats to pet, finger nibbles, and the occasional glass of fine wine or other liquid refreshment. You can even go sit by the pool and drink in the rustic island atmosphere, then go home and tell your friends you visited Kitty Key.

5. How do we find out where this mythical Kitty Key really is?
A. We will post a flyer for the sale at the beginning of November.

Rainpebbles Glass focus in 2015

After 4 years of operation, we are changing the focus of Rainpebbles Glass in 2015.
In the future, we will be focussing on art and display objects, and moving away from purely functional pieces. The reasons for this are mainly that Mary finds the creation of art and display objects to be more challenging, now that she has expanded her skills.
We will be holding a Sale of existing functional fused glass objects on Etsy over the next 3 months. Watch the Etsy Site for news of that sale.
New pieces will still appear on the Etsy site as they are created, if they are not sold at creation. Currently, some of our pieces are not even making it to Etsy, since they are being sold almost out of the kiln.

Working on new things.

Not sure what to call this – when it’s in a pot, it’s a pot melt. This is on sticks, so lets go with stick melt.
2014-12-16 15.08.42
We’ve got white, blue, yellow and orange. We all know yellow and blue make green; I wonder how much mixing will happen here and how much green we’ll get. Tomorrow will tell. It may come out as a brown mess, but keep your fingers crossed we get something pretty.
2014-12-16 15.08.35

2015 Glass Classes

We will be continuing our Glass Classes into the Winter and Spring of 2015. Anybody who wishes to attend Glass Class should email us or contact Mary via the website.
Classes are $60 for a 3 hour session (which sometimes extends to longer if people need to complete their initial design), plus the cost of any special glass.

Authentication of Rainpebbles Glass works

With immediate effect, Rainpebbles Glass is now uniquely marking our finished glass objects. We are doing this via the application of a hand-written signature which is unobtrusive (it is only visible when the piece is viewed at an angle, it is essentially invisible when the object is viewed via direct light). The signature is sandwiched within the glass layers of the piece, so it cannot be removed or modified without severely vandalizing the piece.
Each piece is uniquely numbered via a year/month/number ID.
We are doing this to assure clients that every piece is indeed unique (we have no production line round the back stamping these things out) and to document this within the finished piece.

Why does something seemingly so easy, take so very long? ** UPDATE – SOLD! **

Oh – right… It’s because there is no fast way to design with millions and millions of pieces of crushed glass. Each one took about 4 hours, though that did include a bit of cleaning before & after – and a break for some pizza.

Trees at the River is a first – I am bravely using Unique Glass Colors. I’ve used them in a class and watched several online videos, but this is the first full size piece. Fingers crossed.

2014-12-14 20.28.48
Trees at the River #11142

People just love my Trees. And, I just love making them. I just can’t seem to ever get two the same – but I think that is a good thing. Same theme, same glass, but no two will ever be the same. That’s a good thing.

2014-12-14 20.12.09
Trees #11141

Unless Santa brings me a vitrigraph kiln, or I get one for my birthday, my funky tree trunks will come to an end. I have stretched my selection of tree trunks about as far as I can. I still have lots of vitrigraph, but none suitable for trees. I guess that means I need to get more funky and use the vitrigraph that I already have for something else. =D

UPDATE – Both of these pieces are already SOLD! But it is not too late to order new Fall Trees pieces from us!

Mary’s Pot Melt Tutorial

With many thanks to Laurie Spray (http://bonnydoonfusedglasstools.com/) I have learned something new. I hope my experience can help someone else struggling to get started. The results on my first attempt are just acceptable, not great. But, now I know what I need to change the next time, which will be when I get around to pulling out the saw to cut strips from my broken kiln shelf.

Summary:

  • In my opinion, it’s just a tad too thick. The total weight used was 1345 grams of glass. I should have weighed the crucible first to know how much glass is left, but, there really isn’t all that much.
  • Next time I will try butting the edges of the thin fire (and backing the seam with a shot of MR97 just in case. Where the seam was, there is a significant dent that will need cold working, but that’s ok because the entire edge needs just a bit anyway.
  • The colors are too light. Next time I will omit the 580g of clear in favor of more color when transparents are used, and half the amount if all opalescent is used.

Material used:

Thin fire paper (cut ¼” larger than mold)

12” stainless steel ring mold

10” bubble pot melt crucible

2 stainless steel strips (used here)

2 strips of cut up kiln shelf (will use next time in place of ss strips)

4 kiln stilts

1” wide 1/8” thick fiber paper

Cut a piece of clear to fit snugly in the mold.
Cut a piece of clear to fit snugly in the mold.
Start by cutting the fiber paper to fit the mold with a slight overlap at the seam(s) Place the mold in the kiln on top of the thin fire Add a disk of clear glass cut to fit. Here it was 12” (perfectly fit inside the mold) to start, but I had to grind it down about 1/8 inch to fit the ring with the fiber paper added. Weight of glass 580g.
Start by cutting the fiber paper to fit the mold with a slight overlap at the seam(s)
Place the mold in the kiln on top of the thin fire.
Add a disk of clear glass cut to fit. Here it was 12” (perfectly fit inside the mold) to start, but I had to grind it down about 1/8 inch to fit the ring with the fiber paper added.
Weight of glass 580g.
Next, place kiln posts around outside of the mold and place cut up kiln shelf strips across as shown with the stainless steel. In this first attempt, I used the ss strips, but, the heat combined with the weight bent them, so I won’t be using those anymore. But, they did work.
Next, place kiln posts around outside of the mold and place cut up kiln shelf strips across as shown with the stainless steel.
In this first attempt, I used the ss strips, but, the heat combined with the weight bent them, so I won’t be using those anymore. But, they did work.
Dry run. Make sure that your set up fits properly. In this shot you can see that the clear is already in the mold. Use the end of a tool (screwdriver, paint brush, etc.) to poke through the holes to make sure your support is not under any of the holes at the edge.
Dry run. Make sure that your set-up fits properly. In this shot you can see that the clear is already in the mold.
Use the end of a tool (screwdriver, paint brush, etc.) to poke through the holes to make sure your support is not under any of the holes at the edge.
Put crucible on the scale and zero it so you can weigh the glass.
Put crucible on the scale and zero it so you can weigh the glass.
I wanted to add clear to equal the same weight of the clear base – in this case 580 grams. In the next run, I will skip this step, but if you are using mostly opalescent glass, you might want to add this.
I wanted to add clear to equal the same weight of the clear base – in this case 580 grams.
In the next run, I will skip this step, but if you are using mostly opalescent glass, you might want to add this.
Measure out your color. In this melt I used: 145g – 243 white 145g – 1116 turquoise 145g – 2164 Caribbean Blue, White streaky 145g – 118 periwinkle 70g  – 3328 White, Deep Royal Purple streaky 115g – 3116 Clear, Turquoise Blue, White streaky The total of color was 1345grams
Measure out your color.
In this melt I used:
145g – 243 white
145g – 1116 turquoise
145g – 2164 Caribbean Blue, White streaky
145g – 118 periwinkle
70g – 3328 White, Deep Royal Purple streaky
115g – 3116 Clear, Turquoise Blue, White streaky
The total of color was 1345grams
Check in both directions to ensure it’s centered. Remove measuring devices before you close the kiln.
Check in both directions to ensure it’s centered.
Remove measuring devices before you close the kiln.
Check that your crucible is perfectly centered over your mold.  Here, I used stainless steel sticks to make sure both sides were equal.
Check that your crucible is perfectly centered over your mold.
Here, I used stainless steel sticks to make sure both sides were equal.
I used Laurie Spray’s firing schedule with my kiln and it worked quite well. The kiln used here is Olympic 2514GFE,  with RTC1000 controller. 250 degrees per hour to 1000  with no hold 450 dph to 1680 hold 90 minutes 9999 to 1520 hold 20 minutes 9999 to 900 hold 2 hours 100 to 800 hold 1 hour 50 to 700 hold 30 minutes off
I used Laurie Spray’s firing schedule with my kiln and it worked quite well.
The kiln used here is Olympic 2514GFE, with RTC1000 controller.
250 degrees per hour to 1000 with no hold
450 dph to 1680 hold 90 minutes
9999 to 1520 hold 20 minutes
9999 to 900 hold 2 hours
100 dph to 800 hold 1 hour
50 dph to 700 hold 30 minutes
off
There isn’t much glass left. Notice the tan/gold glass on the top right? I didn’t use any of that color! It had to be a reaction between one of the pinks and one of the turquoise or blues, but it didn’t affect the final product, there is none of that color in the melt. But, use this as a cautionary tale; don’t use glasses that could have a reaction with each other.
There isn’t much glass left. Notice the tan/gold glass on the top right? I didn’t use any of that color! It had to be a reaction between one of the pinks and one of the turquoise or blues, but it didn’t affect the final product, there is none of that color in the melt.
But, use this as a cautionary tale; don’t use glasses that could have a reaction with each other.
Here you see the results of the melt, still in the ring with the crucible removed. Notice that two holes were partially blocked and two had ½” drips. The drips were well rounded at the ends and a long way from detaching. The glass was well settled with no rough spots at all.
Here you see the results of the melt, still in the ring with the crucible removed. Notice that two holes were partially blocked and two had ½” drips. The drips were well rounded at the ends and a long way from detaching.
The glass was well settled with no rough spots at all.
Against white, it’s great. Holding it up to light shows too much clear was used. Next time, I will skip the 580g of clear and make it all color if any transparent glass is used.
Against white, it’s great.
Holding it up to light shows too much clear was used. Next time, I will skip the 580g of clear and make it all color if any transparent glass is used.
The final thickness is 5/16” or just a hair under 8mm.
The final thickness is 5/16” or just a hair under 8mm.
Where did the white go? The only evidence of white is the whispy gray throughout.
Where did the white go? The only evidence of white is the wispy gray throughout.

Fall 2014 Glass Classes!

GLASS CLASS!!
We will hold Fall Glass Class on the following Sundays:
November 2nd, 9th, 16th 2.00 – 5.00 pm
Space for up to 6 people per class. Please wear comfortable clothing with NO open-toed shoes (yes, there is glass in this class…).
Cost is $60 per person, this will include glass to make 1 glass dish (12″ x 12″ or smaller) and up to 3 small glass ornaments. For larger more elaborate pieces, glass will be charged additionally at cost.
Please send reservation requests to Mary either here on Facebook or to mary@rainpebblesglass.com

UPDATE – November 16th has 2 places left, November 2nd and 9th still have 5 places left.