Elbow grease, grit, and determination

October 24, 2018

Elbow grease, grit, and determination

I've been trying to talk Ben into buying me a nice sheet of Bullseye's Petrified Wood glass for quite some time now, and just last week he FINALLY gave in (or up?).

Our supplier's website states that: "This unique streaky glass uses the magical properties of Bullseye Red Reactive glass. Each sheet is a swirling dreamscape of moss, geological caramel, and jewel tones.  Heatwork heightens the interplay.   Fired characteristics may include areas of opacity, transparency, mottling, streakiness and polychromatic effects ranging from earth to jewel tones." 

Once it had arrived, I decided to turn it into a 30cm deep round bowl, to best show off the amazing colours.  Before firing, the glass has a transparent streaky caramel colour. 
Cutting glass circles is always a tricky matter, more so when you are using what we call "fancy glass".  Luckily, there were no incidents!
I fused the glass petrified wood circle onto a base of 3mm clear glass, then slumped it into a deep round mould.
The colours after fusing were spectacular.  Even Ben had to admit the transformation was amazing.  He suggested sandblasting the base of the bowl to give it a silky matte finish, and offered to hand-polish the edges of the bowl for a lovely crisp look.

And THIS is where the elbow-grease, grit, and determination comes in!

  

Hand-polishing a bowl isn't the easiest of projects.  You need a large piece of plate-glass, upon which you spread silicon carbide grinding grit.  We use 3 different grades of grit, 80, 220 and 400.  We make a puddle in the middle of the plate-glass, mixing water with the roughest grit (80) into a slurry.  We then flip the bowl upside down, and, making figures of eight, slowly grind the rim of the bowl down.  We repeat this process which the 220 and 400 grit.  The whole process takes several hours. 

Below is a video of the work in progress!

 

 




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