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Getting Ready to Celebrate! Need Coasters?


This is the second video in a series of video blogs that I’m embarking upon because of requests from subscribers of my newsletter, IG viewers and FB friends wanting to learn more about the process of making glass and pottery.


Every creation always has to start with an idea! Cooking, having people over for the holidays, or just on a whim, allows me to bring out my new tableware that I create for myself and for you! It always gives me a lift when I use tableware, both glass and pottery pieces that I have designed, reflecting the holiday as well as the seasons!


Celebrating the holidays with those we love, whether in person or on Zoom calls, often means breaking open a bottle of wine, or a non-alcoholic fizzy beverage! For that we need COASTERS! I never have enough coasters. This video shows the process of my making Jewel-toned Coasters with Leaf Decals.


The beginning of the video shows me measuring, cutting, and smoothing glass with my new piece of equipment called, The Grinder, which I keep in my studio home kitchen.

I select the colors of the glass and choose transparent jewel-toned colors in: garnet, pine green, pink iridescent and cobalt blue.


These were cut down to measure 5” x 5” squares of 3mm thickness. It’s a process as you will see on the video. Next a clear piece of glass needs to be cut to the same size as the jeweled colored glass. Sometimes I cut glass perfectly and other times I do not. I use the Grinder at home, but sometimes that is not enough to smooth out the edge.


The video shows a funny clip of me in the Cold Working Room at Bullseye Glass studio. The Cold Working Room contains a number of pieces of heavy equipment that helps glass fusers, which is what I do. This video clip shows me wearing protective gear like:

  • A headset to protect my ears from the loud noise of the machine

  • A yellow rain apron and rubber boots and goggles, which is required

  • Goggles protect my eyes from water mixed with tiny glass shards

  • Rain gear keeps me from becoming drenched from the water

The machine I’m using in the video is called a Lap Wheel, which is a huge disc that can be used to grind or polish glass. Lap wheels come in various ‘grit’ sizes, allowing heavy glass removal or surface smoothing to be done. In this instance I’m using the medium wheel with medium grit surface to even out the extra glass that was left on a couple of my glass squares. I am also using it to create a smooth edge.


After the glass is fused:

  • the glass is cleaned, placed together with jeweled glass on top of the clear glass in a sandwich

  • the glass is placed on a kiln shelf and fired until the separate pieces are fused together

The next step in the video shows the process I use to embellish my coasters with gold-toned leaf decals. Once this is complete, the coasters are fired again in the kiln to seal the decals so they don’t separate from the glass during use. The final product is shown in the video as well.


Of course I could not resist showing how I celebrate with a toast!


CHEERS! TO YOUR HEALTH!


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