Did I mention I love flowers? I’m not picky, I like all types and varieties. Growing up my mother was a garden and nature lover. She had a small vegetable garden and a green thumb for flowering plants. It was a real thrill to see her hard work pay off when her plants exploded with brightly colored blossoms.
My mother-in-law was also a flower lover, but her garden bloomed inside the house. She favored bold, floral patterns. She had floral prints everywhere including the wallpaper in my husband’s childhood bedroom. Flowers also decorated his bedsheets, his curtains, and his bath towels. His mom’s passion for flowers wasn’t limited to Joe’s bedroom. Their entire home was a lush garden full of floral prints that spread across the living room sofa. They creeped up the kitchen wallpaper and stretched across the dining room tablecloth.
Before my husband was my husband, he asked me if I could please limit the flowers in our home to vases, pots, and images in my art. I happily agreed because that early compromise gave me unlimited, and guiltfree approval to buy flats, upon flats of flowers from our local garden center whenever the impulse strikes me.
I adore cut flowers too. They’re always on my grocery shopping list. I love the way they add bright color, delicate scent and a visually interesting texture to any room, therefore I get especially excited about making a glass fusing project that gives my cut flower arrangements a personalized artistic touch.
This vase’s attraction is a result of its graceful form combined with the cut-crystal texture that sparkles like diamonds in the light. This vase may look complicated, but it’s actually quick and easy to make.
Cut 2 pieces of clear glass into 10 x 10 inch squares. Stack the two clear glass pieces in the kiln on a kiln washed, or fiber paper lined kiln shelf. Fire the glass to a full fuse temperature using the guide below.
Tip: Before I cut my glass, I measure the mold I intend to use. This ensures I get the best fit and desired results I’m looking for. I use a flexible tape measure to measure the stainless steel cup shaped mold. Measure from the table, up one side, across the flat bottom and down the other side. This is the dimension I use to cut my square.
Note: This measurement is the max size measured diagonally across the cut glass square from point to point. It is not the glass square measured from one straight edge to the other straight edge. If you cut the glass larger than 10 x10 inch, the tips of the draped glass will come in contact with the kiln bottom. If that’s the look you want, great. If not, cut accordingly.
Use a spoon to cover the fused glass with an even layer of medium size, clear frit.
Tip: You can substitute a different size clear frit for a slightly different look.
Use a tool with a straight edge to push the frit away from the outside edge of the glass. Leave a 1 inch wide frit-free border around the perimeter of the square. Use a paint brush to clear away a circle in the frit in the center of the square. This flat spot will ensure the vase rests nicely on the table.
Add sparkle with accents of course clear, dichroic frit on top of the medium, clear frit.
Tip: Don’t skip the dichroic. It adds so much sparkle and glam. You’ll love it. If you don’t have any dichroic frit on hand, make your own by cutting a scrap into tiny pieces with mosaic nippers.
Fire the flat glass on a kiln washed, or fiber paper lined kiln shelf for a second time to a slump temperature of 1265 degrees using the guide below.
Tip: You might think you should use a tack fuse temperature of 1365 degrees, don’t. This lower temperature of 1265 degrees ensures the frit retains the lovely, cut-crystal texture that we’re going for.
Remove the fired glass and unload the kiln shelf. Kiln wash the bottom of your kiln, or line it with fiber paper. This protects the bottom of your kiln in the event the glass over drapes.
Position a 7 inch tall, kiln washed stainless steel cup shaped mold in the center of your kiln. This mold shape is sometimes called a steel former or a draping cylinder.
Tip: My kiln has a 13 inch depth. When I place the glass on the mold its raised up high inside the kiln. If the kiln has heating coils in the lid, it’s good practice to leave as much space as possible between the flat glass and the heating coils. A minimum of 4-5 inches is good. If your kiln is smaller/shorter than mine, you can still make this vase just cut your glass smaller and drape it on a shorter mold.
Kiln basics. The style and pattern of a kiln’s heating coils can influence the finished shape of this type of draped glass project. Before turning the kiln on, check the position of your glass, on the mold, in relation to your kiln’s heating coils. My kiln’s coils are located in the lid of my kiln. They are evenly spaced and run from the front to the back of the inside of the lid. I position my glass, so the corners point toward the straight edges of my kiln. This ensures I get a uniform, even drape. If your kiln coils run in a circular type of pattern you can position your glass with the straight edges parallel to the outer kiln walls.
Drape the glass using the gentle drape firing guide below.
Tip: Stainless steel molds can be difficult to prime the first time you use them. This is due to their non-porous nature and the slick oil coating new metal molds have. I, “season,” my metal molds prior to the first use to burn off the oil and give them a slight texture. I place the mold in the kiln, without any glass, and heat it using my slumping guide. After the firing, the kiln wash sticks easily.
Ice Vase is one of my all-time favorite projects. It combines graceful form, sparkling beauty, and everyday function. With or without flowers, I enjoy its radiant cut-crystal shine just sitting on a shelf.
Whenever possible I cut fresh flowers for my shimmering vase. I may not be a professional floral designer, but I don’t let that stop me from having fun arranging flowers. It’s another way to spend more time caring for the fragrant blossoms that ease my mind and make me smile.
I hope this sparkly vase and my bright flowers make you smile too.
Full Fuse Guide
Segment 1: Ramp 300 F/hr to 1300 and hold 30 min.
Segment 2: Ramp 500 F/hr to 1465 and hold 10 min.
Segment 3: Ramp 9999(AFAP*) to 960 and hold 40 min.
Segment 4: Cool to room temperature.
*As fast as possible
Segment 1: Ramp 300 F/hr to 1265 and hold 10 min.
Segment 2: Ramp 9999(AFAP*) to 960 and hold 40 min.
Segment 3: Cool to room temperature.
*As fast as possible
Gentle Drape Guide
Segment 1: Ramp 300 F/hr to 1200 and hold 20 min.
Segment 2: Ramp 9999(AFAP*) to 960 and hold 40 min.
Segment 3: Cool to room temperature.
*As fast as possible.
NOTE: Kilns fire differently. Test fire these guides in your kiln and then adjust as needed.
Thanks to your supportive feedback and wonderful comments, I’m including a materials list.
Clear glass, 2 Sq. Ft. for the two layers
Clear frit, medium size, for the cut-crystal texture
Clear dichroic frit for added sparkle
Stainless steel floral former mold, 7 inch tall
Kiln with a 13 inch depth
Ice Vase is just one of the fun projects you can learn how to make in my, Creative Shapes Video available on my website here: http://www.LisaJVogt.com
Watch the Ice Vase video here: https://youtu.be/Yx6Apxgp79Y
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NEW Webinar Dates
You’re home. I’m home. Let’s get together and fuse glass.
Fusing for the Adventurous Webinar, June 9, 2020
Get ready to push boundaries, challenge trusted techniques and enjoy the thrill of limitless possibilities. Join me in this comprehensive hands-on webinar and learn how easily you can put tried and true methods to use in unlikely, innovative ways to create original art.
You’ll learn how to successfully employ different techniques to produce dramatic effects and take your work to an exciting, new level of sophistication.
Beginner and advanced fusers alike will find inspiration, motivation and renewed artistic freedom from the combination of techniques shown. In addition, you’ll receive a detailed outline with project specific guidelines and my custom firing guides.
Armed with your newfound skills, you’ll be eager to experiment and incorporate these techniques to turn your creative visions into reality. You’ll have the burning desire, and the cool confidence, to take your passion to greater heights.
Sculptural Fused Glass, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop
September 22-25, 2020
Only 1 seat available.
Wesley Chapel, Florida, 4-Day, Hands-on, Class size is limited.
It’s hard to describe what it’s like when I’m feeling the creative flow. Time flies. Hours pass in what I thought were minutes. My naturally distracted mind is focused on what my hands are doing, and nothing else. I get lost in my own world. When I return to reality, I feel rejuvenated and spiritually uplifted. That’s why I like sharing my studio space with others. I try to give them that experience and hope they feel the same inspiration and fulfillment I do. -Lisa
Join me and I’ll show you all the pro tips and tricks I use to make stunning 3-dimnesional art. You’ll learn how to combine advanced techniques in new ways to create extraordinary sculptural pieces of art.
You’ll leave class with several completed glass sculptures, my custom firing guides and a deeper understanding of sculptural fused glass fabrication. You’ll have the knowledge, confidence and inspiration you’ve been craving to take your artwork to the next level.
Materials are included, that’s a $150.00 value! Plus, a professional photo shoot of your artwork is also included.
This is the turning-point workshop you’ve been waiting for.
Here’s what the students are saying about the workshop.
“Instruction was clear, help was always available, and Lisa’s explanation of the equipment was great.” -Sherry
“My favorite thing about the class was the friendly atmosphere that encouraged open thoughts and sharing ideas.” -Lyn
“I enjoyed making all the projects, especially the flow piece and the freedom to be creative with our work.” -Joy
“My favorite thing about the class was the ability to see multiple pieces of art that originated from concepts taught.” -Vicki
“Lisa is very professional, knowledgeable and freakishly talented. House, art, mosaic, her work – really fun and beautiful.” -Lorna
“Incredible class. Lisa shared her artistic knowledge of color flow and her technical knowledge of glass.” -Larry
“I had so much fun! Lisa is a great teacher!” -Brenda
Things that surprised the students about the class.
“I was surprised by the photo booth demo-it was very helpful.” -Joy
“I was surprised by the limitless glass we had access to, for our projects.” -Lyn
“The valuable education on glass art photography surprised me.” -Sherry
“I was surprised by the hominess of your hospitality!” -Vicki
This class is for you! Any skill level can attend. Beginner, intermediate and advanced students alike will learn how to advance their glass fusing skills and expand their artistic style.
Watch it NOW! Start fusing today!
Downloadable instructional videos for every skill level.
Check out my eBooks for elegant patterns and detailed fusing instructions.