Spooktacular Ghost Plate How-to
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love the wide variety of fun designs we can make to decorate our homes with a seasonal flare. I like this particular plate for its free-form shape. The graceful curve around the ghost’s head make it jump off the counter. But don’t let the unusual shape scare you. The subtle contours are actually easy to cut. And you can always grind the edge to fine tune the shape. Let’s get started.
Cut a 10 inch clear circle for the base layer. Using the pattern as a guide, cut the clear glass circle to match the irregular pattern shape. Grind the glass to remove sharp edges and smooth the shape.
Cut white glass to match the clear base layer. Using a wet saw, cut the background around the ghost’s head and arms away.
No saw needed. If you don’t have a saw, the white ghost layer can be made up of pieces. OR Cut the white layer to match the clear base layer. Then make the shapes that outline the ghost’s head and arms just like the eyes and mouth, with cut navy blue glass.
Tack glue the white layer onto the clear base with a small amount of fuser’s glue. Let the glue dry before moving to the next step. Gluing keeps the white glass from sliding around when you apply the frit.
I like to use Elmer’s white glue. I apply the smallest amount of glue possible with the tip of a toothpick. The tiny, pin head size dots of glue burn off during firing without leaving a distracting haze between the glass layers.
Cut the ghost’s eyes and mouth out of navy blue glass. Grind them to improve the shape. Set them aside.
When possible, I prefer to use dark, navy blue instead of black. Black creates a visual hole in the artwork. While the dark blue adds a nice tonal quality that gives the art a more interesting look.
Cut the letters out of bright, seasonal colors. Grind the letters to smooth out the edges. Set them aside.
Once the glue holding the white layer in place is dry, apply the frit. Using a spoon, pour power navy blue frit into the spaces that outline the ghost’s head and arms. Leave enough room to add fine aventurine blue for shading. Next add fine, aventurine blue. Concentrate the darker color on the right side of the openings to create a moody shadow effect.
Using a small, dry paint brush clean any excess frit off the white glass. Be meticulous with your clean up. It’s this type of attention to detail that will make a huge difference in the visual quality of your finished pieces.
Pile the frit as high as the white glass that contains it. This gives the transparent material strong color saturation, which in turn produces the dramatic, high contrast effect we’re trying to achieve. If you ask yourself, is it enough, add more frit.
Stack the cut glass eyes and mouth on the white layer. Arrange the cut glass letters on the bottom in a semi-circle.
Fire the assembled project to a full fuse temperature using the guide below.
Slump the fused project in a shallow plate mold using the guide below.
Spooky Ghost Plate Glass & Materials
10 Inch Round Plate
Clear glass, 1 sq. ft., for base layer
White glass, 1 sq. ft., for ghost layer
Navy Blue glass, large scrap, for eyes, mouth and shadows
Orange opal glass, scrap, for letters
Teale opal glass, scrap, for letters
Marigold yellow opal glass, scrap, for letters
Amazon green opal glass, scrap, for letters
Navy blue, power frit, for shadows
Aventurine blue, fine frit, for darker shadows
10” slumping mold
Fuser’s glue, small paint brush, spoon
Firing Guides for COE 96
Segment 1: Ramp 300 F/hr to 1300 and hold 30 min.
Segment 2: Ramp 500F/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
NOTE: Kilns fire differently. Test fire these guides in your kiln and then adjust as needed.
Keep being creative. You’re doing great!
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