Knowledge – Confidence – Inspiration
Function gives a whole new meaning to art. One of my biggest thrills is enjoying art that meshes seamlessly into everyday life. In this application, art enhances the space and serves a utilitarian purpose. The excitement of creating such art spikes knowing your original creation will be appreciated daily for both its beauty and its purpose.
Fused glass sinks are perfect examples of fun, fashion, and function. Custom sinks convey your personalized style and bring an artistic experience to a practical environment, the bathroom. Making your own fused glass sink has never been easier. It’s simply a matter of understanding how to fuse large pieces, having the right equipment, and bringing everything together.
The sinks I make are constructed in one of two ways: the layered method or the cast method. The layered sinks are made by stacking 2 to 4 layers of glass. The number of layers you use is determined by the design you want to make and the thickness of glass you use. The pre fired stack of glass is 3/16 to ½ inches thick.
Blue Magic is made using the layered method. I start by measuring the slumping mold I intend to use to determine the size of the glass circle needed. It’s best to cut the glass circles slightly smaller than the mold so it slumps evenly. Blue Magic is made with three layers of glass. The base layer is clear double thick glass, the second layer is cobalt blue, and the third layer is a clear, patterned dichroic. The dichroic glass is cut ¼ inch smaller than the clear and blue glass layers to create the narrow blue rim detail. The dichroic glass is placed with the coating side down to protect the finish from wear. The glass is fused together using my custom firing guide. Once cool to room temperature the fused glass is placed on a primed slumping mold and heated a second time to the slumping temperature.
Poppy is made using the cast method. This sink is thicker. It has greater physical weight and visual depth. It’s made with fiber paper and wire clips. They contain the glass and control the finished size of the fused class disc. To use the fiber paper dam method I measure the mold to determine the glass size needed. A single piece of clear glass is cut to that size. I cut several 1 ¼ inch wide strips of 1/8 inch thick fiber paper using a straight edge and razor blade. The cut glass circle is placed in a kiln on a primed fiber board kiln shelf. Using the glass as a guide, I stand the fiber paper strips on edge all the way around completely circling the glass disc. The stiff paper is held in place with U shaped copper wire pins. The copper pins are pressed gently down into the soft fiber board at even intervals around the perimeter of the glass circle.
An alternate way to make a cast sink is to use a stainless steel ring. The ring is placed on the kiln shelf; the inside is lined with 1/8 inch fiber paper. It’s then filled with compatible materials of your choice. I use mosaic size glass pieces, frit, stringer and dichroic. The glass is then fused together. Once cool to room temperature the fused glass is placed on a primed slumping mold and heated to the slumping temperature.
I’m often asked which sink slumping mold I like best; I like them all. I choose one over the other based on the parameters of the installation site, the purpose of the sink and the effect the shape will have on the esthetics of the environment where the sink will be on display.
Whether using the layered or cast method of sink assembly the process of cutting the drain hole is the same. The hole is cut in two stages. The first hole is cut with a diamond coated glass core drill bit using an electric drill. A centering template it cut out of thick contact paper or sandblast resist. I pour enough water in the bowl to cover the bottom then slowly drill with the core bit straight through the bottom of the glass bowl. The second stage is to counter sink the drain hole to accommodate the strainer drain. The strainer drain has to sit flush with the inside surface if the bowl or the water won’t drain properly. The beveled edge is ground with a diamond coated hone.
Making art functional is not a new concept; actually it is hundreds of years old. When the contents of the ancient tombs of kings were uncovered what remained were ornamental jars, basins and yes wash bowls. Theirs were made from clay rather than sand but the message is the same. Art is a way to bring beauty and elegance to our daily routine and what better way than to weave it into the fabric of our lives.
Want to learn more? Join me for my LIVE Make a Fused Glass Sink Webinar Tuesday April 18, 2023.
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Make a Fused Glass Sink Webinar
April 18, 2023
In this comprehensive Webinar, I’ll guide you step by step through the time-tested processes I use to make large-scale, functional vessels.
You’ll learn safe handling techniques for cutting oversized circles, how to fuse and slump thick pieces to retain consistent bowl height, plus trade-secrets for worry free drilling.
In addition to fabrication know-how, you’ll receive a complete supply list, specifics on kiln requirements, source information for the slumping mold and drill kit, as well as helpful installation tips.
With all the professional tricks revealed, you’ll gain the confidence and knowledge needed to make your own dazzling beauty.
In addition, I demonstrate how to make a glittering dichroic sink. I’ll also show you how to make a cast glass sink from nipped glass pieces, dichroic bits and frit. Plus, you’ll be guided through the various cold-working steps I use to finish the cast glass sink edge to a glamorous, professional, quality polish.
I hope you’ll join me!
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