Friday, August 30, 2013

Notes on soft fuse

The left hand items were all done on a soft fuse program that slowly ramped up to 780 and held for 10 mins.

I like the way the background square has squarer corners than the one I did on full fuse. The elements on the top right piece were soft fused at 768 for 5 mins. They are a bit too rounded so I am going to try 760 for 5 mins. Somewhere between 750 and 768 there must be a point where the glass softens. I will find it.

The blue and yellow block and the red pinwheel were formed on a full fuse. The blue and white block and the green pinwheel look pretty much the same done on the high soft fuse. The whites look different because they are different whites. The whiter one we can't get any more from our Canberra supplier.


The dog is done at 768 for 5 mins. So were the sheep elements and the letter with the stamp. I want all the elements to be a bit less rounded so similar items go in at 760 for 5 mins next time.

The finished sheep has a background made of a curved layer of white on a square layer of clear and fully fused. The one on the left I put clear triangles in the top corners and used a piece of white that I just cut the corners off. The clear triangles look like ears :(

The blank envelope I did on 780 for 10 mins. It gives a nice finish to the two layers. I will add the elements ( writing and stamp) and form at 760 for 5 mins. The one all done at 768 is pretty good though. I will try the complete envelope at 760. It is better to only have one step maybe.

A comparison between 768 and 750 with the dragon fly and the piece next to it. I want something in between these two.

The Cotten reel on the left is two layers on full fuse first. The reel on the right is three layers full fused first. Not much difference but the two layer brown is a bit darker. The stringers were done at 768 for 5 mins.

My next experiment will be similar items on the 780 fuse or the 760 fuse using nice whole numbers for the ramp rate and hold temps. I can't see the point of ramping at a rate of 139. Why not make it an even 150 or at least 140. I think it is because things are converted from Fahrenheit . I am only new to using the kiln but I think that 139 and 150 are both slow ramp rates. The original soft fuse has all sorts of odd numbers. The cooling step is 111 to 427. I think I can play with this to make it all nice round numbers.



Saturday, August 17, 2013

Working on methods

As well as experimenting with different fusing programs. I keep finding patterns I want to make that take a bit of thinking.

I really wanted to make some cotton reels but I couldn't work out a way to get the angles right for the spool and the background. I was playing around with another design when it struck me that I could draw a template with cutting lines, cut out 2 squares into the same shapes then mix and match them. Just like the stack and slash method for quilt blocks.

Here are some templates for cutting. The cardboard pieces are to trace around in my design book so I can make designs the right size. The one on the right is for the cotton reel.

The one on the left is for the wonky 9 patch. I made two in pink and purple. Nothing is fired yet. I need to make up enough pieces to fill the kiln.

We really wanted to make some transparent earrings and use plastic posts but when we put the posts on and tried to put the backs on they were pretty wobbly and the back nuts were difficult to get on. They have all gone in the give away pile. We won't be buying any more plastic earring backs or making transparent earrings. A shame, because they do look pretty.

I spent several days working on the card design to mount the earrings and pendants. It looks great and we have attached lots of earrings and some pendants and buttons. We have a business meeting most mornings at breakfast and I record all our ideas using the Inspiration app. I like using boxes and arrows rather than a simple list.

Here are some of the pendants ready to go.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Some tack fusing and new pendants

We are still trying out lots of things. Trouble is it takes a day and a night to see and touch the result. It is like we are moving in slow motion. I have tried some more complex patterns and trialled some tack fusing at 735 for 10 mins hold. It gives a smooth but crisp look.

Here are some bits and pieces waiting for the kiln. I got the idea for the dragonfly from Pinterest.

Here are some of the pendants I have been making.

I have been searching with lots of different search words to try to find quilt related pendants or jewellery. There is some mosaic sort of patchwork out there but nothing complex. I also found a gift shop in the US that sells several different simple block patterns but they look like he used his scrap glass to make them. They didn't seem very colourful.

We hope to buy the shopping cart software beginning of September and have our shop operating by middle of September. The website will be
It is all such fun :)