October 21, 2014

Potless Melt

Pot melts are all the rage these days in fused glass studios and a plethora of shiny $tainless $teel tools have hit the market. Molds, frames, custom grids, fibers thick and thin...they're all out there for the experimental artist.  But if you're on a budget and want to use glass scraps as a cost effective medium, how about going potless?

Tools and Materials:
-Clean, unused, unglazed red clay plant saucer with no cracks
-Scrap kiln paper
-Scrap glass of many colors (be sure it's all the same COE!) 
-Frit (optional)

1.  Gather that good intentions scrap glass you've been saving.  Sort same COE colors into like piles. Not only will this utilize your expensive scraps, but you'll feel so good about cleaning it up!

2.  Overlap scrap kiln papers (note the theme here $$) and line the saucer--pretty doesn't matter.

3.  Layer glass into the saucer. Depending on how you plan to use your potless melt, reserve your "good" glass for the bottom and top layers.  Use frit or less attractive scraps in the middle layer as filler.  Orphan beads not meant for daylight make an excellent foreground, I save them just for this.

When you're happy with your design, full fuse with a slow cool down.  Sandblast or sand the paper residue off prior to using your potless melt in a mold, etc. Your saucer may break...you'll be out a $1.  But you'll get much more control of your final abstract design--all at the cost of running your kiln.  

Give it try and share your thoughts!

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