Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Inclusion Experiments

Time to start playing with metal, I think! Here are some test pieces ready and waiting in the kiln, to be fired. They are various pieces of aluminium inserted between layers of clear glass. I've also been having a go at bending glass stringers over a candle flame, so the yellow lines are the results of that. (Verdict: They bend! And break really easily!)

This piece shows each type of aluminium I'm trying out. There is a piece of mesh in the centre, flanked left and right by strips cut from a drink can. The top and bottom are strips of kitchen foil. Let us see what happens after fusing. This was sent to 1490F as usual, but annealed for an hour instead of 45 minutes.

After firing, what do we get? Bubbles! And lots of them. They are slightly gold-tinged which is curious. The mesh produced loads of them. I put a steel washer into the O of 'Jo' which is rendered invisible behind the bubbles.

The star at the top is made of five separate points of foil, overlaid on top of each other. The ends are almost invisible, while the centre has bubbled considerably. Single layers of foil seem to go almost transparent. An interesting effect. The very silvery coloured little stars are on the outside of that piece; they seem to have sunk into the glass and stayed metal coloured.

Here's the same piece again. You can see the original mesh through the middle of that giant bubble. The left and right are just Bubble City, while the foil top and bottom is transparent again.

Here's a close up of the mesh lettering. Some of these bubbles look regular. I am wondering if they might be less chaotic if I fired these at a lower temperature. Aluminium melts at 1221F which is much lower than 1490F, although I'd still need to fuse around 1350-1400 in order to sufficiently join the glass together. More experimentation could be in order, here.

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