Fused Glass Backgammon Set
Thanks to Sol Mesz of Oxnard, California for this project.
Materials and Tools:
flat, transparent sheets of glass
90 degree angle ruler
glass cleaner or vinegar
color paint samples
1. Select a design or draw your own. Select a sheet of glass most adequate for the size of the object.
2. Put the glass in the cutting mat and mark a little line where you'll cut. Use a 90-degree angle ruler, so just three marks is enough to determine the cut line. In the case of the backgammon triangles, use a template because it makes it a lot easier and faster to do. In general, Sol just uses the grid marks on the cutting mat.
3. Once all the pieces are cut, clean them with glass cleaner or vinegar and paper towel.
4. Make the color tests, which consist of putting the different color samples together to see how to make the combinations. The color samples are little rectangles of 1-1/2" x 3," pretty much like the paint samples you get from the store.
5. Then paint the pieces and let them dry. You can sometimes speed up the process by using a hairdryer.
6. Once everything is clean and dry, assemble the piece and paint all the top surfaces with "glass paint" to ensure that the piece will come out shiny. Sometimes, by effect of the heat, the glass might come out a bit frosted otherwise.
7. Once assembled, the piece goes to the kiln. Choose the firing "schedule" according to the end result desired. The firing process will take about 7 hours, after which the kiln shuts down. However, you have to wait for another 7 hours (when the kiln shuts down, it is still at 800 F degrees and should only be opened when temperature is below 100 F. So the kiln takes some 7 hours to cool down from 800 F to 100 F.).
8. You might need to give the edges a final finish with a wet grinder. The rough edges cannot be seen--it's only by the touch that you feel them.