How to Make a Creative Squiggle Glass Platter

Fuse and slump glass in a kiln to create this unique glass platter filled with quirky glass shapes.

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Materials and Tools:

flowerpot
scraps of glass
kiln, at least 24" inside
annealing kiln
kiln bricks
tile saw
torch for melting glass
glasscutter
measuring equipment
bricks for holding glass in place
fiber paper
glass sheets
dichroic glass for decorating
glass nippers
tray mold for slumping
marver with round shapes for marble feet
punty rod
lapidary belt sander and belts to fit
glass rods to match project
level
disc sander
protective equipment: eyewear, ear protection, apron and gloves
UV glue
UV light

Steps:

1. Fill a flowerpot with glass scraps and elevate it above a clean, kiln-washed kiln shelf using kiln furniture. Heat the flowerpot to 1700 degrees F, allowing the glass to form a very liquid (drip) state so it will flow through the hole in the bottom of the flowerpot creating a glass puddle.

2. Once the glass has cooled completely, remove the glass puddle shaped like a pancake. Cut it into thin strips with a tile cutter at the tile saw. 

3. Bend the cut strips into "squiggles" using the heat of the torch to maneuver the glass. Hold the glass at the outermost tip of the flame to avoid thermal shock and slowly, as it heats, bring it further into the flame. Then, gently press it into the desired squiggle shape.

4. Cut a glass sheet into two rectangular pieces and stack to form two layers. Also cut black strips to fit around the edge of the rectangles for the platter's border.

5. Dam the project with pieces of heavy brick all around the edges to ensure a good tight connection of the black edge trim and the larger rectangles during the firing. Also, to ensure a release from the bricks, place 3/8-inch strips of fiber paper around all four sides of the rectangle. Decorate the tray with the squiggles and other pieces of glass. Place the drip glass platter into the kiln and fire. The firing schedule will take a full day to heat and cool.

6. Remove from the kiln and start cold working the edges with a belt sander. First sand with 60-grit, then 80-grit, 120-grit, 220-grit and finally 400-grit to produce a fine finished edge. Put the piece back into the kiln.

7. Fire in the kiln with a tray mold for slumping to give the platter its shape. Firing will take a full day to heat and cool.

8. Shape feet for the bottom of the platter into marbles with the marver. Remove the feet from the punty and place them into a small annealing kiln.

9. Once annealed, grind the marble feet on one side and attach with UV glue and the UV light to the bottom of the glass platter.

10. Level the feet at the disc sander to ensure that the platter is balanced and doesn't wobble.

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