Glass, SCA Life

Glass plates

I guess one of the things I have become known for my fused glass.  Brynn gets on me because I do so many straight lines.  Straight lines are easy for mass production though.  But that said, many of my fused pieces don’t have straight lines.

But let’s back up a bit first.  I have always had glass.  The travelling glass maker at the mall was my favorite when growing up. My college education is in high tech Ceramics and we had to have a glass class as part of that.  I loved it.  I did a story for our newsletter Called Romancing the Glass.   I recounted how more than 20 years ago, I wanted to try my hand at stained glass.  But 20 years ago, it wasn’t the right time so I got rid of all of my equipment.  About 5 to 6 years ago, I finally started to learn how to do copper foil stained glass.  Then lead came.  Then fusing.  I like fusing the best.  I like the clean lines of it.  The glass is more expensive but with the other styles, you end up paying the same kind of cost somewhere else (solder, cement, foil, etc).

Some notes on fused glass.  Due to surface tension, glass wants to be ~7 mm thick or not quite 0.25″.  Sheets of glass are generally sold in 0.125″ sheets.  So to prevent shrinkage in the fuse, you generally need at least 2 layers of glass to fuse.  I will often use clear glass for this purpose but I will use whatever I have on hand if needed.

These were some of my first fused plates.  My device of course.  These are 6 inch plates and are part of my feast kit.  I use a ring saw to cut complex shapes like the swan.

I am pretty sure this was my second plate.  It is for the heads of my household, House FoxRose.  When I make plates for vigilants, etc, I tend to make a 12 x 12 curved bottom plate.  That is the mold my glass shop has and I like it.  It is big enough to be seen and displayed.  I am very pleased with the Fox on this one.

These were the next two and I think I started hitting my stride.  The left was for Mistress Roana and the right for Baroness Verena.  I used glass paint to do the quatre-foils and markings on the badger.  For the right plate, I ended up accidentally using iridescent clear glass and you can see a bit of a sheen between the orange and yellow tiles.

These two were my next two.  Mistress Petrona to the left and Mistress Kendra to the right.  Petrona’s plate was some of the more difficult cutting I had done to date.  Again glass paint to do the leaf markings.

I visited the Barony of Three Rivers for Chieftans and made these 6″ plates as a gift.  I hope they are put to good use.


Ok, this isn’t a plate.  It is a bowl.  I had done a fused Roman mosaic style bowl for my pentathlon and then my friend Domina Lucretia was elevated so I did a bowl in a Roman mosaic style.  The word “mosaic” might be confusing here.  We tend to use it modernly to reference to an image composed of small colored pieces, often of stone or glass.   In this case, the word mosaic is more of reference to the multi-colored nature of the piece.  Mosaic glass was composed of a variety of colors.

The Heart of the Midlands challenge involved making regalia for another group.  Shattered Crystal wanted servingwear.  I made these plates as part of that challenge.

To the left is a plate for Mistress Sofya and to the right for Master Avery.  Avery’s plate is the first I did that wasn’t the person’s device.  Why?  Avery’s device is far to complex for me to actually do.  But his badge was much easier.  The fox looks like more rat like that I would have liked.  In truth, I should have done everyone’s plate as their badge (if they had one).  The device means the person, not the person’s stuff.  But most people have a device that can be found.  Not everyone has a badge.

This one I did for Master Gunnar.  It is the perfect device for him.  It looks simple.  But in reality, it is very complex.  I mostly succeeded in lining all the pieces up to make the circle and points hit right.  The “NE, SE, SW,and NW” points if you will are just a tad bit too towards the center.  They should have been pushed out a little bit more.  Also, cutting sharp angles into glass is very tricky.  The “triangles” are actually two straight cuts abutting each other.  You can see a little gapping here and there.  That all said, I think I did really well with this piece.  It was much trickier than it seems.

The last challenge is this.  Since I don’t have my own kiln yet, I have to transport all of these pieces 3 to 4 miles in the back of my car along sometimes bumpy roads to the glass shop.  Even it I get it right in my workspace, I might have to redo all of that work when I get to the shop if pieces moved around.

This is my most recent plate for Heather Hall.  I think my cutting on the club and spade are pretty good.

7 thoughts on “Glass plates”

  1. They are lovely. I have questions now. How high a temperature do you use for how long? What material is used to make the mold? have you ever tried to make a mold?

    1. Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to your questions. I rely on the local glass shop to do the fusing. Someday I will have a kiln but it is will be many years from now.

      1. I was thinking about letting you borrow my Olympic test kiln for awhile. Would you have a location for it? It requires a grounded regular socket, that is 110 volts , since it can draw 18 amps it is best on a 20 amp circuit or it may trip the circuit breaker. Glass temperatures might not draw the full 18. It weights under 40 lbs, so you could carry it. It requires a full foot of clearance on all sides, the bottom is off the ground a foot on it’s legs. It has a pyrometer. I would expect you to keep a log for my kiln book and I want it back at some point.

  2. I just looked up my kiln. The weight for shipping is much higher than if you just pick it up. Here are the specs:
    Model 129FLE Wiring Specifications
    Equipped with Lid Lift AssistN/A 120 Volts
    Inside Chamber Dimensions w x d x h (inches) 11.25 x 9 x 9.75 15 Amps
    Cubic Feet .48 1800 Watts
    Outside Dimensions with Stand or Frame w x d x h (inches) 23.5 x 14 x 22.5 20 Amp Breaker Required
    Brick Thickness 2.5″ Plug Configuration: NEMA 5-15
    Maximum Temperature Cone 6-2250°F/1232°C Copper Wire Size: #12,#10 if circuit is longer than 40 ft
    Est Ship Wt 75 lbs, ground/110 lbs with guillotine lift, freight

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