Overthinking glass bowls

Sometimes, when you make stuff, you overthink it.  When you find the real solution, you kick yourself because it is so easy and so simple, how did you not see it before?

Case in point, fused Roman bowls.  Fused Roman Mosaic bowl

I made one such bowl as part of a pentathlon.  I tried to approximate making “millifore” to make a small bowl.  It was a giant pain.  When Lucretia was elevated to the Laurel, I made this for her.

I used a different method to make this bowl.  Lucretia’s Fused Roman Mosaic bowl   I cut strips of glass from a square sheet.  Follow the link for the process.  This again was a bit of pain.

I then wanted to try for a more “roman” type shape, a high sided bowl.  My local glass shop couldn’t slump it properly over the model.  There was a lot of glass folding in on itself.  So I tried to make bowls like Lucretia’s again.  I don’t have photos of the process.

But as I was driving to the glass shop, I figured out the problem and why this way is a pain.  I was overthinking the problem.

Let me lay it out for you.   To make the flat plate in the “old” way, I had to cut strips of various sizes to fit a 9″ circle.  I had to nip the ends to make it fit.  Pieces were irregular in width.  I had to spend several hours across different days to make all the pieces fit.  I thought, there has to be an easier way to get pieces into a circle.  The answer is obvious; start with a circle.

So last night, I cut the pieces for two new bowls in about an hour.

First to choose the glass.  I choose these from my stash.

Then cut them into 9″ circles with my strip cutter.

There is a nice trick to break out almost perfect circles.  Once cut, you flip it over on a soft surface, like a towel, and use your hands to gently (or sometimes not so gently) propagate the crack.

And you get this



I also need a substrate between the two sides so a thin layer of clear glass serves for that.

  I tried to show the score line in the glass.  I am not sure you can see it.

Then you take the strip cutter and cut the circles into strips, ~ 0.5″ wide.


Then chose the parts from each to make the flat that will be fused.


There will be one on each side.  Turn the one set upside down and stack.



These are now ready for the kiln to be fused into flats then slumped over the bowl mold.  Viola!  Fused bowls that in the Roman style.


2 thoughts on “Overthinking glass bowls”

  1. I’ve previously cut strips, then duct taped them together on the back to hold ’em while I used the circle cutter 😀

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