Monday, August 10, 2015

Estelle's Vigil: Scarab Platter

EDIT: I've had to do something stupid to get the text to appear on this post. Sorry!

Estelle has, as one of her personal badges, a scarab (dung beetle) pushing a ball of it's preferred element. It's a reference to her peerage theory, quoted here:

The Dung Beetle Theory of becoming a Peer:

First, you gotta find your shit.

Roll around in that shit a while, make sure it's the shit you want to bring home.

Then, you get your shit together.

You gather it up, make it nice and rounded, polish that shit up so that it shines.

Then, you gotta bring your shit home.

So you spend your time, rolling that shit along.  But because you're a dung beetle, you gotta roll it backwards, which means that you really have no clue where you're really headed... but eventually, after a long while, and with a little luck, you get that shit right where it needs to be.

And that's how you become a Peer.

The End.

She requested a scarab platter on which she can serve truffles during her vigil. She provided a design:

We went through available molds and glass colors to find something acceptable:

(There is an invisible piece of clear for the white in this picture. The glass looks slightly hazy -- to me it's as if someone spilled milk on it and wiped most of it off. It was sold as "cloud" and as a translucent white. It wasn't translucent as I would find out...)

I was a bit concerned about how to fire this one. Before I started this piece I had fired one half of the family badge plate (adjacent post). I think it's issues were closely tied to the irregular layering of the glass (2 layers in some places, 1 layer in others). I added more clear pieces to this blank (what I call the piece as it's being fused, before slumping) to try and keep more consistency.

The piece is not perfectly regular, which didn't surprise me. A little grinding fixed that up. There are some unfortunate lines between the body segments, and leg segments. I knew that would happen but I didn't want to overlap the pieces and potentially provoke bubbles. This picture shows how the white striked. I compared it to a piece of "opaque" fusible white, and the piece sold as opaque was actually more translucent than this cloud glass.

With these platters I progressively slid my firing schedule down from 1300 degrees. I think its near 1230 now, with no change in the hold times. I did that to try and avert "dog boning" especially in the square plates. This helpful advice came from the folks at Fused Glass Fanatics on Facebook.

These pictures show the completed (slumped) platter. The actual shape and depth is not conveyed well, I will try to take a better shot next week. The white is clearly NOT translucent. I used my grinder along the edges to make the shape a little more regular and remove some stabby-bits.

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