Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Playing with glass and other New Art...UHU glue reviews

I have been playing with glass and experimenting with how it melts. For me, since I know basically nothing other than what i have read in books, it is all a big experiment. I waste a lot of materials this way, and often, when I finally get the hang of it, I switch to a new project....mainly I think out of frustration that I am not an expert at it and it is not perfect. Lately I am trying really hard to complete projects....and I am attempting spontaneous art - you know - just DO IT...don't judge. Be patient. Give it time to speak to you and to develop.....and don't hurry. I like to take shortcuts and usually that means big time mistakes and interesting wastebasket liners....
OK. Back to glass. I was using wasser red flame glass. It had cool orange and yellow flame streaks amongst the red. I put a piece of thin dichroic glass on that and also a copper inclusion that I half-a**ed coated with boric acid powder in alcohol, to keep it copper colored. I didn't think to burnish it flat, and by the time I put the copper on the glass it had dried and was flaking off. No matter. I stuck everything together with glastac, including a bullseye clear glass that I topped each heart with (same COE as the wasser). Then I put it in the kiln. This is how they turned out.

Fronts ...the one on the bottom left is the one i grooved and wire wrapped. More about that later....

As you can see, all of the Wasser glass blended together and became a solid red. The back of this glass was white streaked on the red. The one piece I fired with the white side up, turned mainly white! The backs, turned yellow and brown. Very weird. Turns out, wasser glass full fuses about 50 degrees lower than the clear bullseye topper, and since I fired the kiln at 1490, which is for the bullseye, I super melted it all together. The dichroic glass I used was cut in triangles, which I also don't like. I wish I had shaped it with rounded edges. But I loved what the copper did - It turned a dark red with even darker edges and had a nice shimmer to it.
Next step, I decided to grind off all the extra clear glass on the heart's edges and fire polish them. The white heart I decided to groove the edge so I could wire wrap it. Now I've never grooved glass before, but I have a new groove bit for my grinder so I tried it. I went around twice to be sure i had a deep groove. i had a deep groove, alright - a canyon!
Big air bubbles, cracked edges - pretty sloppy! But the copper heart looks great!
I wrapped it anyway and thought I'd be really clever and use UHU glass and metal epoxy to help hold the fine silver wire. The glue worked great and allowed me to wrap the wire tightly. I will also use it to attach bails later to the other pieces ( I will do a full review of this glue then - I need to test the strength over time) ....the pieces are all way to thick to drill holes into.....
Then I got the bright idea to refire it with the other pieces to polish the rough groove edges. This was a bad idea. There was no firescale, because I had used fine silver, but the silver turned the glass edges yellow (which happens) and of course it weakened the silver. Ultimately i took the wire off, ground off the groove and ugly glass, and refired it.
These are new piece for the kiln, and the big hearts from above are being fired are on the bottom shelf. I am also firing tiny glass scraps to make glass balls for other projects.

Here they are out of the oven. The new pieces (the little hearts) I super coated the copper and the copper stayed true copper colored. I prefer the copper to turn red, like it did in the original hearts. I also used dichroic "paper" which was a real waste. You can see the shadows of the tiny dichroic hearts, etc, but the dichroic shimmer is gone. I think the "paper" has to be fired at a lower temperature. It is really expensive and is really a dichroic decal, but you can punch out any design you like. Too bad it works lousy! The eyeballs (click on the photo to see the detail) have huge bubbles in them because I layered dichroic glass that was too thick, and fired it too fast. I am going to experiment by drilling out the air bubbles and refiring.
Here's a pic of a stone and a skull I am covering in latex to make molds to cast as plaster investments. I will use the stone's investment to fire with pmc clay around it. After it is fired I will remove the plaster investment and add the stone. The skull I want to use with an"freeze and fuse" glass. Stay tuned!

and here's a large painting I am working on. It is a shibori crinkled paper tree trunk and lots of foam circles. I used some of the UHU epoxy for texture, as well a pumice, thread, and liquid nails, molding paste, fabric and tar gel. It is white because it has gesso on it. When it dries I will start painting it and will put transfers of people? embryos? ...well, something. It is called "life from a bubble".

UHU Foam Glue - another FREE FULL SIZED SAMPLE from Maria Filosa blog site.
UHU glue for foam is the best product I've ever used for foam. I used to build foam costume heads and bodies (covered with fabric) and the glue we used was stinky and messy. The fumes were terrible in the head of a costume! This stuff is low odor and works remarkably well. It works best foam to foam. I have some heart charms that are all layered foam that are stuck together with this stuff. You put it on both pieces and let it dry, then squish the pieces together.


Darya said...

Connie, these are SO cool! Here's how you gotta think about it... At some point in ancient history, no one knew how to do glass. They experimented, and learned that way. So think of it as practicing an ancient craft! And it's not like you're cutting people open or something to experiment... :-)


Joanne Huffman said...


No glass work is ever wasted. I love your hearts and I am in envy of your fearless approach to experimentation. I like the eyeballs. I look forward to seeing what happens with your mold. I hope you post pictures of the dimensional painting in progress because I think it's going to be spectacular. I also appreciate the glue critique; I always say that looking for the perfect adhesive is like searching for the Holy Grail.

I'm excited that you're so busy being so creative.


Kathy McElroy said...

You have been busy Connie. I love it all. I guess glass does what it wants to do. I admire your determination to try new things. You always make the coolest things.

Kathy McElroy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hello nice to find a like minded person. I experiment like you and just love it. I have just fused a wire butterfly in between two sheets of clear using chips of colour in the butterfly. I have some large air bubbles in and was thinking of drilling and refiring. How did yours work out? I am concerned about trying this as I dont want to spoil my work. It looks great apart from all the trapped air