I subscribe to several craft blogs so that I am never short of ideas for craft projects while visiting my niece and nephew. Occasionally, I will read about a technique or material that might be reworked for a project that I might want to make. A few days ago I read a post about cracked glass stones on the Dollar Store Crafts blog. The instructions were simple–oven temperature 425º for 20 minutes and then an ice bath.
I liked the idea of it, heating glass stones and then immersing them in ice water for a rapid cooling. This is not all that different from raku firing, remove work from a hot kiln, then cooling it quickly in a bucket of water. Quenching after raku firing is more dramatic, but a similar notion.
I thought that I would give it a try. Picked up a bag of glass stones at the local Dollar Tree. Surprised to find 100 stones in the bag.
I lined the baking sheet with paper and spaced the stones a finger width apart.
The paper liner came in handy to lift and pour the hot stones into the ice bath.
Stones in the ice bath.
The result is some nice and at times subtle fractures.
What are my plans? I was thinking about the possibility of using fractured glass bits as part of code in some of my work. I could use the color of the stones or the method for binding them to act as an aesthetic element which is also code.
I got to thinking about some tests that I did in a kiln firing with metal tins and glass beads. I had a bunch of beads left from some craft projects and thought might be able to somehow use them.
Glass beads with a bit of metal mesh in tin fired to approximately cone 015.
Glass beads and straight pins in tin fired to approximately cone 015.
I was hoping for some slumping of the glass over the metal bits. That didn’t happen, but there is always something positive with every test. Something to use in a different way or to build on. Sometimes I may not integrate the results into a project for several years. It is important to keep records. It saves a lot of time and testing in the future.