Today I am going to begin a Heart tutorial.  As new hearts come out of the kilns I will add to this so be sure to check back.

We are making the hearts in 3 sizes.  6", 8" and 10".  We making the stainless formers 2" deep.

The finished weights on these for now after coldworking are:

6" HeartI am making these for a wall project so mine are 1/2" thick and weigh 468 grams. so right around a pound.

8" Heart at 1/2" thick = 1 2/3 lbs or 735 grams (this on was quite thick but I also refired it in a full fuse after the original melt and I loved it!!)

10" Heart at 3/8" thick = 2 1/2 lbs or 1140 grams

Front melt: (in the top picture)

On this picture you can see the front heart is the 10".   I used a totally clean kiln shelf and put 4 layers of kiln wash on it.  No drying between layers is needed. After the 4 layers I did dry it in the kiln empty while I was doing other things.....I then placed our stainless steel heart on the kiln shelf and lined it with a 1" strip of 1/8" fiber paper.   Next I put the Bubble pot melt pot sitting right on top.  No kiln wash or anything in the pot.  I dripped directly onto the kiln washed shelf. I am going to guess it was around 60% white and 30% red and only 10% clear.  The reason this had so little clear is that I did not want any empty spots in this finished melts with a lot of clear.  On another melt with transparents I might choose up to 40% clear. If you look at the result in the picture above, you will see that if there had been any clear spots I do not think it would have been as nice. I did have kiln wash that stuck to the back of the melt.....as you usually do when you drip right onto kiln wash at these temperatures.  The wash came off with a little scrubbing with a diamond hand pad.  To avoid this you can cut out a blank of a clear heart and drip onto that....I was just in a hurry.

Next is the melt in the top picture.....back melt:

This is the 8" stainless steel heart form.  On this one I chose a different route. I chose to put thin fire under the stainless steel on the freshly kiln washed shelf....  then the heart and the1/8" x 1" fiber paper lining the steel.  In the form on the shelf I put opaque white scrap covering most of the heart shape but not worrying too much to cover ever little bit......I then added some clear scrap.  All scrap!  I then placed the flow strips propped up by fiber board on an angle across the heart with just a few slices of scrap across them.  I just wanted some red movement and that is what I got.  I had no thin fire sticking to the back.  It washed right off.  That being said I do not drip straight onto thin fire as it can move and gather up into your glass.  I am going to do some experiments using our 1mm and dripping onto it but I think it could still embed itself and it is better to drip onto a blank or scrap.


Below is a shot where I am loading hearts that are firing as I am writing this.

This is my JenKen 26" Profusion kiln.  I have taken the fiber shelf out and I am firing on small shelves. The stilt in the middle is for an additional shelf.  The fiber paper I am using is our 1/8" x1" x 100 ft roll.  This makes it so much faster loading formers!  I only put 1" in these because they will not end up any thicker that 1/2".  Thinfire is not enough of a buffer when you are using stainless.  You need the thickness of 1/8".

Next trick.  I wanted a nice bottom angle on the hearts so I did not want to overlap the 1/8" fiber paper.  I did butt them up firmly to each other and then I put a small slice of thinfire behind that seam.  It is called insurance!!

On this 10" heart I decided to put in a layer of clear smashed scrap onto the thinfire, then some transparent light cherry medium frit and some left over vitrigraph.  When you do smash clear frit to do a scrap melt be sure to sift off all of the powders and fines.  They will just make it cloudy. I will post the finished piece from this when I see it!

On this next one I put down thin fire and clear scrap as you can see in the below picture.... then red opaque scrap.  I then put a small amount of hammered white scrap to lighten it up and on top of the stainless I put a 10" Ziggy.  Ziggy is perfect for these as it can sit right on top of the heart stainless! I then added a small amount of scrap on top of Ziggy to create movement.  We shall see!

On the next one I used an 8" heart and lined it with thinfire.  I then filled the area with sifted clear scrap and then some transparent colors of medium frit......then a Ziggy and just a small amount of white and transparent blue. 


This one is an 8" that I added on that center stilt.  It is clear scrap with colors on top.  We will see how it likes going to the flowing temps of this load. I could have just put it in a full fuse.

So.....here is what the load looks like.  Yep....had to put an annular in there!!!!  There 4 hearts and an annular.

The schedule I am using on these high fire melts is:

350/1650 hold 90

9999/1520 hold 20

9999/950/hold 3 hours anneal (96)

50/800/0 hold

100/700 off

Let me know if you like this tutorial.  I will add more as I fire more.  I am loving these hearts!!  You can find them on this site under stainless steel and the Hearts!!


The schedule I am using when just melting scrap into one of the formers is:

250/1100 hold 15


450/1480 hold 20

9999 to anneal (900 for 90, 950 for 96) hold 2 hrs

50/800/0 hold

100/700 off

Here are a few more pictures from this mornng.  These were made using the full fuse schedule above.


I am using low profile Bottomless Molds with these and they are coming out wonderful!