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)
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
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!