Horizontal Strip Cabochons – Part 2


In Part 2 of this post I will cover making the actual cabochons. Part 1 covered making the part sheets that we will use for the small horizontal strips. If you haven’t read that, consider doing so, so you are familiar with how the part sheets were made.

So lets get on with making the cabochons.

First you need to decide on your designs. In these images below you can see that I have created just a few variations. I have combined strips from the various part sheets with different coloured opal glass, in a couple of strip width variations. In one variation I have bordered each side of the part sheet strip with opal glass, in others I just bordered the top with opal glass.

Fused Glass Cabochons

Making these cabochons is where you can get very creative. The ones I have made are quite simple, but I am sure you can see how you can get quite creative with the combinations.

Fused Glass Cabochons

The basic idea I have used is to simply cut strips of the parts sheets and alternate that with strips of a solid colour. I could have combined any combination of parts sheets, solid colours, opal or transparent glass and so on. All up to your creativity.

Making Fused Glass Cabochons

In this photo you can see If have cut strips of 3 mm Bullseye 90 COE glass in both opal and transparent (the green on the right). These have been combined with strips of the part sheets I made in Part 1 of this post.

As the part sheets are a little thicker than 3 mm, due to the decoration on top, I didn’t want to risk the score and snap method. I used a modified tile saw to cut these. I have a post about how I modified this saw here.

It all worked, but if you can afford a dedicated diamond saw for glass that would be better. I found when converting the tile saw that the thinner blade had an issue, and you want to use the thinnest blade possible to minimise wastage.

The opal and transparent strips are 2 layers of the same, the part sheet strips are layered on strips of clear. They have all been placed on Bullseye Thinfire paper.

Where the strips butted together, I did do some grinding to ensure there were no gaps. The scored glass isn’t always perfectly straight when snapped, and I didn’t want to run the risk of the pieces not fusing together. The grinding was done on a small benchtop grinder, but you could do it with ordinary wet and dry sandpaper and a nice flat surface. Place the sandpaper on your flat surface and grind the edges using some water as a lubricant, and as a medium to hold that dangerous glass dust. Use a face mask.

The Firing Schedule for the full fuse to make the slabs is down the bottom of this post.

Fused Glass Cabochons

When fused, these would make bars that I could then cut further into cabochon sizes as needed. I could have cut the glass smaller and made single cabochon stacks, but by doing the bars and then cutting those I expected to get a more uniform cabochon size.

In this photo you can see the slabs have been cut into cabochon size pieces, using the tile saw, and on the kiln shelf ready for a full fuse.

By the way, the kiln shelf has been coated with Bullseye kiln wash.

The edges were ground to remove and serious saw marks. I have found that if I don’t grind the saw cuts the finished cab can sometimes have a haze to the finish. Grinding to a reasonable fine finish ensures a nice polished finish.

The Firing Schedule for rounding out the cabochons is also included below.

Fused Glass Cabochons

Finally, finished cabochons fresh from the kiln. Nice and shiny, no devitrification, no haze.

From here you can make simple pendants by gluing on a bail, you can wire wrap them, and you can even fuse these into other creations if you desire.

Try it. Get creative and try some more adventurous combinations. Try different shapes. I did rectangles, but why not diamonds or triangles? You could make part sheets using opal glass instead of transparent.

I am sure you get the idea. It all depends on your creativity.

Firing Schedule

Full Fuse – Slabs

Please be aware that all kilns fire differently and this schedule may not produce the same results in your kiln.

Segment Rate (C/hr) Target (C) Hold (mns)
1. Release 222 537 30
2. Process 333 800 10
3. Anneal Full 482 60
4. Cool 83 371 30

Full Fuse – Cabochons

Segment Rate (C/hr) Target (C) Hold (mns)
1. Release 222 537 10
2. Process 333 800 5
3. Anneal Full 482 30
4. Cool 83 371 0

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