Constructing Part Sheet Platter ‘Sky Tracks’

The term ‘fused glass’ really does apply to this project. It uses a ‘selected’ part of a part sheet and virgin (should I use that word) glass to construct a beautiful decorative sling platter.

Ok, I’m using a bit of artistic license here. The term ‘sling’ I use when talking about a platter that is simply a flat rectangular, or square, piece that has been slumped in the middle, like a slung hammock. Am I stretching that artistic license a bit?

Anyway, this platter uses a piece from a part sheet I posted a little while back – A Strip Construction Glass Fusing Part Sheet. I hope you find it interesting.

As usual, this was made with Bullseye 90 COE glass only. The blue transparent glass is Turquoise Blue 1116.

The Hard Bit, The Design

The inspiration for this piece was the part sheet. The rich blues in the strip construction seemed to suggest something like lines in the sky, hence the name ‘Sky Tracks’. Mmm…maybe that should have been ‘Trails’.

The first task was to come up with a design and after a number of rather complex ideas, the one I decided on was rather simple. The trails had to be the feature so I chose to simply border a diagonal piece of the part sheet with rich transparent blue panels. Much like the sky, of course.

BTW, please forgive me again for not taking more photos as I worked. I just get a bit carried away and focused on what I’m doing.

To Work

Layup of Fused Glass Platter

I did draw up the design on paper as a guide, then used that to select a suitable part of the part sheet to use in the piece. This was initially cut using my ring saw. Love the ring saw. It can be a little slow but the end result is great and I have so much more control.

The side pieces were then cut from new sheets and then laid up to see how well I had cut the angles. Sorry, no photo, so you’ll have to believe me when I say I managed to get it fairly right.

Everything was then cleaned up and straightened by grinding on my large flat diamond lap. It also is a dream to use as it just makes it so much easier to get long straight sides, straight and square.

Layup of Fused Glass Platter

In the first few photos, you can see the result of all my cutting and grinding. The layup is pretty good. You can see in the photos some rounding of the top edge of the part sheet, that didn’t fit squarely with the top pieces of clear. I wasn’t worried about that as I was confident it would all fuse and level in the kiln.

A couple of things to note here.

I’m not using two layers of blue. The top layer is clear. Again, I do this because I want that lighter clearer effect and two layers of the blue to result in a deeper shade.

The other thing is that you can see in the part sheet some wobbles in the lines. This was the top of the part sheet in the kiln when fused, but as discussed in my other post about the part sheet, on the bottom side the lines are nice and straight. So the top as you see it here is actually going to be the bottom of the finished piece. Hence, that is also why the clear sheets are on the top in this layup.

Layup of Fused Glass Platter

You should also note the nice straight and square edges that using the large flat lap produces. Almost impossible to do on a small spindle grinder. Of course, if you can afford a belt sander that will also work well, I assume, as I’ve never used one.

The glass separator you can see is Bullseye Thinfire paper. It just works for me.

Off to The Kiln

Fused Glass Art

So then it was off to the kiln. The firing schedules are below, but my schedules are all pretty consistent anyway.

Guess what, I did slightly overfire it and it ended up with more rounding of the corners and sides than I would have liked. Not a big problem. Just meant I had to do a little more grinding.

I did have a little devitrification as well, but that is just par for the course. Not sure why, with all the cleaning I do, but I do suspect a little contamination in my older kiln. Have tried to burn it out but no luck so far.

Sandblasted Fused Glass Bowl

Anyway, the edges of the piece were cleaned up on my flat lap, and then it was finally sandblasted to clean up the surface. You’ll notice the edges are not squared. I wanted a softer round edge on the finished piece. You can also see that it has been turned over now and the lines are nice and straight.

Back to the kiln for a fire polish and it came out beautifully polished and looking perfect. The slump was next.

The Slump

Platter on Mold

The mold I used is a favorite of mine, mainly because I made it. Well, me and some helpers. It was made from a piece of scrap stainless steel I sourced from a local scrap metal yard, and with the help of a local engineering shop, it was curved and shaped to sit correctly in the kiln. From memory, a total outlay of about $30, and I ended up with a couple of molds. A bargain.

The End Result

The final piece was exactly as I had imagined. Very happy.

My final decision was how to display it. Yes, I could put those little rubber bumpers on, and that works fine, but I wanted to have it sit up proud. You can see in the feature photo that it is sitting on a homemade stand. Nothing fancy, but I think it works.

Hope you enjoyed it, and, as usual, ask any questions in the comments and please post any photos of your work if you give it a go. If you have your own blog, add a link to it in the comment as well.

Firing Schedule

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

Full Fuse – Sky Tacks Sling Platter

SegmentRate ºC (ºF) /hrTarget ºC F)Hold (mns)
1. Release200 (392)535 (995)30
2. Bubble200 (392)675 (1247)15
4. ProcessFull805 (1481)10
5. AnnealFull482 (900)60
6. Cool83 (181)375 (707)0

Fire Polish – Sky Tacks Sling Platter

SegmentRate ºC (ºF) /hrTarget ºC F)Hold (mns)
1. Release222 (432)535 (995)30
2. Process333 (631)720 (1328)15
2. AnnealFull482 (900)60
3. Cool83 (181)375 (707)0

Slump – Sky Tacks Sling Platter

SegmentRate ºC (ºF) /hrTarget ºC F)Hold (mns)
1. Process167 (333)630 (1166)5
2. AnnealFull482 (900)90
3. Cool56 (133)375 (707)30

3 thoughts on “Constructing Part Sheet Platter ‘Sky Tracks’”

    1. Hi Mary
      I made it. Purchased some aluminium rod from the hardware, bent it into shape in a vice, then painted it with enamel.
      Some I painted white, others black.
      Hardest part is getting the bends correct, but over cut slightly and then file back the legs to level.
      Other than that, an easy stand to make.
      Hope this helps.

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