In this tutorial, we’ll be making a platter using iridised and dichroic glass. The technique is one I especially love as I’m sure you will.
The video tutorial includes the design, materials, and equipment information, as well as cutting the glass with a ring saw, and coldworking including sandblasting, fusing, fire polishing, and slumping.
In the YouTube video, you will find links to related videos, a chapter list with time stamps, and links to more resources.
All of the glass, I’m using is Bullseye 90 COE. I normally use Thinfire fiber paper on my shelves and boron nitride spray, on moulds.
In this video, I’m using a technique I have used in the past, very successfully, to create a very unique piece that I’ll never part with.
The goal is to produce a piece that has an unusual depth to it, similar to looking deep into space, like a nebula with subtle colours and texture.
The materials are simply rainbow iridised black, clear, and a piece of dichroic on clear of your choice and shape. The piece I’m using is a simple rectangular shape. All the glass is 3mm.
The size is 280 mm x 140 mm, suitable for my custom-made stainless steel platter mould.
As you will have seen in the video, the design created by sandblasting the surface was similar to radiating beams from the dichroic feature. You can make the design whatever you wish, as well as the size, number, colour of dichroic glass, and positioning.
In the video, you can see the final appearance after slumping. The satin finish to the glass in this piece turned out less polished than I thought, mainly because the slump was very shallow and thus the time required much less. A different mould that requires a longer slump hold will produce a shiny saying finish.
As you will have noticed, you need to mask off all the areas that you don’t want sandblasted, including the back if you want decoration on the back. I used a vinyl that is commonly used for Cricut machines, but any adhesive vinyl should be fine. Be sure to burnish down the edges of the vinyl so it doesn’t lift during the sandblasting, and if you have vinyl over vinyl, pay particular attention to where they overlap.
Try to do a light sandblast as getting heavy will erode the vinyl and at least make it thin and a pain to remove. At worse, it will erode away completely and sandblast the glass underneath. You just need to create an even frosted surface.
I didn’t mention it in the video, but you could probably use a chemical to produce an etched finish. I’ve never done this, but have seen such etching applied quite successfully. Be sure to test first.
You will notice on the fully fused piece there is some dimpling around the edge of the dichroic glass. This could have been flattened further, but that required more heat work and that would have affected the dichro. Possible darkening it so it effectively disappeared. I don’t mind that dimpling, but it’s up to you. I believe a less textured piece of dichro would be smoother and not produce the dimpling.
If you have any questions please ask in the comments section on YouTube.
💥 Full Fuse Firing Schedule
- #1 – 222 C (432 F) up to 535 C (995 F), hold 90 minutes
- #2 – 333 C (632 F) up to 670 C (1238 F), hold 30 minutes
- #3 – Full up to 805 C (1480 F), hold until the dichro melts down into the base. Consider how heat affects dichro.
- #4 – Full down to 482 C (900 F), hold 60 minutes
- #5 – 65 C ( 149 F) down to 425 C (797 F), no hold
- #6 – 132 C ( 270 F) down to 371 C (700 F), no hold
💥 Slump Firing Schedule
- #1 – 167 C (333 F) up to 625 C (1157 F), hold 5 minutes
- #2 – Full down to 482 C (900 F), hold 60 minutes
- #3 – 65 C ( 149 F) down to 425 C (797 F), no hold
- #4 – 132 C ( 270 F) down to 371 C (700 F), no hold