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Kiln-Formed Glass: Pot Melt - Pot Drop - Mesh Melt

Warm Glas + Hot Glass = Unique Glass

Also known as "vitrigraph" or "vitrograph" technique

No, not that kind of "pot" -- a "flower pot"!

The idea is to put scrap glass into a clay flower pot, and take your kiln up to 1700F,
at which time the now molten glass will drizzle out the (one or more) holes
in the bottom of the flower pot, hopefully creating intricate designs!

(notice I'm wearing a silver proximity firefighting glove (purchased on ebay) when I open the kiln at 1700F!)
The slightly darker circle is the molten glass that, thanks to gravity, emptied from the flower pot.
 
I followed the kiln program recommended by the first web link below:

Ramp
Degrees F per Hour
to Temperature
Degrees F
Hold
600 DPH17001 hour 30 minutes (later changed to 2 hours)
9999 DPH150045 minutes
9999 DPH9602 hours (later changed to 3 hours then 4 hours as pieces got thicker)
200 DPH6005 minutes

Please see the detailed kiln ramp-schedule at the bottom of this web page.
Total time, including cooling down to room temperature, approximately 18 hours, so I can make one per day...
 
Internet Links for finding out how to make a pot melt (pot drop) with your kiln
www.wikihow.com How to Use a Pot Melt Technique with Bullseye Glass
www.clearwaterglass.com Aperture Pour Tutorial by Steve Immerman of Clearwater Glass Studio
www.clearwaterglass.com Glass Craftsman, Feb-March 2005 - BATCH: The Pot Melt Defined, by: Judith Conway
www.clearwaterglass.com Wire Mesh Melt Tutorial - with wonderful photos
www.igrowhydro.digitalbeachworld.com Pot Melt Tutorial ny Laurie and Joel Spray Bonny Doon Fused Glass Art (485 KByte PDF file)
www.glass-fusing-made-easy.com Designing a Pot Melt
www.glassfacts.info Pot Melt Calculator: Use this calculator to determine how much glass (by weight) is needed for a specific size pot-melt.
Enter any two of the values below (size, thickness, weight), select your glass, and click "Go!"
www.kiloalphatango.com Latest pot melt
bonnydoonfusedglassart.blogspot.com Pot Melt Pots for Sale - Made to Your Dimensions
www.warmglass.com Pot Melt Questions ???
www.warmglass.com Pot Melt Tutorial
www.warmglass.com New Pot Melt Setup
www.warmglass.com Pot/Mesh melt Mush
www.cgge.org
Creative Glass Guild of Etsy
Pot Melt Party
prizmaticart.blogspot.com Prizmatic Art - How to do mesh melts with a few strands of wire - with good photos and informative text.

 
(you may see pinhole-size depressions in the pieces below, I believe those are air bubbles which have risen to the surface)
 
(you may notice that many finished pieces appear to have a whiter/ligter-colored edge on one side, this is the reflection of the scanner light)
 

5-Hole flower pot but with center hole blocked with fiber frax
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
13.5 ounces of Spectrum 96 sheet glass (6.6 ounces of five opaque colors plus 6.9 ounces of opaque white)

6" x 5" stainless steel perforated sheet.
holes 0.5" diameters on 0.75" centers
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
12.5 ounces Spectrum 96 sheets.

6" x 5" stainless steel perforated sheet.
holes 0.5" diameters on 0.75" centers
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
16.0 ounces Spectrum 96 sheets and some clear nuggets.

5-Hole flower pot with four steel separators.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
16.0 ounces of Spectrum 96 sheets and some clear nuggets.

5-Hole flower pot with four steel separators.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
16.0 ounces of Spectrum 96 sheets and some clear nuggets.

5-Hole flower pot with four steel separators.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
12.4 ounces of Spectrum 96 sheets and some clear nuggets.

7-Hole flower pot with four steel separators.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
13.2 ounces of Spectrum 96 sheets and some clear nuggets.

5-Hole flower pot with four steel separators.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
16.0 ounces of Spectrum 96 sheets and some clear nuggets.

5-Hole flower pot with four steel separators.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
10.5 ounces of Bullseye Round Rods (red-white-blue)

6" x 5" stainless steel perforated sheet.
holes 0.5" diameters on 0.75" centers
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
11.1 ounces of Bullseye Round Rods.

Click here or here to see the nice back of the piece.

5-Hole flower pot with four steel separators.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
10.2 ounces of Spectrum 96 Sheets.

Trying the crude array of steel wires again.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
10.8 ounces of Spectrum 96 Sheets.
Placed some clear on top, too much ended up on one edge.

Used a crude array of steel wires.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
10.6 ounces of Spectrum 96 Sheets. Click here to see just the bare wires
Everything is hel in place with a soft-brick capstone
Here is what the wires and finished piece look like in the kiln after firing

4" diameter Flower Pot with 5 holes in the bottom.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
14.0 ounces of Spectrum 96 Sheets.
Trying something new -- four 30-gauge steel separators to try to keep the 5 holes
(especially the center as a contrasting color) separate.
Also trying to make the pieces uniform in size to make loading/pattern perhaps more consistent.
Each piece is approx 3" tall and 1-1/8" wide.
4 pieces of glass (in contrasting colors to the white base) are loaded into each of the 5 sections.
Total 20 pieces of glass.

4" diameter Flower Pot with 5 holes in the bottom.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
10.5 ounces of Spectrum 96 Sheets.
Trying something new -- four 30-gauge steel separators to try to keep the 5 holes
(especially the center as a contrasting color) separate.
The red in the center was cherry translucent, it appears more opaque in the finished piece
(because the red appears on top of an opaque background).

4" diameter Flower Pot with 5 holes in the bottom.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
11.9 ounces of Spectrum 96 Sheets.

4" diameter Flower Pot with SEVEN Holes in the bottom.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
13.3 ounces of Spectrum 96 Sheets.

4" diameter Flower Pot with 3 Holes in the bottom.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
8.4 ounces of bullseye round rods, cut to approx 3.25-inch sections, held together by wire.
(not enough to fill the 6" ring)

click here to see the back of the piece,
which has a different/interesting pattern.


4" diameter Flower Pot with SEVEN Holes in the bottom.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
12.5 ounces of bullseye round rods, cut to approx 3.25-inch sections, held together by wire.

4" diameter Flower Pot with only 3 Holes in the bottom.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
7.4 ounces of bullseye round rods, cut to approx 3.25-inch sections, held together by wire.
This was not enough to fill in the 6" stainless steel circle, but did make a nice "owl's eyes" oval.

4" diameter Flower Pot with 5 Holes in the bottom.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
12.1 ounces of bullseye round rods, cut to approx 3-inch sections, held together by wire.
used wire to roughly keep the bundle in the center of the flower pot (i.e. not to one side).
Tried to keept he red-and-white in the middle, with the blue-and-white on the outside.

4" diameter Flower Pot with 5 Holes in the bottom.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
15.7 ounces of Spectrum 96 sheets, cut up into very medium-size pieces.
Tried to keep darker colors (alternating) to the outside,
lighter colors (alternating) to the center.

Returning to the smaller 4" diameter Flower Pot with 5 Holes in the bottom.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
12.0 ounces of Spectrum 96 sheets, cut up into very small pieces.

6" diameter Flower Pot with 7 Holes in the bottom.
6" diameter stainless steel ring.
17.2 ounces of Spectrum 96 sheets.


6" diameter flower pot with 7 holes in the bottom.
33.2 ounces of glass. The amount of glass determined with the help of
this online GlassFacts.info calculator.
The 8" Stainless Steel Heart Mold (former) was purchased from
Laurie Spray, please see this web page.
.
For the purpose of the calculator, I believe my 8" heart has roughly the same area
as an 8" diameter circle.
My two strips of soft fire brick are resting directly on top of the stainless steel mold.

First try of a larger 6" diameter flower pot, with 7 holes in the bottom.
15.5 ounces of Spectrum 96 sheets plus 1.6 ounces cherry red bullseye round rod.
The 6" stainless steel ring is underneath.

click here to see the back of the piece,
which has a different/interesting pattern.


This is my first pot melt which drops into a 6" stainless steel ring
(lined with 1/8-inch fiber board)
This finally gives me a well-defined finished shape, plus I can make a deeper (thicker) piece,
since the glass is no longer free-flowing to 5mm thickness on its own.
From this piece, I surmise that the final colors dropped in the center of the spiral are
the left-overs from the prior pot melt which were on the inside edges of the flower pot
(in this piece you see a bit of yellow and orange).
Increased weight to 17.2 ounces of Spectrum 96 sheets (and using more of a dark blue)
5-hole flower pot as before, and especially in this piece you can see the 5 sections.

Using an "Orchid Flower Pot" which has holes on the bottom SIDES
(for the orchid roots to go through since orchids are epiphytic)
13.3 ounces Spectrum 96 sheets
I increased the time at 1700F from 1.5 hours to 2 hours
to avoid a stalactite between the flower pot and the piece.

Seven-Hole Flower Pot
13.7 ounces Spectrum 96 sheets

Five half-inch holes in bottom of flower pot
11.5 ounces Spectrum 96 sheets
(sorry, no photo of flower pot)
Five half-inch holes in bottom of flower pot
12.4 ounces Spectrum 96 sheets

Five half-inch holes in bottom of flower pot
13.1 ounces Bullseye Round Rods

Five half-inch holes in bottom of flower pot
13.0 ounces Spectrum 96 sheets

Single 1" hole in bottom of flower pot
12.8 ounces Spectrum 96 sheets (and some clear Spectrum Nuggets)

Single 1" hole in bottom of flower pot
15.9 ounces Gabbert assorted cullet

The spreadsheet shown below (I use Sun's free OpenOffice program) was downloaded from GlassFacts.info "Glass Firing Schedule Spreadsheet".

Please note that I found a mistake (October 20, 2005 version downloadable at least through August 2008) in the formula in cells Z13 thorugh Z17.

The fix is to copy from cell Z11 down to Z17. This corrects the calculations related to "hold times".


 

Four-inch diameter flower pot (at the top) -- two inches at the bottom
with one original drain hole + four more hole-saw-drilled holes,
for a total of five holes in the bottom of this terra cotta flower pot.
I use a diamond hole saw (like many of my glassblowing supplies -- purchased on ebay) to easily cut the holes.
 

Four-inch diameter flower pot (at the top) -- two inches at the bottom
with one original drain hole + six more hole-saw-drilled holes,
for a total of seven holes in the bottom of this terra cotta flower pot.
 

I've carved a ledge into the two pieces of soft fire brick which are used to hold the pot.
I feel this is more secure than trying to balance the pot on top of the soft fire brick.
 


 

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