Sunday, January 29, 2012
Making Glass Frit
Again, I will say- your safety is your responsibility. This is what I do, it has not gone through any rigorous testing by any certified safety organization:
1) Put on safety glasses
2) Fill a clean glass jar with at least 4 inches of water and put it nearby on my torching table.
3) Light the torch.
4) Grab one of the shorts with a pair of tweezers and put it in the torch until it glows a nice red just about all over. Try not to put the tweezers directly into the flame.
5) Drop the hot glass into the jar of water. If it is attached to the tweezers, plunge the whole thing into the water and tap lightly. Usually the glass will detach from the tweezers. If there is a little bit still attached to them, reheat and plunge into a different jar of water to remove it- the 'junk' jar.
*** After I wrote this, a friend told me that she mashes the glass into a thin lollipop shape and the glass naturally breaks into small frit, so it is not necessary to use a hammer. What a great tip! Thanks so much, Lara***
8) Let dry on a piece of newspaper.
9) Put glass into an old broken down cereal box or other thin cardboard, or wrap in fabric. Wrap around the glass so that it can't escape easily.
10) Wrap with newspaper and tap with a hammer on a solid surface. Open and see if the pieces are to your liking. If not repeat wrapping and tapping.
That's it! All done and I'm ready to use it. Frit made of glass with special qualities, like rubino oro or silver reaction colors, should be made separately rather than used in a mix so that the reactions and flame atmosphere can be controlled properly.
There are times when I want to make frit using specific color combinations. To do this, I simply heat the end of a rod and plunge it into my jar of clean water. This is where Lara's 'lollipop' trick could really come in handy!
It is a good idea to reheat the end of this rod right away as it may be a bit cracked at the end. This will save your being surprised by a 'shocky' end later.