Fractured Plate Tutorial

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Finished Fracture Plate

Today’s tutorial satisfies almost all of my bullet points, glass, hammers, and hairspray.  Just kidding, I have higher standards than that, although this project does have all of those elements.  The great thing about this particular project is every single one is different, you could fill a whole market booth with variations of this project and it would look great!

1.  Start by selecting a mold.  Squares are easier than circles for this project, so let’s start with that.  I’m using a nearly 8″ square.  I’m going to cut one square that is 7.75″ and one that is .25″ SMALLER, so, 7.5″

measure your mold

Here are the two squares stacked:

fracture2-1

Yes, that is bronze tinted window glass.  Don’t confine yourself only to clear recycled glass, there are a few colors out there!

2.  Clean the glass and carefully wrap the SMALLER piece in clean paper.  It is critical to use the smaller square, if you wrap up the big one, you’ll have to start over.  Now, put that paper wrapped glass on a hard surface and smack it with a hammer.

Fracture the glass

3.  Carefully open the broken glass without moving the pieces.  It works best to leave it on the paper.  Looks great!

Fractured Glass

4.  Here’s the part where you have to work fast.  Put the unbroken square next to the broken square and spray it quite liberally with liquid hairspray, pump, not aerosol.  I use the cheapest unscented kind I can find.  Now, QUICKLY move the fractured pieces over onto the base piece.  It works best to move the corners first and line them up, then fill in.  Line up all of the pieces with the edges of the base glass.

Moving fractured pieces

What we are using that .25″ size difference to create gaps between the fractured pieces that we will fill with contrasting powder (or frit).  The hairspray will ‘glue’ the two layers together to make powder spreading easier.  Once you have the pieces positioned, let the hairspray dry completely.

Assembled fractured pieces of glass

You can see that there are gaps, and I didn’t move all of the super fine crumbs of glass over.  You can add as many of the tiny pieces as will fit, or leave larger gaps for more contrast.  Once the two layers are assembled and dry, you’ll need some Float Fire powder or frit.  Float Fire is a 82 coe powder, frit or sheet that is compatible with float glass and bottles.  If you’re working with fusing recycled glass, this product will expand your horizons.

Float Fire Powder

I’m actually using a different color for this project, but this label is nice.

4.  Place your now dry project on a sheet of paper so we can collect the extra powder when we’re done, and don your safety gear.  Frits and powders are dusty, so be safe!  Dump some powder into the center of your project.

Frit on the fracture

 

5.  Spread the powder carefully into all of the fractures.  You can use a paint brush for this, but I found a 3 x 5″ card was easier.  I’m not all that patient.

Spreading frit

 

Once the powder is all spread into all of the fractures, put your project into the kiln on a prepared shelf.  Collect the extra powder and return it to the bottle.

filled fractures

 

6.  Fuse that gorgeous thing!

Fused fracture plate

See how cool that is??

7.  Now back into the kiln for a slump.

slumping fracture plates

Want to see another one?


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4 comments
Miranda297
Miranda297

Hi Jodi, I just loved this tutorial  (like I do all of your site and newsletters!) the result is really very attractive.   Thanks for the clarification regarding mixed glasses (question below), on my monitor the first photo looked like you were mixing bronze glass and clear glass.... In any case, thanks to your site I've been playing with float glass and loving it - well.. most of the time... just had to throw out a project today... :-)

thanks for all the wonderful treats!

Miranda

Cinahon
Cinahon

Just curious the two recycled glasses how do you fuse them with regards to the COE? Have you protested them for comparability? I love working in recycled glass but have never mixed them. Cheers

GlassWithaPast
GlassWithaPast moderator

 @Miranda297 Hi Miranda;  It took me quite a while before I could throw away failed projects, for some reason I always thought I'd make something out of them.  By the time I finally got to that point, my shop was FULL!  There's something so freeing about just throwing that thing away.  And it's so much easier when the glass was free in the first place!  Glad you're playing with float, it can be so fun. J.

GlassWithaPast
GlassWithaPast moderator

 @Cinahon Oops!  Should have mentioned that!  Both of the bronze pieces are from the same sheet of glass, as are both of the clear pieces.  Pieces cut from the same sheet are always self compatible.  (the COE doesn't change once you cut it).

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