Follow along as we walk through all of the steps of creating 100 paperweights.
Step 1: Client meeting. Wendy found my website and asked if I would be interested in making a big ‘ole batch of paperweights for her.
After talking over the main feel, we made a few different styles for Wendy to consider.
Step 2: Paperweight Designs: Wendy particularly wanted recycled glass paperweights, with a natural feel. Although she liked the leaf shape, she decided in favor of the flatter round paperweight with a satin matte finish.
Step 3: Frit making: Since each paperweight would weigh about a pound and was round, we needed to grind around 150 lbs of glass frit to compensate for the cut off portion. Using the trusty frit maker, Chewy, we ground a whole range of colors and sizes of frit
Step 4: Casting the slabs: Casting all of the frit into slabs took two firings in Vera, each taking about 45 hours. The slabs had to be in reasonable sizes, since we would have to cut them up on a tile saw.
After firing, each slab is marked with 3″ circles that will eventually be the individual paperweights.
Step 5: Sawing:
Each paperweight was sawn out of the slab and the edge beveled.
Step 6: Polishing:
Since each paperweight needs to be polished through 4 different grit stages, and we needed to keep the cost to some sort of reasonable minimum, the paperweights were mechanically polished using a vibratory tumbler. Even with assistance, polishing took nearly 2 weeks.
100 recycled glass paperweights, each one unique, signed and numbered.