This is part 2 of a multipart tutorial about making a flaming heart windchime from the free January Kiln Carving Pattern. If you haven’t downloaded the pattern yet, you can find it here. Part 1 of this tutorial is also available.
In this portion of the tutorial, we will be adding color frit to the windchime part we made last week. One handy tool for bottle/float glass fusers is Float Fire frit, a product made by Armstrong Glass specifically for use with float glass (and it works great with bottles too!) Float Fire has a flexible CoE of 82 +/-3 so it is useful in a number of situations. I have listed the colors I’m using, you can, of course, use whichever colors suit your fancy.
Gold Ruby – FF4005F2
Cherry Red – Lead Free – FF1045FL
Opaque White – Extra Dense – FF3130F
Opaque Orange – Lead Free – FF2025F
Black – FF0025F2
Yellow – FF1035
You will also need hairspray (or some other fusing glue) and a fine paintbrush. Don’t forget the safety equipment! Wear a respirator when working with frits and powders!
Start with your windchime top that we made last week. I have mine on a large paper plate to contain any extra frit. We will be filling the impressions made with the fiber paper and then fusing, the kiln carving pattern will act as a dam for the frit to keep it in place during firing.
Add Gold Ruby frit to the sides of the heart with contour cuts.
Spray with aerosol hairspray, or other fusing glue. This will keep the frit from moving around as you add other colors. When the glue is dry add the next color.
Add Opaque White frit to the flames and as a highlight on the heart.
It’s a little hard to see in the photo because of the white plate, but there is a tiny scatter of white frit at the bottom of the U shaped flames and a crescent of white highlight on the upper left side of the heart. Once your white frit is in place, spray and let the glue dry before moving on to the next color.
Add Opaque Orange to the tips of the flames. Use your fine paintbrush to move the frit into place.
Again, spray and wait for it to dry. Did I mention there is a lot of waiting in this tutorial?
Add Yellow to the flames. I’m using powder for this step, because that’s what I have handy. Yellow frit would be just as effective.
With powder, there are a couple of things to know. First, you need to make sure you have an even layer, after your spray glue is dry, hold the heart up to the light and look for thin spots in the powder layer. Add more powder if necessary. Second, it’s much easier to scrape the extra off around the edges AFTER the glue is dry.
Add the black low lights.
It easy to go overboard with the black, I’ve added a thin line across the bottom of the flames and up a tiny bit of the two side most flames. Spray and wait until the glue is dry, and then add the last color.
Finish with Cherry Red Frit.
This is our last color, so we are going to fill the heart and the bottom of the flames with Cherry Red Frit. You’ll see I have mostly covered the white highlight in the heart, you can leave this visible if you with to have it visible from either side, or cover it as I have. Once the Cherry Red frit is in place, spray with glue and let dry.
Clean up the edges of the kiln carving of extra frit (if necessary). Place the heart frit side UP on a prepared kiln shelf. Fire to a full fuse using the full fuse 1/4″ thick schedule.
and from the other side:
Part 3 will cover making the chimes and assembling the entire project.