Fire and Glass Design                     


Being part of a "community" is important to the growth and creativity of artists.  We would like to share our experiences and post different tutorials or experiences we have had with techniques, glass or tools.  Please feel free to use the Dropped Vase tutorial as a starting point for your learning and creativity. Enjoy!

Dropped Glass Vase Tutorial

  1. The dropped glass vase is made over a period of 3 days.  The vase starts with the selection of the glass to design the vase.  Four layers are used in the initial glass square.  The size vase in the tutorial will use 6 inch square glass.  These 4 pieces of will be approximately 1 inch thick. Fully fuse these sheets using a fusing schedule appropriate for 1 inch thick glass.
  2. After firing, cold work square of glass until the edge is smooth and polished.  Place the glass on a drop mold with a 4 inch square opening .  I use kiln bricks to elevate the drop mold surface 7 inches off the floor of the kiln.  This will result in a total drop of 8 inches when you include the distance from the top of the mold to the kiln floor.

The firing schedule I use for dropping the vase is as follows:

Ramp 180 degrees to 1100

Hold 1 hour

Ramp AFAP to 1325

  1. Here is where you will need to be watching to see how fast the vase will drop and touch bottom.  The hold time is generally from 5 minutes to 13 minutes depending on the viscosity of the glass.  Purples and reds tend to drop quickly while greens are much slower.  Watch the glass drop until it touches bottom.  I then count to 20 and open the kiln, to cool AFAP to 1100, and simultaneously abort the current program.  The count to 20 allows for a nice flat bottom on the vase and it will sit very nicely then.   I then have a second program ready to run on the kiln that takes the kiln AFAP to 1100 and then 300 degrees to 960

Hold 960 for 1 hour

Ramp 180 degrees to 700 and then turn off the kiln.  I do not open the kiln for approximately 12 hours allowing the kiln to gradually cool.

If you would like a more abstract vase, you can allow a longer drop of glass ,but you must watch it the entire time it is dropping as there is great variability in glass viscosity and rate of fall.

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