September 12, 2011

The Making of a Hot Mess: Volume 874

This is really kind of a tutorial for any fellow glassies who have also held on to the itty bitty rod shorts that result at the torch.  Personally I do it for the nookie, and by the nookie I mean I have no idea why I've kept the bits and pieces for the last few years.

This is the process I went through to make this cabochon~ it is time consuming but results in something unique and uses up what would otherwise be wasted glass.

1.  Collect all the little bits and pieces from your torch table
without having a single good reason
or any kind of plan for using them.

2.  Shove 'em in a drawer. 

3.  When that drawer fills up find another drawer.

4.  Accidentally rediscover your Slumpy molds
and make a mental note to try fuse molding those
shorts into cabs.

5.  Have a tropical storm come through
and demolish your beach plans.

6.  Get out some thick canvas and a hammer
so you can beat the crap out of the glass pieces
that are too big for the mold
because today is as good as any
to try out your idea
you do not have beach sand between your toes
and you were totally supposed to.

7.  Sort the pieces for color mixing.

8.  Take a blind guess at how much glass needs to be
layered in the mold and slap that sucker in the kiln.
(after coating the mold in kiln wash)
(which is boring)

9.  Ramp up to 1450 and hold for 20 minutes
because you are experimenting
and looking up on the internet to find out
if that is the right way or the wrong way
is also boring.

10.  Open the kiln and discover that only
1 out of 4 actually looks anything like it is supposed to
and they all have jagged sides.

10.5 ~ Heads up.  Don't open the kiln to peek because
it turns out those molds don't like the temperature change.
At all.

11.  Take those jagged babies to your shiny shack
and introduce them to the Diamond Max.

12.  Grind the edges smooth.

13.  Put them back in the mold adding more glass
to the really wonky ones and fire 'em again.

14.  You may have to repeat steps 11-13 a couple of times
to get a feel for what exactly is the right amount of glass.

15.  Fin.


Here is a sneaky peek at a repurposed twistie cab
being made into a cuff~



  1. It is a great post! I loved to read and watch the photos. In fact these cabs look so cool!


  3. That is hilarious. Step number 3 is vital I'm assuming and also so funny and real. haha.

    I've always wondered what the process was like. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Hmm I was wondering how you made those beautiful glass cabs.

  5. Excellent tutorial! Funny, too. :D Thank you so much! It's unlikely I'll make it to a beach anytime soon, what with being landlocked and all that, so this will be a good winter project!

  6. Great to get a peak into your process.

  7. That is RAD! I love seeing HOW you create stuff!!! So beautimous are the results!!!

  8. Love your results, and your blog is really funny! :)

  9. How cool to see how you make those beauties... and with your funny commentary as usual! Thanks for sharing!


  10. The only thing better than this post would be to be there WITH you, swinging that hammer and banging on the glass all day!

    Awesome cabs, sorry about the molds. I hope you have more (or will get some a.s.a.p.) because those cabs are wicked awesome!

  11. Girl, I love those cabs you are making! I also smiled through your "making" process. You be awesome girl! Have a great one.

  12. I love this! Love the whole process and what you came up with. I'm thinking Jackson Pollack of glass! Go for it. More! Please!

  13. Great idea! You're gonna make some magic with these babies!