Joys of Coldworking

I have long been a fan of crisp, clean design. I love modern, geometric, squared off things - from the shaker cabinets in my kitchen to the boxy modern sofa in the family room.

One feature of fused glass that has always bothered me is the natural tendency of the glass to 'round off' on the edges after a firing. Quite honestly most people don't notice the difference and I am just ridiculously over analytical of it. Nevertheless, I set out on a quest to create a crisp, straight-edged design in my glass.

Cue the cold-working.
fused glass pendant and earrings

The only way to achieve such a look is through extensive cold-working - which is to manipulate the glass after it has been fired with equipment and hand tools and patience. Coldworking is not for the fair-weather glass artist or faint of heart. It takes a lot of nit picky futzing around. And muscle. My hands and arms are tired from all that buffing.

These pieces all went through the saw blade, then the grinder disk, then the bevel disk, then the pre-polish disk, then the polish pad, and finally the hand-buffing. They were a lot of work.

But they look cool. And crisp. And clean. And totally unlike anything I've created before.

As much of a pain in the rear these were, the results are pleasing to me and I have learned much. So I will probably do it again. In fact I might just have another block of glass firing in the kiln as we speak ...


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