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Fused Glass Project - Slumped Bowl - Origami

Updated on September 14, 2009
Origami Slumped Glass Bowl
Origami Slumped Glass Bowl

Make This Fused Glass Bowl

This slumped glass bowl is a great project, and the finished bowl can serve as a condiment bowl, candy dish or small serving bowl. My wife uses hers to collect coupons and to do lists.

Choose colors that will stand out when you place the fused glass bowl wherever you choose.

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Selecting and Cutting Your Glass

When selecting glass for this slumped bowl I used Spectrum System 96 Glass. If you are using a glass with a different COE you will have to adjust your firing schedule accordingly.

I chose 4 different Spectrum colors that would compliment each other and look good on our black granite counter top. I used an opaque red glass, an iridescent red glass, a pink streaky glass and a fractured streamer in red.

You can use as many colors as you like or limit your selection to just 2 or 3 if you wish.

The finished bowl measures about 8 inches square by 3 inches deep. In order to complete the project the way I did you will need to cut the following pieces.

  • 1 piece 3 3/4 inches by 3 3/4 inches
  • 1 piece 1 1/4 inches by 5 1/4 inches
  • 9 pieces 2 inches by 2 1/2 inches
  • 4 pieces 1 inch by 2 1/2 inches
  • 1 piece 1 1/4 inches by 2 1/2 inches
  • 1 piece 9 1/4 inches by 9 1/4 inches (clear glass for top layer)

Mix up the colors of these pieces to create an interesting geometric pattern, as shown in the pictures below. Reserve the large clear piece for final assembly of your flat panel.

Create a Geometric Pattern
Create a Geometric Pattern

Arranging Your Glass

As you begin to cut your glass for this slumped glass bowl start to arrange them into an interesting pattern. Use your imagination and try to visualize your finished project as you go.

Try not to place like colored pieces next each other. Just keep moving them around until you have a pattern you like.

Trim and Grind Edges
Trim and Grind Edges

Finish Edges for a Good Fit

Your next step is to start finishing edges for a good fit. You want your assembly to be fairly tight fitting, with little or no space between the edges.

You can use a stone glass file, a glass grinder or a wet belt sander to clean up the edges. The finished flat glass panel should measure about 9 inches by nine inches.

Prepare to Fire Your Flat Panel

This fused glass project will require 2 separate firings, one to fuse the flat panel and another firing to slump your glass bowl.

Once you are satisfied with the look and fit of your panel you'll need to carefully clean each piece and set it on your kiln shelf ensuring that it is fairly square and tightly fit. After setting and squaring the pieces on your kiln shelf use the larger clear glass piece to cover it. The clear glass should overlap the base pieces about 1/8 inch on all sides. Overlapping the top piece is important because as the glass begins to soften the top piece will slump first and hold the bottom assembly in place.

The firing schedule that I used includes a bubble squeeze segment and is as follows:

  • Heat at 400 degrees per hour to 1,000 degrees and hold for 20 minutes
  • Heat at 400 degrees per hour to 1,150 degrees and hold for 15 minutes
  • Heat at 50 degrees per hour to 1,250 degrees and hold for 20 minutes
  • Heat at 850 degrees per hour to 1450 degrees and hold for 15 minutes
  • Cool As Fast As Possible to 950 degrees and hold for 60 minutes (Anneal)
  • Cool at 400 degrees per hour to 100 degrees

Finished Flat Panel
Finished Flat Panel
Slumped Panel in Mold
Slumped Panel in Mold

Slumping Your Bowl

Once your flat panel is finished you should clean it thoroughly to prepare it for slumping.

I used a Large Origami Dish Slumping Mold from Creative Paradise for my project.

Simply place your flat panel on top of the kiln washed slumping mold so that it is centered in the mold. Place the mold and flat panel in your kiln and follow the slumping schedule as noted below.

Slumping Schedule

The slumping schedule I used is a guideline and you should understand that you'll have to do a little kiln sitting for this part of the project so you can stop the slumping process when your bowl takes it's final form.

  • Heat at 400 degrees per hour to 1,000 degrees and hold for 20 minutes
  • Heat at 400 degrees per hour to 1,250 degrees ( as you approach this target temperature you will have to check your project occasionally to make sure you don not over slump the bowl.
  • As the bowl softens it will settle into the mold and when you notice that the bottom of the bowl is square and flat in the bottom of the mold YOU MUST TURN OFF YOUR KILN IMMEDIATELY.
  • The kiln needs to be flash cooled to below 950 degrees in order to stop the slumping process and retain the shape of the bowl. If you do not cool the kiln rapidly you will end up with a lot of glass in the bottom of your mold and a misshapen bowl.
  • Once the kiln has cooled to below 950 degrees just close the cover and let it cool naturally until the bowl is cool enough to handle, then let it sit for another hour or so to avoid impatience taking over!

Finished Origami Bowl
Finished Origami Bowl

You're done!

Congratulations! Your Slumped Glass Origami bowl is done and you're ready to put it on the counter and enjoy the compliments that it gets.

Enjoy the Bowl.

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Comments

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    • Coolpapa profile image

      Coolpapa 8 years ago from Florida

      Good Hub, good directions and easy to follow. I would have fused first as a flat piece then slumped it. I like it!

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