Today on Shelf Full of Books I welcome Cheryl Hollon, author of Pane and Suffering, a delightful mystery novel that I reviewed yesterday, here on my blog. Today she will be doing a guest post about her favourite hobby. Without further ado, please tell us about your glass-making Cheryl.
What’s in the kiln this morning?
Savannah, the main character in my Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery Series owns a shop in the Grand Central District of St. Petersburg, FL. In the books, Savannah likes to make jewelry to match her outfits and to sell in the retail section of her store.
One of the byproducts of making glass projects is the leftover shards and slivers that are too small to use readily in another project. Like Savannah, I save them to make fused glass jewelry with the remainders.
My husband and I have a glass studio in a converted cottage behind the house. He does most of the production chores while I mainly choose the colors and design the final pieces. The fusing method we use is called puddling and is fairly simple but requires patience and an eye for the potential in the resulting pieces.
The first step is to stack a small pile of glass combining colors with clear pieces and placing them in the bottom of our large kiln. The stack is left in the kiln for an overnight cycle and the internal temperature will reach approximately 1500 degrees.
The next morning, when it comes out of the kiln, the little stack will have melted down into a small puddle about the size of a saucer. There are three of them in the picture of the open kiln
The next step is that I indicate with a permanent marker how I want to divide the puddle. Then my husband uses a large tile saw to split it into segments exposing the layers of different colors of glass. These slices are then stood on end and put through another firing in the kiln.
Again, the next morning I can hardly wait to see what happened overnight. Sometimes at this point, a few of the pieces are ready to rinse and make into jewelry. More likely, the cut and fuse steps are repeated for as many kiln firings as it takes to get lovely pieces like these.
Finally, the pendants and earrings are finished and ready to wear. Here is a picture of the kiln with one of my favorite jewelry sets on the display form.
Something we’re going to try in the future is to melt a stack of glass shards in a dam and rake them with a stainless steel rod. I can’t wait to see the results. I see more jewelry in my future.
About Pane and Suffering:
To solve her father's murder and save the family-owned glass shop, Savannah Webb must shatter a killer's carefully constructed façade. . .
After Savannah's father dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, she drops everything to return home to St. Petersburg, Florida, to settle his affairs--including the fate of the beloved, family-owned glass shop. Savannah intends to hand over ownership to her father's trusted assistant and fellow glass expert, Hugh Trevor, but soon discovers the master craftsman also dead of an apparent heart attack.
As if the coincidence of the two deaths wasn't suspicious enough, Savannah discovers a note her father left for her in his shop, warning her that she is in danger. With the local police unconvinced, it's up to Savannah to piece together the encoded clues left behind by her father. And when her father's apprentice is accused of the murders, Savannah is more desperate than ever to crack the case before the killer seizes a window of opportunity to cut her out of the picture. . .
Meet the author:
Cheryl Hollon writes full time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind the house, Cheryl and her husband George design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks.