Screen Melt — Part 1

Thanks for stopping by. This is the first Scream of the Squirrel! I've decided to use a blog format to post tutorials and other information about Screaming Squirrel Glass on a regular basis. I hope that you find it useful.

I spent a few days sorting scrap glass by color and decided to make a screen melt. I'm using the Paragon CS-16S kiln, Bullseye Kiln Wash, Bullseye fusible glass, 12 x 12 inch stainless steel screen (prefired to 1200° to remove the oils and things left behind when it was processed), cut up kiln shelves as dams, and 1/8 inch ceramic fiber for the containment area.

First, I applied 20 - 25 coats of kiln wash to the kiln shelf and let it dry for a few days. When it was good and dry I built a 10 x 12 inch containment area out of cut up mullite kiln shelves and lined it with 1/8 inch ceramic fiber paper. The stainless steel screen is set on top.

I calculated that I would take about 2000 grams of glass to properly fill the area and have the glass about 5/8 to 3/4 inches thick. I used 800 grams each of blue and white and 200 grams of clear. 

For this project I put a layer of blue, then white, then clear, and then filled in the empty spaces until I had used up all of my glass. 

Glass selected, weighed and stacked.

Glass selected, weighed and stacked.

Now to figure out a firing schedule. Since the glass was pretty close to the elements in the top of the kiln I needed to ramp slowly. I calculate my schedule in Fahrenheit. 

150 DPH to 1000° no hold

500 DPH to 1625° 90 minute hold (so most of the glass will flow through the screen)

AFAP to 1500° 30 minute hold (to help remaining glass clear the screen and let the bubbles out)

AFAP to 900° for 2hrs

27 DPH to 800 no hold 

50 DPH to 700 no hold

162 DPH to room temp

I've learned from past mistakes to not open the kiln during the firing or cooling. Have you ever tried it, only to hear that tell-tale "ping" of cracking glass?

 

After the firing. The kiln is at 67° for more than 24 hours.

After the firing. The kiln is at 67° for more than 24 hours.

When I first opened the kiln I wasn't too impressed with the results. All the glass had melted and it looked scuzzy on top.

Kind of disappointing looking isn't it? Notice the big spike?   

Kind of disappointing looking isn't it? Notice the big spike?

 

 

After taking off the screen and carefully picking up any big pieces of glass, I broke out the shop vac and gave it a good Hoovering (the kiln was off and unplugged!) The reveal was pretty cool!

The screen melt after the vacuuming. I'm happy so far!

The screen melt after the vacuuming. I'm happy so far!

There are still spikes on the top of the glass so tonight I have it back in the kiln to smooth everything out. I'm pretty conservative with my annealing and cool down schedules. The schedule for this firing is: 

200 DPH to 1100 hold 10 minutes

600 DPH to 1500 hold 30 minutes

AFAP to 900° hold 2hrs

27 DPH to 800° no hold 

49 DPH to 700° no hold 

162 DPH to 70°

Off

I'll post the next steps and pictures of the final slab in the next few days.