Defitrification

Defitrification is a swear word amongst glass fusers. Devitrification (“devit”) is the growth of crystalline structures within or on the surface of glass. (“Vitri” = glass; “devitrification” = the process of becoming un-glasslike).

I received a piece of beautiful white, orange and yellow from a friend after teaching her fusing glass in a microwave kiln.Her pendant came out perfect. We have cut strips and put it side by side upright before fusing it.

I wanted to make a similar pendant but was not satisfied with the pattern and decided to snip it in pieces with my mosaic tile cutter and fuse the puddle again.To my disgust the cabochon showed several small spots of defitrification. I cut it again in pieces and the same happened.

After cutting and nuking it more several times, the whole upper surface became defitrified. But I was adamant NOT to chuck that piece of glass, because by now the patterns that developed were really beautiful…

I then used my stained glass grinder and grinded off the whole upper surface. An old toothbrush has a second life in my workplace. It was used to scrub off all signs of glass dust that can make dull spots in glass. Some people soak their glass in vinegar after cold working it, but I just scrub thoroughly. It is much quicker and more effective.

The piece went into the kiln again and as it didn’t have to fuse into a nice shape again, I could just do a fire polish.

Yay! A beautiful smooth surface with beautiful patterns… BUT… with all the cutting and re-fusing, a small piece of black got trapped and it was NOT contributing to the beauty of my cabochon.I am not one to give up easily and made a plan…

I added a dandelion decal and viola!The actual pendant is more beautiful than what is depicted in the photo. Glass is really difficult subjects to photograph, but here it is… the most cut and fused piece from my studio yet!

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