Saturday, 1 June 2013
Clay Pinch Pots with Melted Marbles
I was very nervous about trying this project, as I was worried about melting glass in my kiln. I had seen several sites online that talked about melting marbles onto clay but they didn't give very detailed info on how the whole process worked. But, we gave it a go....and it worked and has become one of my favourite projects this year! I worked with two Junior ESL classes and we made simple pinch pots. After they had dried, the kids 'drew' designs on with a toothpick and glazed them (including a clear glaze over the top. They then chose three marbles (make sure you use the proper glass ones) and put them into the bottom of their pot. Finally, we crossed our fingers as they went into the kiln!! I love all the results, but I especially like the ones where just the clear rather than the coloured marbles were used.
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What cone did you fire to?ReplyDelete
Hi Sashira, I have a pre-programmed kiln that has a bisque setting and a glaze setting - I used the glaze setting, which I think is around 1200.Delete
Your pots turned out fabulous! I'm sure the kids loved making them.
I've done the project for many years. I always add the marbles to bisque-fired pots, and then fire the glaze/marbles to cone 06.
Rina, I am a pottery instructor and I have four homeschool girls in my current class and we are going to try this project. I am firing a test pot tonight and am going to 06 thanks for your post with a cone number. I would hate to mess up their little pots they are so excited about them.Delete
Thanks for this info. What about those semi-circle shaped glass "beads" that people use to fill vases or put in the bottom of aquariums? I have tons of them and I'm wondering if they would work like the marbles.
shape doesn't matter - it all liquefies at the melting point. marbles, glass fill, all the same. Just be sure the glass is colored through and through. many red baubles are clear glass simply painted with transparent red paint (because manufacturing red glass and glaze is very costly due to the minerals involved). Stick with blues and greens for best results.Delete
Have you ever added the marbles during the first (bisque) firing? w/o glaze?ReplyDelete
No, I've never tried putting the marbles in before bisque firing. Not sure if it would work?
I can't wait to try this project! I was wondering if any of the kids ever left a small hole in the project and the glass ran out onto the kiln shelf- does it ruin the shelf? The other projects? Also, does the glaze color affect the way the glass color appears in the finished project after it is fired?ReplyDelete
Hi Morah, no mishaps so far, so fingers crossed as I imagined it could damage kiln shelves. The glaze colour hasn't affected ours either so far. Hope it goes well when you try it!! 😊Delete
Just wanted to mention that that has happened to me. I had a few drip glass on the kiln shelf a few years ago and I wasn't able to chip it off the shelf. Oh well, it was worth it! :)Delete
I've had some glass mishaps as well, so I have some blobs of glass on the shelf. Doesn't bother me!Delete
I'm so excited I happened on this site! I've wanted to try this for years..... now I can!ReplyDelete
Love the post. I want to make a center for my birdbath this way.ReplyDelete
My only concern is that glass without the same COE (marbles and glass for vases aren't rated or tested) that are fired together could burst apart later. I am trying the marbles myself because I can't help it - they're so cool - but I don't think I would mix marbles and the clear glass for dots. I do soda/wine bottles cut into rings, but I don't fuse different bottles together. Anyway, if you aren't wearing it or putting it against your skin it may not matter.
Do you ever get bubbles in the glass? I think I went to hot and got bubbly surfaces that burst and left pits and flakes of glass. Maybe I can fire more marbles over the top (at a lower temp) to fill in the pits?ReplyDelete
Hi Jonathan, can't say that I've ever had bubbles....but then I've never put more than four marbles in...maybe that's why?Delete
Just want to get the glaze thing straight. First the kids glaze the bisque then before firing they add the marbles? Or you fire and then add the marbles and fire again?ReplyDelete
Morah, we bisque fire first, then glaze, add the marbles and fire for the second time :-)Delete
Thanks! I can't wait to try it. Can the kids use different color marbles in their project, or should they all be the same?Delete