FREEZE AND FUSE


Freeze and Fuse is a Pate-de-Verre technique.  Freeze and Fuse is an easy way to make 3D glass pieces.

DIRECTIONS:  

1)  Mix the water and the glass powder.

In a clean container, pour some distilled water and ADD the powder to the water. This way, bubbles are released as the dry powder hits the surface of the water. DO NOT start by adding the water to the powder. The amount of water will depend on how much volume of wet powder you need.  I find using a spoon to put the powder in the water works better than dumping it in from the bottle, which creates extra glass dust. You want the powder to be soaked but not liquid.

2)  Pack the wet powder into the mold.

Again, I find that using a spoon to place the wet glass in the mold works better than just dumping it in the mold. (more on molds on the next page)

3)  Tap, tap, tap the mold.

Once the wet glass powder is in the mold, you need to tap the mold from all sides to get all the bubbles out. This will bring water to the surface, which can be blotted off with a paper towel.  Repeat the tapping and the blotting until the surface is dry, but not cracking.  You can tell when it’s dry because it will be a dull color. If there is a shine to it, there is still moisture there

4)   Put it in the freezer.

The thickness of the piece determines how long to keep it in the freezer.      Check thin pieces at 15 – 20 minutes; thick pieces at an hour or so.

5)  Pop the frozen glass out of the mold.

It should pop out just like an ice cube would out of an ice cube tray. If it’s not frozen completely, it will crack and fall apart when coming out of the mold.

6)  Fuse using this firing schedule.



         Freeze and Fuse Firing Schedule

RATE         Temp (in degrees F)        HOLD TIME

600                   1000                     30 minutes 

400                   1300                     20 minutes

AFAP                 960                       60 minutes

    (up to 4 hours for thick pieces)

150                   500                        off



Tips I Have Learned

Leaving the filled mold in the freezer over night is too long.  It will cause the powder to crumble when you take it out of the mold.

If it does crack or break when you take it out of the mold, you cannot repair it.                                                                                                                                                                         Just let it thaw at room temperature and it will turn back in to powder that you can use again.

If layering different colors, soak up as much water as possible after each color and put in the freezer between each layer. There will be less color bleeding that way.

You can freeze and fuse with any glass powder as long as it is all the same COE.   

An important factor to plan for when creating 3D Freeze and Fuse glass designs is the shrinkage of each piece which will be about 15% in all dimensions from the original size of your mold.  Just be aware that if you are making something that you want to be a certain size, to take the shrinkage into consideration.


If you want to build multiple pieces of the same item and then fire them in your kiln all together later, you can store the frozen items on a cookie sheet in the freezer but place a release down first like a piece of freezer paper so they will not stick to the cookie sheet.  Don’t forget that the freezer dehydrates items left for long periods of time regardless if uncovered or air tight, so it not recommended that you store your Freeze and Fuse glass designs for long periods of time before firing.


To place the pieces on kiln shelf:  Take a piece of cardboard covered in a waxy paper (like parchment paper for cooking).  Pop the glass pieces onto the paper covered cardboard.  Tilt the cardboard onto the kiln shelf and then slide the paper off it onto the kiln shelf and then gently sliding each item off the paper so you minimize handling the frozen glass shape.


Any type of flexible mold will work as long as they’re not hard plastic.  I liked the silicone ones best.



SAFETY TIPS

Always wear a mask or respirator while handling powdered glass or mixing the paste to prevent inhaling small glass particles.

Clean out all glass powder before washing the mold.  This is necessary because any glass residue will form sediment in the drain and over time can cause blockage.


DON'T pour the discarded water or glass powder down the sink.

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