Monday, July 28, 2014

Mixed media, hmm?

Hmm, so apparently flint stones are quite sensitive to heat. At least glass melting heat.

Many years ago I saw this beautiful idea on the web, of a natural stone with a pit/hollow in it, in which was placed a nice colourful implosion. You can see the picture I had seen here, at DeMoss Glass Art. I love it, I do, and I want to try to do that too.

I'd obviously like the implosion annealed, so the choises are to anneal it while in place, with the rock inside the kiln (though I don't know if they would shrink equally or just crack the glass), or to shape the back of the implosion after the rock, anneal it and glue it in later.

Around the corner of my house is an empty lot covered with pocket size stones, so off I went to find a handfull of suitable ones. I did find some, nicely shaped and able to lay flat in the right direction, all of them flint.

I didn't want to just drop them into my kiln and fire it up, as they might explode, as they would in a fire pit. I don't want to endanger my heating elements, so instead I tried to push the backside of a hot implosion into the hollow of a stone at room temperature. It seemed like a good idea, but then within 3 seconds - smack! the flint decided to split, right in the middle. Darned! My best stone too of course, because why test it first :)

Split Flintstone
I do have a few thoughts -

The next step would probably be to try heating the stone after all. But I have no fiber blanket to cover it (if it should decide to fling shards around the inside of my kiln), and how would I get the stone out of the kiln hot, and handle it firmly, while also handling the soft glass implosion? Well, a grill tong perhaps, but it might well slip. Some sort of face shield would be good too, if it decides to jump at my face, while I finish off the glass surface, at an extra 500C above kiln temperature.

Maybe I need a larger stone to better withstand the heat when I press the implosion into it. Or maybe flint just isn't the best material for this project, though it is fairly readily available to me and naturally pitted. I wonder what stone the DeMosses use ...

So there you have it. I shall lay this idea to rest (again) for now, as I am going to be a busy busy bee for the next couple of weeks (explanation coming up in a few days).

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