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Working with Frit Balls

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Re: Working with Frit Balls

Postby marykaynitchie » Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:06 am

Try these cycles, but check the piece after a few minutes at process temperature in case your kiln runs hotter than mine. Holding at 900°F should not cause all the balls to melt together into a puddle. Annealing is important in both cycles, because of the variation in thick and thin areas.

Frit ball projects take a long time to assemble. It is good to be concerned about dialing in a good schedule for your kiln. Before starting your project, make a test that is two or three inches in diameter, without fussing too much over the placement of each ball. You will learn things in making the test that will help make your final piece better.

Fusing
1 300°F (167°C) RATE (DPH)* to 1375°F (746°C). Hold for 10 minutes.
2 9999 RATE (DPH, meaning as fast as possible with door closed)* to 900°F (482°C) Hold for 1 hour.
3 100°F (83°C) RATE (DPH)* to 700°F (371°C). No hold needed (or hold for 1 minute).
4 9999 RATE (DPH, meaning as fast as possible with door closed) to 70°F (21°C). No hold needed (or hold for 1 minute).

Basic Slump Firing
1 300°F (167°C) RATE (DPH)* to 1225°F (746°C). Hold for 10 minutes.
2 9999 RATE (DPH, meaning as fast as possible with door closed)* to 900°F (482°C) Hold for 1 hour.
3 100°F (83°C) RATE (DPH)* to 700°F (371°C). No hold needed (or hold for 1 minute).
4 9999 RATE (DPH, meaning as fast as possible with door closed) to 70°F (21°C). No hold needed (or hold for 1 minute).

Mary Kay
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Re: Working with Frit Balls

Postby sue_offler » Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:56 pm

Thanks Mary Kay, that's just what I was looking for! I will give it a try over the weekend when I can watch the kiln like a hawk and post the results!

Apart from working with the published schedules, are there any 'rules' on how to work these schedules out, or is it just testing and experience? For example, what would the difference in a fast ramp up and a slow ramp up do to different thicknesses/layers/fuse or slump? Are there kilns that are known to be slightly hotter/colder (I have a Skutt Firebox 14)? I have been doing a couple of experiments which haven't turned out quite as I was expecting and I don't have the knowledge or experience to know what I did wrong!

Sorry if I'm asking basic questions - I moved into a house with enough space for a proper workshop recently and I thought it was about time I started using all the glass I have squirrelled away over the years, including some from a Portland trip 5 years ago! :lol:
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Re: Working with Frit Balls

Postby marykaynitchie » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:24 am

I just used basic plate fusing and slumping schedules, and adjusted the process (highest) temperatures to the process temps recommended for frit ball assemblages. I skipped any bubble soak around 1200-1250°F because trapped bubbles are not an issue with a frit ball vessel.

The important thing is to make a good guess at a prudent cycle, and if the results are not what you want, think about it and adjust the schedule for next time.

Mary Kay
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Re: Working with Frit Balls

Postby sue_offler » Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:29 pm

frit balls dish 3.jpg
Frit balls dish
frit balls dish 3.jpg (171.37 KiB) Viewed 11712 times
Success! :D I followed your schedule and only 2 balls fell out on the first fuse (which I thought was pretty good for a first attempt) and slumped with no problems! So much fun to make! And I have learnt heaps - even small things like I didn't realise 'process' just meant the highest temperature in the cycle!! Thanks so much for your help Mary Kay - I'm going to have oodles of fun with this technique! :D
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Re: Working with Frit Balls

Postby marykaynitchie » Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:35 am

Wow, if that is your test, it looks good! If you think that the two balls popped off because the process temperature was too low, you could increase it 5 or 10 degrees F in your next try. But if the rest of the balls seem pretty firmly stuck together, then just use the same cycle again.

It looks like you have only one layer of balls, which might be why two balls popped off. Consider making close to a double layer of frit balls for a stronger, less fragile piece.

Congratulations on your success--so glad you posted your photo!

Mary Kay
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Re: Working with Frit Balls

Postby charlie » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:27 pm

ime, longer times instead of increasing temps causes less movement and distortions.
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Re: Working with Frit Balls

Postby marykaynitchie » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:36 am

Hi Charlie,

Thanks for the suggestion! As a rule of thumb, the process time I use is most often 10 minutes for shallow tiles or blanks, and I adjust the temperature, but adjusting the time instead of the temperature is not something I have personally researched. I will keep that in mind for future firings.

Mary Kay
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Bullseye Glass Co.

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