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  • Writer's pictureMaureen Storey

Anatomy of a Deep Vessel

Updated: Oct 24, 2017

The Concept

It Starts with an idea and a blank piece of paper.

And then there is a second blank piece of paper.

Designing for Two

Sunflower yellow and clear streaky Bullseye glass in the background for the "sun". Stringers of red, orange and pink emanate as rays from the Sun's center.

Iridized white Bullseye glass cut in a 16" round creates the background. Turquoise and white streaky glass of waves and water droplets create the "surf".

Two Become One

The two rounds of glass are placed one on top of the other and full-fused in the kiln at about 1490 F. Thus, two become one forming the interior and exterior of the vessel.


Decisions, decisions. Do I want a matte or glossy finish? Sandblasting creates a matte finish and brings depth to the piece. However, the white iridized glass must protected by a mask while the turquoise waves and water droplets are sandblasted.

Coldworking the Sun

Sandblasted the "Sun." You can also see the rays are no longer perfectly straight after the full fuse.

Gentle Slump

Following the full fuse, the round is placed in a ball surface mold and goes back in the kiln. At about 1260 F, the softened glass "slumps" into the shape of the mold.

The Bell Curve

After coldworking, it's back in another mold and the kiln for a 2nd slump. But, to get a symmetrical bell shape, I've reached into the 1260 F kiln and rotated the mold around its axis and forward and backward. Protective gear is a must for this step.

The Shape of Things to Come

Sun and Surf is starting to take shape. The bell-shaped vessel is deeper than after the first slump, but it cannot stand on its own. After more coldworking, it's placed in the 3rd and final mold and goes back in the kiln for the 4th time.

A Stand-Alone Deep Vessel

The piece is placed in a 3rd mold with a flat bottom. It's time to suit up again with protective gear to manipulate the vessel in the kiln and create a symmetrical piece.

The Tension Builds

The wavy rim is trimmed with a wet saw. This is a tense procedure because without great care and a lot of water, the vessel could break.

Final Form

Once the rim is sawed off, there's a lot more coldworking to be done. The rim of the vessel is ground by hand with several grades of silicon carbide grit to smooth and polish it.

The Beauty Shot

The journey is complete and Sun and Surf gets its beauty photo.

Sun and Surf




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