SchoolArts Magazine

MAY-JUN 2007

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Before firing and after, April, grade five. Cutting Glass I recommend using a pistol grip glasscutter that has a small reservoir to hold cutting oil. Apply firm pressure when scoring the glass. It is advisable to practice cutting on scrap glass. Stand up when scoring the glass, and apply even pressure while making one stroke on the glass. You will hear the cutter making a scratching noise as you etch your line into the surface of the glass. If you see little flakes of glass in your scored line, then you are pressing too hard. Only score the line once and never go over the line twice. Wear gloves when snapping the glass along the score line. You may want to tap along the opposite side of the score line prior to breaking. Hold the glass with two hands and apply firm pressure to snap the glass into two pieces. It is helpful to cut on newspaper; when finished, simply wad up the paper and throw it away. Working with glass requires practice, patience and sometimes a little luck, especially when combining glass of unknown coefficients of expansion. Information on this can be found on the Web sites listed at the end of this article. Firing the Kiln I follow the same guidelines when firing ceramics or glass, and I have had good results. I do not ramp kiln settings or flash cool the kiln. If you have made a considerable investment in glass materials, I suggest that you read Contemporary Warm Glass by Brad Walker (Four Corners Intl. Inc., 2000), "Infinite Possibili- Students placing the assembled glass pieces into the kiln. ties in Glass Art" (Jeanine Smith, SchoolArts, December 2004), or visit the Web sites listed at the end of this article. Firing schedules and results for different firing temperatures vary, and experimentation is necessary to discover what temperature range suits your kiln. This unpredictability can lead to happy accidents. Mistakes can be refired or recycled into other glass projects. Remember that persistence, patience, and practice will produce exciting results. A Note on Safety Fiber paper has special safety precautions associated with it, and children and adults should never be exposed to the particles that can become airborne after firing. Safety precautions also need to be observed during the fusing process. I have students wear small rubber gloves that I get from our school nurse or cotton gloves when handling glass. When cutting glass, students should wear gloves and safety goggles. My younger students are allowed to use tile nippers to cut small tiles from a longer three quarter-inch-wide strip of glass. Upper elementary students can score and snap larger glass pieces, but I recommend one-on-one supervision. Materials and Resources • kiln • kilnwash—ceramicorHotlineshelfprimermadespecificallyforglasswork • glasscutter-pistolgrip • glassnippers • safetygloves • safetygoggles • glass-float(windowglass), fusingglassorstainedglass Heather White is an art teacher at E.P. Rayzor Elementary School in Denton, Texas. NatioNal StaNdard Students select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of their choices. Web liNkS SchoolArts May/June 2007 29

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