Cold Combing

Cold combing seems like an oxymoron when you are talking about a hot craft like glass fusing.

Combing is usually referred to a method where molten glass is maneuvered in a hot kiln.

What is this method and how is it accomplished?

How can you comb through cold hard glass?

There is something about the original technique that produces a more authentic appearance.

This process gives similar results without the risk of burns or accidents while pulling glass inside a hot kiln.

So if you are a little squeamish about sticking your hand in a hot kiln, give this method a try.

Combing glass when it is cold is a lot more comfortable than sticking your hand in a hot kiln.

What a cool idea!

This process that combines two normally contradictory terms can be accomplished using a couple of mediums like Aloe Vera gel or liquid stringer.

cold combing, Aloe Vera Gel, liquid stringer

Materials:

  • Base glass
  • Various colors of powdered glass
  • Aloe Vera Gel or liquid stringer
  • Water
  • Squeeze bottles for each color used
  • Paint brush or toothpick
  • Prepared kiln shelf
  • Kiln


  • Mixture:

  • 1 Tablespoon Aloe Vera gel or liquid stringer to 1 Tablespoon glass
  • 20 to 30 drops of water for each Tablespoon of Aloe Vera or liquid stringer


  • cold combing, Aloe Vera Gel, liquid stringer

    Directions:

    1. Use a measuring spoon and combine equal parts of powdered glass and Aloe Vera or liquid stringer . Add the water to the blend and mix. This consistency should be thin enough to flow out of the bottle without being runny.

    2. Place each color of the mixture into individual squeeze bottles.

    3. Squeeze out some different colored lines next to each other on base piece of glass. Make sure lines are close together. These can be made thin or thick.

    4. Using the end of a thin paint brush or a toothpick, comb through the frit colors into various designs. Pull the mix up and down blending and drawing through the colors.

    5. Allow the blend to dry completely. This will take some time depending on the thickness of the blend.

    6. Place on a prepared kiln shelf. Shelf can be prepared with kiln wash or kiln paper.

    7. This piece can be fired to any temperature. A rough appearance will be achieved if the piece is fired to a temperature of 1350 degrees Fahrenheit with about a 10 minute soak. For an even and smoother finish, fire the piece to above 1350 degrees Fahrenheit.

    8. Anneal piece as usual.

    There are racks that can be purchased to store these bottles for future cold combing.

    The mixture should remain workable for months if stored in these racks.

    If the mix should become dry, it can be renewed by adding some water.






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