Illuminating Lightning Bugs

Have you ever seen lightning bugs?

They can also be referred to as lightening bugs, or fireflies.

The magical insects seem to instantly appear as dusk covers the ground.

The male bug will light up to attract a female for mating purposes, and the female responds in kind.

Each species has its own individual pattern for flashing so that they don’t attract a different species.

The patterns can range from a continuous glow, a single flash, or a series of multi-pulsed flashes.

They are a spectacular site to see them moving around in the darkness of night.

Like tiny little Christmas tree lights, the sparkle and glow throughout the air.

We just came back from a family reunion in Kansas, and my children finally had the opportunity to see these creatures in motion.

They scooped them up in jars to gaze at them as they flashed periodically.

Finally they released them back to continue their mating dance with the other lightning bugs.

This particular pattern uses the shape of a light bulb to create the body, since they are sometimes depicted in cartoons having this shape.

Try cutting the figure out of dichroic glass to create an impressive piece of dichroic fused glass jewelry.

lightning bugs, lightening bugs, fireflies, dichroic fused glass jewelry

Materials

  • Lightning Bug Pattern
  • Yellow or dichroic glass
  • Tan glass
  • Glass saw
  • Permanent Marker
  • Beeswax or Chap Stick
  • Soap and water or glass cleaner
  • Lint free towel
  • Kiln
  • Prepared kiln shelf
  • Glasses with IR and UV protection.
  • Directions

    1. Draw and cut out the stencil.

    2. Park the pieces on the fitting shade glass and trace close to the stencil with a permanent pen. Generously envelop the markings with beeswax or Chap Stick.

    3. A glass saw is required to cut the pattern. Follow close to the shape to keep the shape and all the small fine points.

    4. Sponge down with dish soap and bathe in clear water or employ glass cleaner to do away with any markings and residue. Dry the pieces.

    5. Arrange the portions on a primed kiln ledge and arrange the shelf within the unit. At all times grasp the glass by the border to avoid fingerprints.

    6. Close up the lid or door. Activate the oven.

    7. Examine the fused piece at almost 1325 degrees Fahrenheit. Whenever peeping at your hot glass have on glasses with IR and UV protection.

    8. As soon as the glass possesses your wanted appearance, switch off and unplug the kiln. If the unit is built with thick fire bricks, you can permit it to cool off by it’s self. On the other hand if it is assembled with ceramic fiber, the kiln must be kept on and monitored so that it does not cool down more than approximately 300 degrees Fahrenheit an hour.

    9. Once the temperature falls lower than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the oven can be opened.

    10. After the project has cooled down to room temperature, remove the piece from the kiln.

    Now a pin back can be added to turn the piece into a wearable pin.

    Stick on the pin back with a two part epoxy.

    Silver or gold wire can be used to add an antenna to the firefly.

    This wire can be either fused along with the pieces, or added after firing by adhering the wire to the glass with a two part epoxy.



    Lightning Bug Pattern

    lightning bugs, lightening bugs, fireflies, dichroic fused glass jewelry






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