Introduction: Glass Cabochons for Jewelry
These were a sort of "accidental" project, as I was trying to think of what else to make from the wine bottles I was cutting to make glasses. I just hate to throw anything away, if I can help it...
Step 1: Obtaining Bottles
This shouldn't be too hard. Word to he wise: bottlenecks with cork or pry off mouths work better than ones with threaded mouths. Save up 5 or 6 to experiment with. Different colors besides the ubiquitous green can be fun!
Step 2: Cutting the Mouth Off
WARNING! Cutting glass with diamond wheels throws off glass shards and glass dust. Use appropriate eye, hand and lung safety equipment. ( I do!)
Using a tile saw, or a Dremel with a diamond cutting wheel, cut the mouth off of the bottle. Be sure to clean the glass after this step. You want to keep the glass sparkling for best results.
Step 3: Firing #1
Place the mouth cut side down in the kiln on an appropriately kiln washed shelf (to prevent the glass from sticking) and fire to cone 017. Be sure to cool the kiln slowly, and completely before opening it up. Thermal shock and glass are a big no no. Things can and do break if not allowed to cool to ambient temperature.
This will leave you with what looks like a glass donut. These can be made into jewelry pieces as they are and are quite attractive in their own right.
Step 4: Adding Glass
Now, this is the potentially tricky part. Glass needs to be added to fill the hole and smooth out the profile. Crushed glass can be used for this step, but it is much easier and reliable to use... a marble! Besides which, you get cool color combinations from the ribboning inside the marble in the finished piece. It is best if it is assembled inside the kiln, or at least on a kiln shelf so it moves as little as possible before firing (again).
Step 5: Firing # 2
Fire to cone 017 again, using all of the same cooling precautions as before.
Step 6: It's DONE! (well, Kinda...)
If you didn't have a catastrophic failure due to opening the kiln too early, you should have a nifty looking glass gem, ready to be set into a variety of findings (or you can make your own, as I often do).
Thanks for reading, and please vote for me, should you deem my offering worthy...