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Drop Ring Basics

Most commercial drop ring molds are a simple ring of vitreous clay, around six to eight inches in diameter.  These rings have a small hole in the center, and are suspended on kiln furniture stilts before firing.  The basic firing process is simple: 

  • Apply kiln wash to the top side of the ring.  Make certain you coat the edges, and then wait for the wash to dry thoroughly.
  • Create a circle of glass that's slightly smaller than outside circumference of the ring.  This circle could be fused in a separate firing or you could simply cut an unadorned circle from a sheet of glass. 
    • The glass should be at least 1/4" (6mm) thick (two layers of standard stained glass).  A good rule of thumb is that the glass should be 1/4" (6mm) thick for the first four inches you want to slump, then an additional 1/8" (3cm) thick for each two inches after that.
  • Use kiln furniture or firebricks to prop the ring at the desired height.  Take care that the stilts don't block the hole in the center of the ring.
  • Center the glass circle on the ring, making certain that you can view the project through the peephole of your kiln. 

Now you're ready to fire.  Click here to continue.

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Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

Parts of this discussion have been previously published in Glass Craftsman magazine.  More advanced drop ring techniques, such as tack fusing and slumping in one firing, making custom drop rings, and creating rimless vases and bowls drop rings, will be discussed in future daily tips.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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