Making Your Own Glass Frit
Frit is nothing more than small pieces of
glass. Generally, it is sorted by size and used in a variety of
ways, the most common of which are kiln casting, pate de verre, or
as a design element on sheet glass.
The easiest way to obtain your own frit is
to buy it. Tested compatible frit is available from both Bullseye
and Uroboros. It comes in a number of different sizes, ranging from
powder to chunks as large as 1/4" (6 mm).
An alternative to buying frit is to make
your own. This can be done in many different ways, the most common
of which are described below.
Using a hammer
For this approach, place the glass to be used between several pieces
of newspaper (or a plastic bag) and strike with a hammer until the pieces reach the
desired size. This method is crude but effective. Make sure you wear
eye protection. It's also always a good idea to wear a mask or
respirator any time you're around small airborne particles of glass
dust. Breathing in silica dust can be hazardous to your health.
Place the glass in the kiln. One arrangement that works well is to
heap smaller chips of glass on a larger sheet. Heat until the glass
tack fuses - around 1400 degrees F. Once the glass has fused, turn
off the kiln, remove the glass (use gloves and tongs - steel
fireplace tongs work well), and drop immediately into a bucket about
2/3 full of cold water. The shock will crack the glass into many
small pieces. Glass broken this way will be in relatively large
chunks. If you want finer pieces, you can use the hammer technique
described above to break it down some more. You can also achieve a
different effect by heating to a lower temperature.
here to go to part two of this tip.
Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.