I am currently sat in the garden with a brew - my rainbow work is complete for the day. The kiln is on with some fused glass bunting firing up to 800°c - which in total takes around 10hrs. Then another 10hrs to cool down before been able to peek so the glass doesn't suffer from thermal shock. I use a 'bubble squeeze' firing schedule for most of my work, this allows me to fire a loads of different pieces at the same time and get consistent results. More economical and sustainable - both a win win.

 
Working with glass gives me so much joy and pleasure, it is my full-time passion I find it such a relaxing pastime. I do realise how lucky I am to have a job I absolutely love but like a lot of small business owners I have my moments when time seems to be against me, and the kiln isn't working fast enough - I end up a tad frazzled. I do quietly have words with my kiln under my breath (and me to be kind to myself!) We make friends the next day and all is good.
 
The above set of droplet bunting I have used a different technique with the glass – called Tac-fuse. This is fired at a lower temperature – it melts just enough to for it to fuse together while retaining the texture of the glass. My bubble squeeze schedule completely ‘melts’ the glass like an ice cube, this is a slow process where the kiln heats up at a set temperature per hour (called ramp speed) to allow any air bubbles between layers of glass to escape. This method is called a full fuse and the surface is completely smooth, it always flattens to a depth of 6mm. Glass can be so clever and magical at times, it always amazes me. Both techniques have taken me time to research, test and perfect as each kiln has slightly different tolerances.
 
I have recently added a rainbow bunting kit to my collection of craft kits. I know a couple of my customers have been sent these as gifts, which I thought was so lovely. At the time of launching the kits it didn’t occur to me what a fabulous gift they would make. The feedback from them has been truly overwhelming – one of them sent me a delightful handmade gift as a thank you. If you haven’t seen these kits – the rainbow bunting kit you receive blank clear glass triangles, seven mini pots of crushed glass and all the tools to make them, plus guest access to a private gallery with videos and photos for extra guidance. Once you have completed your pieces you post them back to me and I pop them in the kiln, before returning your fired bunting back home to you. It is up to you have you make your bunting – you could have one colour per bunting flag, or you could mix up the colours and create something totally unique.
 
August 25, 2021 — Miriam Beig