Thursday, May 9, 2013

Memorial stones

 It is our tradition to leave a stone at the gravesite.

I make glass stones that can be personalized (names, dates, etc) for use at the cemetery or for use when lighting a yahrzeit candle.

 After cutting base glass and clear glass squares, each piece is washed in warm soapy water and carefully dried.  I use a wire colander to help with the process. Dirt, oil, and generic schmutz (yiddish for dirt of all kinds) are the enemies of glass fusion. Even a fingerprint will show up in perfect detail if the glass isn't cleaned well!  

Using a Kemper Pen and gold ink I write the names of loved ones on clear glass. Writing on colored glass is nearly impossible because the ink is hard to see. Even writing on clear is a bit of a challenge since the glass acts as a lens and tends to give the illusion of double vision!  Look at the picture below and I think you'll see what I mean!                          

When the gold is dry, I cap the black base glass and place the squares in the the kiln. The squares are fired to a top heat of 1450°f.
The square points will contract and the squares will take on a rounded stone shape.  As I post this, the squares are rounding up in the kiln.

I'll post the finished products along with the yahrzeit candle holders
when everything has cooled!

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