Step 1: Preparing
Prep your work station for this project. Our girls chose an 8" clear blank. The size glass you should use is dependent upon the mold you choose and the desired effect. For example, if your mold measures 9" tall, the 8" diameter glass will crea more organic and uneven drape that will not hit the shelf when fired. You are not limited to a circular design. Square blanks look great too! We urge to experiment with different shapes.
Step 2: Creating
After you collect all your materials, like glass pebbles or glass frit, you are ready to start decorating your glass blank. Make sure to wear protective gloves and glasses. Please provide adult supervision if children are performing this project.
Tip: If using a circular blank you may find a radial or symmetrical composition is ideal for the design.
Step 3: Full Fusing
After you have finished designing your blank, clean up and prepare your glass to be fired. By brushing the edges of the glass, you can remove any overhanging glass pieces. This will ensure that you do not have any sharp points after you perform your full fuse. Lay down the fiber paper of your choice and fuse!
Step 4: Draping
After you perform the full fuse on your pieces, you are ready to drape your glass. Bisque Imports really wanted to redecorate our office so we designed molds specifically for pendant lights. We recommend that you use the new Pendant Light Kit molds that have smaller, flat bases intended for light fixtures. Our girls intentionally positioned their glass off center on their drape mold. But if that's not the look you desire here you can always find the center of your glass. You will need to measure the diameter of you glass to find the center and mark it with a permanent marker. Don't worry, it will fire away.
Align the marked spot on the glass with the center of the drape mold. Another method is measuring the walls of your kiln to find the center where you will place your mold, then measure the distance of the glass edge to the walls of the kiln. The more you measure the more your piece will measure up! After all that measuring you are ready to fire your piece. Bisque Imports urges you follow our Drape firing schedule but we understand if you have a favorite one you would like to use.
Step 5: Drilling
When selecting your drill bit you will need to measure the socket of the light fixture you will be using. We used our 1-1/8" Diamond Drill bit and measure the glass base to find the center. Break out that permanent marker again and trace the drill bit so you do not lose your center mark. When drilling glass, you will need water constantly running over the area you are drilling. We attached a hose to our facet and positioned it over our glass. We then placed a clamp loosely on the hose to the side of our utility sink to secure it in place but not preventing water flow. Start drilling at an angle rather than perpendicular to the surface. By starting at an angle, you a minimizing the chances of the drill bit bouncing. Once you have a decent groove in the glass, slowly maneuver the drill into a 90 degree angle and continue drilling. The closer you are to completing the hole, slow down the speed of your drill to avoid chipping.
Step 6: Assemble
Assemble all components of your light fixture including your glass drape. Depending on the type of fixture you purchased, you may require an electrician to complete the wiring. Our girls used a recessed light conversion kit so all they had to do was screw in the fixture to a preexisting socket light.
Step 7: Optional
Display glass pendant lights that you and your staff create in your studio! Your customers will admire these lights and you can explain that they too can have similar pendant lights in their home.
More and more people want do-it-yourself projects for the feeling of accomplishment. Bisque Imports carries a full line of easy to install pendant light kits at affordable prices and in a variety of finishes to suit your design taste! Help your customers refresh their home with this simple and easy project.