Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pot Melt Class

I've been interested in pot melt technique since I saw the equipment in the Delphi Glass catalog so I was pretty excited when a weekend workshop was listed in the Fall class catalog for the Indianapolis Art Center. 

The instructor, Kelly Jenkins, has been doing pot melt glass for about 13 years and really knew the ins and outs of the process.  Basically, it involves putting scraps of fuse glass (90 COE) in a ceramic pot, ramping up the kiln and allowing the glass to flow out the bottom of the pot into a puddle.  There are a variety of hole-configurations in the bottom of the pots which can affect the outcome and choosing the right combination of glass is an art form onto itself.  Once the puddle is cool, it can be cut with a saw or broken with a hammer.  The edges of the pieces then get ground smooth and the piece gets re-fired in the kiln to soften the edges.

We spent the first day filling our melt pots with glass and then and shaping pieces of melts that the instructor had ready made.  Kelly fired our finished pieces and the pot melts at her studio because the Art Center kilns weren't large enough to hold all of them.  The next day, we had the raw result of our pot melts and the finished pieces.

Here are my results:

The raw pot melt I created.  It's about 6 inches in diameter.
Here are pendants I made with a pot melt the instructor had.  I love how these look like agate!
I almost passed on these until I saw how the bubbles made them look alien!
The class was fun and I'm glad I was able to try this technique.  I might try adjusting the firing schedule to use lampwork scraps and shorts.
If you are interested in more information, go to and enter "pot melt" in the search.  They have a variety of tools and YouTube videos on the subject.
If you are local, keep an eye out for another class at the Art Center (it's listed under jewelry, not glass).