I always have a strange feeling when writing a blog; whenever I post my experiences, feelings, results of tests, etc. I often feel that the only voice I hear back is my own! I think that writing blogs is like putting a message in a bottle and letting it drift around the open seas of the ethereal world – not knowing where the tides will take it or who will read it. I’ve come to the conclusion that you need to have the patience of learning how to throw a boomerang until you have mastered the technique to get it to come back to you! Anyway, here is another attempt at throwing my boomerang …

In the last few days I have returned to doing some more tests with TLCs; with some more disappointments, but also with some positivity.

Having had the problems with de-lamination using any of the processes I have tried, I started to feel as if I was at a dead end. Despite the incompatibility issues between TLCs and 2-part silicone, I found that if I spray a thin layer of TLCs signs of de-lamination will occur over time, but the bonding of the entire piece of glass will not be compromised.

I made some enquiries to find commercial companies that have the facilities I need for the lamination and have come up with a couple of possibilities in the South West. I have had a very useful meeting with one of them and they very generously gave me some samples of the EVA film that they use along with a sample of another type of film (Thermoplastic Polyurethane – TPU) as well as some silicone sheets for me to make my own vacuum bags to do some more DIY tests. It felt as if Christmas had come early!!

I have tried both; the new EVA film is thicker and a better quality than the one I was using previously. The silicone sheet for making the vacuum bag seemed a good idea as I could make something that was exactly the size I needed without having to fold it to fit into my kiln. However, as the images show, the first attempt was not totally successful. The silicone sheet is so light that when I started the vacuum pump it was immediately sucked into the tube connected to the pump and it was very difficult to get all the creases out to make sure that air was extracted from all the glass samples. This meant that there were quite a few bubbles where air was left trapped inside the glass.

On the positive side, at least the TLCs were still working after the temperature cycling! This may have been because I also kept the temperature lower (although for a longer period of time) while the EVA film was fusing.

I’m now planning some more tests, so watch out for my next message in a bottle and throw of the boomerang …


Dear Blog,
Since my last post, I have been working on a collaborative project for the design of some graphics to be applied to the windows of a new Visitor Centre. As is inevitably the case, the clients had an extremely tight deadline for the work but, after completing everything on time, I am now still waiting for their feedback and approval for the designs.
It always seems the way with these kind of commissions that you start with lots of energy and enthusiasm which dissipates and evaporates by the time you get to the end of the process. Usually, this is because of the frustrations involved in trying to get all the relevant parties to actually make a decision!
Each time I ask myself: “what have I learnt from this experience?” and what can I do differently next time? Never mind, the next one will be different again, with different problems …

Anyway, I have now switched the computer off and returned to me workbench where the other half-finished projects are in need of attention.
I am currently working on something that I am calling “The other face of the moon”. It consists of a number of glass pyramids with mirrors and old glass photographic negatives bonded inside. I had originally intended to submit this for the Summer Exhibition at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen but, I was unable to finish it in time due to the additional work I created for myself when I changed my mind along the way.
It is now almost finished – the mirrors have been stripped and etched, the glass negatives bonded and I’ve fitted some adjustable rod stoppers to the base in order to have a cable passing through to hang them all together.

I have also turned my attention to a final work that will incorporate TLCs. I find weather maps showing the passage of winds and storms intriguing with the way that they constantly change in real time and it is these that have inspired the design for this work.
I have taken a 1 second snapshot of one of these and traced the image that will be used as a stencil for etching the glass. In the lamination, I will add lines painted with TLCs that will react to different temperature ranges to create a certain kind of dynamic in the composition.

It is strange how these images now seem all so familiar with the latest news of hurricanes and storms across the Caribbean and the UK.