Thanks, Linda, for your kind comments and for featuring me on the FP blog. I haven't been doing the FP for very long but already I love it and all the many things that you can do with it.
I hope I get a good response when I feature it during my fall shows. Whenever I wear it to work (and I work at a bead store), I get lots of compliments - people think it is dichroic glass! And they want to know how to do it! I'm selfish in that I want it to be something unique as few people are using it in my area. But then again, I am a teacher and I love to share my ideas. I really do think I will be teaching it next year, I have to get better at it first though.
This is the piece that everyone loves. One of my coworkers said it reminds him of the stained glass windows in a church in the city where he comes from, San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. I've done several pieces in this style and it really is fun!
And easy too! Best of all, you use up your scraps. Want to know how to do it?
1. Lay the empty metal blank on the non-stick baking sheet, making sure the metal is clean and lint free. I usually set my griddle between 180 and 200. You can start with either a cold blank or let it heat up first. If you start with a warm one, there is no moving the pieces once you lay them down.
2. Lay scrap pieces of friendly plastic, metallic side up, in the blank and let them soften. I like to use tweezers to get exact placement.
3. Start to layer the pieces, overlaping them slightly, to fill in the gaps. Be sure to get them close to the edge. Let one layer soften before adding the next. The scraps will melt into each other to form the stained glass look.
The longer you let it melt, the more it becomes one smooth piece. I've done pieces where I've not let it melt so much and you get a nice texture, but it doesn't look so much like stained glass. Be careful not to get it too hot or the plastic will bubble.
4. When all the gaps have been filled (be sure to notice the edges), carefully remove from the heat and let it cool by itself.
5. Use envirotex lite to glaze the piece, it really looks like glass once you've done that. Be careful not to run it over the edge of the blank.
You can alter the look by using larger pieces rather than smaller. The backing color also makes a difference as it tends to wrap around from the back as it melts - look closely at the photo and you'll see this effect. This is what gives it that stained glass look - the backing acts as the 'leading' between the colors. You can use that to your advantage while designing - you could use only FP with black backing, for example. I did one with all white backing and it was awesome!
Hope you try out the technique and see what wonderful things you can make!