Some people have asked how I create some of the glass pieces in my plates and jewelry. When I say "Pot Melt" I don't think many people know what I'm talking about. So I thought I'd show how I do a general pot melt.
A mesh melt, or pot melt is where several layers of glass are melted through wire to form an abstract glass pattern.
In this instance I started with a stack of clear and opaque green glass with a couple of pieces of white. The glass stack is about 2.5 cm high, but it's more important that I have enough glass to form an even layer of melted glass at the bottom.
The glass is stacked on a heat tolerant wire mesh with a large plant pot tray underneath. The tray is nothing special, I got this one from home Depot this weekend :-) The wire I use can withstand temperatures of 2200 degrees F. The wire is not galvanized as high temperatures will produce noxious and potentially dangerous (lethal) gases. The pot tray has been treated with a clay solution so that the melted glass will not stick to it.
Nine hours later after reaching 1700 degrees F (925 Celsius) the glass has melted through the wire mesh to form one disk of glass. If there's one thing I have learned with pot melts is that the glass has to be annealed properly and left to cool very, very slowly. When I'm fusing small glass pieces I sometimes vent my kiln when the temperature gets below 500 degrees F, but with a pot melt that can cause the glass to crack. So with pot melts I don't open the kiln until the internal kiln temperature has dropped below 200 degrees F.
The pattern depends on the glass wire placement, the glass used and the order in which the glass is stacked.
The glass can be cut and used for jewelry or kept in one piece and slumped on to a plate or bowl form. I will probably grind the edges of this piece to make a smooth, more regular circle and place it back into the kiln for a fire polish before slumping over a small bowl.