This is part two of a
multi-part series on using cubic zirconia in the kiln. Click
here to go to part one.
Here are a couple of guidelines to get the best results from
using cubic zirconia (CZ):
1. If the stone is sprinkled into loose frit and fired,
it can easily topple upside down or move around. For best
results, pack more tightly or even "set" the stone into a
small hole that has been drilled, cut, or
blasted into the surface layer of the glass. The heat of the
kiln will cause the CA to sink into the glass; the hole will help in
stay in place.
2. Small CZ particles sparkle especially well if used
with dark transparent glass (such as cobalt blue or gold purple).
3. Cubic zirconia can be fired in place using precious
metal clay (PMC). Since PMC shrinks during the firing process,
it will "grab" the CZ and hold it in place. For best results,
use the PMC that fires to around 1600F/870C and soak for two hours
to cure the clay.
As with many inclusions, experimentation often pays off with
unexpected results -- just be sure to use stones that are small or thin enough
that they can be contained within the glass without cracking.
Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.