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Making a Drop Ring Mold

This is part two of a multi-part tip on making a drop ring mold.  Click here to go to part one.

Once the hole has been cut in your material, the next step is to prepare the mold for firing. 

Preparing the Mold for Firing

For many products, this involves pre-firing the material to at least 1300F/700C in order to drive off binders.  This can be done prior to cutting, but since some products become softer after pre-firing itís a good idea to cut first, fire second.  After pre-firing, apply a coating of kiln wash to the surface of your material to help prevent sticking.  Make certain you take care to kiln wash the inside of the hole as well as the top layer of the mold. 

Once the kiln wash dries youíre ready to fire.  Any standard drop ring schedule, such as those detailed here, can be adapted to work for your custom mold.  When adapting, keep in mind that drops through larger holes will take place at lower temperatures than through small ones.  Also, as with all drop ring firings, it is critical to closely monitor the glass as it drops through the ring to ensure that it doesnít over or under fire. 

Future tips will cover more drop ring techniques, such as making bowls, making rimless items like vases, and making bowls with pedestals.


Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

Parts of this discussion have been previously published in Glass Craftsman magazine. 

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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