I've just been assembling my Wells glass art pieces in the kiln, ready for fusing together as a single piece, the Wells Glass Roundel.
This is always an exciting step ... until now it consisted of 92 separate pieces of art glass.
Now, moving forward, it'll become one piece :)
This fusing stage starts with me marking out the design on specially treated kiln paper on the kiln shelf, so I know where to correctly put each one of the glass pieces.
Next I carefully position every piece of glass - like a giant jigsaw.
I wear thin disposable gloves, as the glass has all been cleaned, and I don't want to get any grease from my hands on them.
Once the design is reconstructed on the kiln shelf, I sprinkle on some glass powder, which reduces the risk of bubbles - then I place a single roundel of clear glass on top to fit, which gives the perfect finish when it's all fused together.
Actual fusing can start now. It takes around 48 hours in the kiln before I can safety open it up again. During this time I can't look in the kiln to see what's happening - I just have to be patient!
Next, after a really good clean, I add stringers and noodles - thin glass rods that accentuate the Hard Edge lines of the design.
Then once again the piece is fused in the kiln for a second time ... bringing another 48 hours of me holding my breath!
Then I can open the kiln, and see the final piece.
It's just as I imagined - you can see from my smile how happy I am!
The design is inspired by the ancient arches of Wells Cathedral in Somerset, England, not far from where the International Balloon Fiesta is being held in Bristol, which coincidentally I've been designing fused art glass balloons for.
You can see the final Wells large roundel fused glass art sculpture here.