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Production Work is a Killer - and So Worth It!

The latest project was another big one: 200 award medallions for the 40th Anniversary of the Utah Scottish Festival & Highland Games at Thanksgiving Point in June. The hardest part of the project was cutting 400 glass circles. But, like eating an elephant, the only way to approach a project is this is, one bite at a time.

After calculating just how much glass I'd need, and allowing for waste (that means glass breakage other unforeseen mistakes) I ordered in supplies and got started.

Cutting circles...

Red glass cuts easier than white - it's a little "softer" and more forgiving. I'd just gotten the new small circle cutting tool and it was a good opportunity to get used to a new tool on the easier to cut glass.

And off I went...

Between scoring and breaking the glass, there was only so much I could do each night before my hands needed a rest. It took a few days to get all 200 red circles cut.

The white circles were a little harder to work with. The glass is "harder" meaning it's more brittle and doesn't cut break as easily.

But after a few nights, a few cuts and a few blisters, there were 200 white circles ready to go. However, all 400 circles needed to be smoothed first - to remove the rough edges that remained.

While the white circles were wet from the grinder it was the perfect time to apply the decal. You've seen me use these decals before in this post: A Memorial in Glass

After applying the decals they need to dry completely before going into the kiln, so I let them sit over night.

Then glued each white circle to a red circle using a drop of liquid hair spray - yes, hair spray. The secret of hair spray glue is this: Choose a brand that is cheap and unscented. Fill a kiln shelf with medallions and fuse.

After firing all the circles and replacing the ones that been ruined I had 200 finished medallions.

But I still had to glue bails on the backs of them. I'd chosen a Celtic themed bail (of course) and finally, they were done and ready to ship.

And if anyone's curious - 200 2 1/4" glass medallions weigh 16 1/2 pounds... In case it shows up on a trivia challenge some day.