Bullseye Quick Tip – Frit Balls

The picture Bullseye is using for this quick tip makes me crazy because I absolutely love opaline glass, which is the glass used. So lovely! So I’m just going to paste in the copy from the email and say, “for more information go over to Bullseye’s web site…” Now I’m going to run over to my kiln and make me some opaline frit balls!

Frit balls—easy to make and fun to use!

Spread out pieces of coarse frit (0003) on a primed kiln shelf, leaving space around each piece. Fire hot enough to round out the frits, usually 1500°F (816°C) with a 20-minute hold. There’s no need to anneal. Open the kiln and voila, you’ll find frit balls! Once they’re cool, rinse with glass cleaner and rub dry to remove primer dust. For opalescent styles that pick up primer, do a quick soak in CLR (calcium lime rust remover) before rinsing and drying. When clean, the frit balls are ready to use as design elements or for building larger forms.

The frit balls shown here were made with Opaline Striker frit, which should be fired on the cool side to achieve a pleasing translucent quality: 1480°F (804°C) with a 16-minute hold. Get Opaline Striker frit working notes.

To make the Opaline frit-ball bowl shown above, first create a dam by cutting a 5.5″ hole in a sheet of 1/8″ fiber paper, leaving the border intact. Place the dam on a primed kiln shelf and load it up with about 5 ounces of frit balls. Tack the balls together by firing at a rate of 300°F (167°C) per hour to 1375°F (746°C) for 10 minutes. Slump the piece in a separate firing using mold 8746 . We recommend annealing in both firings.

Learn more
If you’d like to learn more about kilnforming glass, check out these teaching studios in your region:


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