Latest pot melt

I'm still experimenting with my pot melts and decided to try one with two extra holes in the bottom of the flower pot. I also stacked the glass in alternating colours with the largest weight of glass being blue followed by just over half the amount of red. I also added some white, orange and green small pieces and some black stringer, ( long thin rods of glass about the thickness of a pencil lead).

This time too I covered the kiln shelf in Boron nitride kiln shelf wash as the refractory to stop the glass sticking to the shelf. Previously I had used fibre paper which results in the reverse of the melt requiring more work to provide a smooth finish. So I eagerly awaited the result. After leaving the kiln to cool naturally for just over 16 hours the result is shown below.

Poor Photographer, OK Photoshopper

It's not been a good weekend for me for photography. I went out yesterday with my camera, walking from where I live over into the Winterbourne area of Bristol and wandering around the country lanes and fields there. I only took 21 photos for the 4 hours or so I was out and 6 of those were related to a panoramic picture which is currently suffering from a photo join mismatch in the sky area where two power-lines don't quite join up. It's annoying as the rest of the photos go together well.

Pot Melts

I have been messing around with pot melts occasionally but decided to try my Bullseye glass that has been sitting there for years untouched. This glass is tested compatible, i.e. when mixed with other colours and then cooled, the same cooling rates of all the glass will stop cracks developing. They are called pot melts because you use a terracotta flower pot to hold the glass and when the temperature of the kiln gets high enough, the glass melts and drips down onto a kiln shelf covered in fibre paper ( a refractory paper that stops the molten glass sticking to the ceramic kiln shelf).

6 centimetre pot filled with glass
I used all Bullseye glass as this is compatible with itself and will not cause stress fractures when cooling as all the different colours cool at the same rate.

Can You Guess What it is Yet?

Before dismantling my cobbled together macro lens I decided to make the most use of it as possible in case I couldn't get it to work easily again. I decided it would be cool to see what weird images I could get when looking at things close up. The following are nine images of things within a few meters of where my camera was set up in the kitchen. If this works correctly, there should be a table below with the images as thumbnailed links.

Super-Macro Photography

Today has been another 'experimental photography' day and this will be a long post.

Ashton Court, Trees and Panormas

Last weekend, after having lunch with my friend and his family, I trotted over to Ashton Court to play with my long lens some more and get some shots to practice stitching panoramas. The day was bright, although cold, and it seemed lots of people were taking advantage of the nice day to get some fresh air. The car park at Ashton Court was a gamble as the recent wet weather had turned the mud and grass into a squidgy mess and one car was already stuck and unable to get out.

Apple Sampler

I haven't posted for a while or played with my camera very much recently so this post is a 'killing two birds with one stone' post.

I wasn't too interested in going on a big trip this weekend so I decided instead to pick an object I had around the flat and try and see how many types of pictures I could obtain from that single object. I picked some apples I had and proceeded to take varying shots of it. I fiddled with different ways of lighting it from simply standing them next to the window to using a torch with coloured filters to illuminate it. I had to improvise tripods in a lot of cases, which was amusing, and several of my books and a vice I made during engineering workshop training all took turns to provide perches for my subject and my camera. Once I'd taken a number of pictures I decided I wanted an interesting way to show them off and thinking back to a sampler stained glass window my mother made many years ago I decided that would be a good theme. I also wanted to creatively title the piece so had some fun with Blu-Tak and the top of my dining room table. The result is below.

Apple Sampler: A sampler image of apples. Clockwise from top left: infrared, green filter, shot of the skin, duotone, shot of the stalk, yellow torchlight.Apple Sampler: A sampler image of apples. Clockwise from top left: infrared, green filter, shot of the skin, duotone, shot of the stalk, yellow torchlight.

Let me know what you think?

Hiding in the Ivy

I'd just tumbled out of bed this morning when one of the cats alerted me to the fact that there was a visitor to my parents garden. Bill the cat made a growling noise which normally is associated with birds but this morning implied something much bigger. A fox was wandering across the shed roof looking for a way back to it's den. After being put off from going into the rear neighbours garden by their dog it settled down amonst the ivy growing on the fence wall. I managed to take the photo below using a different lens to normal that I am just getting used to.

Tripod Talks

There seems to be something about setting up a camera and a tripod near a road that encourages people to talk to you. Yesterday, after attending a coleagues retirement lunch, I headed over to one of the local viewpoints in the area. The view looks put towards the two Severn Bridges but rather than take pictures of the bridges I figured I'd try and take some panoramic shots to practice getting them to stitch together without visible seams. The light was bad and the sky was grey with a haze settled over the bridges so I knew that the pictures I got wouldn't be good enough to show anyone. About 2 minutes after setting up, sure enough, an older gentleman stopped to chat and asked me what I was doing. Apparently his wife was into photography and I gave him some tips of cheap camera related items such as filters that he could buy as presents. I didn't bother hanging around for the sun to start to go down as it was cold and I don't think the weather would have given a good picture. Nevertheless, I managed to capture these artificial flowers below.

Flower Memorial: Some artificial flowers tied to a fence; protecting the public from a steep gully.Flower Memorial: Some artificial flowers tied to a fence; protecting the public from a steep gully.

Is it just me or does everyone end up chatting to random people as soon as you erect a tripod?


As I mentioned before, this week I seem to have spent a long time in my car driving. Fully a third of the miles that my car has done ever in it's life have been spent moving my brother into his new place in Reading. I know my brother pretty well by now so I wasn't really surprised that when I got back to my parents there wasn't a bed made for me or when I got up in the morning that there wasn't anything I could eat for breakfast. I did tease him about it a lot though!

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