Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Ugly Coffe Table Fix ~ Or Not??

So, we have this old & ugly coffee table. 
Well, "ugly" or "beautiful"'s all in the eye of the beholder, right?

We used it at our Girdwood cabin for a number of years & more recently used it as a bench at the end of our bed.  It's oak, sturdy, & has been painted a number of different colors over the years as our decorating taste changed.  It's still in good shape & I have a tendency to hold on to things & try to reinvent them as our needs change.

So, this time around it's been painted black & I decided I would make a glass top.  Somewhere along the line the original clear glass top was either broken, cut up to be used for another project, or fused for another float glass reincarnation.

I have six sheets of 16 X 20 float so thought I'd try to piece these together in three layers with a copper insert.  I usually use one continuous sheet of glass on the top for a seamless finish but this piece is almost 48" long by 16" & I don't have a piece of float that big ~ so I must improvise!

Here's the layout pre-firing.  Two layers of pieced glass on the bottom, a layer of copper, & then another pieced layer of glass on the top.  The seams were staggered for strength.  The lines you see in the copper are a reflection of the kiln elements in the lid.  I'm not totally sure what will happen at the seam lines with float.  It's harder & more brittle than Bullseye & I have to use a different firing schedule ~
I'm not sure the seams will "heal" or fuse together or slightly pull apart(?)

Here's a close up of the border detail.  You can see two seam lines.

Here's the same shot post firing.  The red line on the right is a seam on bottom or middle layer and the black line on the left is a seam on the top layer.  Both seams allowed oxygen & probably more heat into the glass thus the increased processing of the copper.  Copper reacts with increased heat by changing color:  Natural color, orange, red, green, black.
I guess I should have thought about this a little more & included more seams on the top as part of the overall design....note to self for future experiments. 
I like how the copper moves & crinkles up as a reaction to the heat. 
It provides more interest in the finished piece.

Here's the finished glass top. 
The little dots are bumpons that I stuck on the bottom of the glass so it doesn't slide around.  In reality these aren't noticed as they are clear & the copper is darker & not so orange in color. 
Glass is tricky to photograph as there's lots of flash back & reflection. 

What do you think?  Keeper or garage sale item???


  1. I was going to joke that "I'll trade my ugly coffee table for your ugly coffee table" when I scrolled down and saw that your carpet is almost identical to the one we have in our living room. We also have the same colour of couch. And, from what I can tell, pretty much the same colour of wall behind it. How weird is that? Do you think our living rooms were separated at birth?

  2. HA! We have good taste in decorating & accordions! Twin living rooms of different mothers...kind of scary. Let me know if your coffee table will hold the top (16" X 44")....I'll mail it to you. :)
    Thanks for the comment. What are you practicing on the accordion lately? Tam

  3. I made a resolution to learn to play Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" this year -- may change my mind if it turns out to be really hard. But wouldn't it be cool?

    What about you? How are the duets going?

  4. I've been playing the duet versions of "Tennesse Waltz", "Don't Be Cruel", "Just Because", & "Sandman." I love Sandman & have a good arrangement. You should join the Anchorage Accordion Club site (it's free) & then you'd have access to all our music...we play together twice a month & usually have a 15 or more song list for each meeting. So fun! Check it out! Tam :)