Many people are contributing in a variety of ways to help out those at the front line at the Lake District Hospital (LDH). Lissa Webbon is doing her part by making small hearts out of glass for the front line workers.
“With it being a very stressful time, especially for those at the front lines at the Hospital, I felt that a totem might help,” said Webbon.
Which led her to making glass hearts that people such as in Environmental Services, CNA’s, and others can place in their pockets and if they are in a stressful moment they can hold onto to it such as a worry stone. With it being small it is also easy to sanitize. Webbon gives the completed hearts to Teresa Decker at LDH who then hands them out to staff who want them.
Webbon used her knowledge of glass and its physical properties to design and make heart by hand. But before she came up with the finished product Webbon had to do some testing to create the heart shape.
One of her first experiments was to cut out heart shapes out of glass, but she found this hard as glass could break easily and it was not always possible to create the same shape twice in a row as the glass would need to have two layers before it is fired in a kiln. One of the reasons for the two layers is because of the properties of glass when it is heated, especially if it is one layer it will not maintain its shape, but contract and get higher. Which is why Webbon settled on two layers of 3mm each, which will then fuse with each other during the firing process.
After many experiments with rounds, triangles and other shapes, Webbon came upon cutting the glass that she was using into 1”x1.5” pieces and then form perpendicular angles with them. On top would be a second layer that would then be glued together so that they will not move when she is putting them into the kiln.
“I tried many different sizes, techniques, and shapes before settling on 1”x1.5”. I tried all the way up to 1”x2” which was found to be too big, while 1”x1” was found to be too small,” said Webbon.
With the cuts in place Webbon then had to match sizes of the pieces, especially if there were uneven shapes and cuts after everything had been cut. Because if they came out wrong from the kiln she would need to grind the offending part of the heart and then re-fire it.
In her kiln she can fire around 20 at a time which takes around 16-18 hours, while the cutting and the gluing process takes around 1-2 hours.
She has not only made hearts, but has also made squares as well, and Webbon noted that the squares can be personalized, whether it is with someone’s name or decoration with a Sharpie pen.
“This is something that I can do and help make them (the workers at the Hospital) feel better. We need to help each other during this time of stress,” said Webbon.