fused glass—part one!

April 2, 2008 at 2:10 pm (Glass)

For my job at Georgian Court, I teach weekly art/craft meetings. In a few weeks, we will be doing a class on fused glass, where the students will be able to make a small trivet, sun catcher or pendant. Yesterday, I went in with the stained glass teacher, and he helped to teach me the basics of glass cutting, grinding, and finally fusing.

Here we have Jose’s musings on different ways to layer the glass for optimal fusing
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And here is Jose teaching me how to use the grinder
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After being informed that I am an accident waiting to happen, I was presented not only with safety goggles, but a full safety mask. Here I am totally rocking the newest in crafting fashion, while grinding my first piece of glass.
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Next you take your base glass, and using clear nailpolish, arrange your small pieces of glass onto it. I am using dichrotic glass here for an “oil spill” effect.
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It’s a painstakingly tedious task with such small pieces of glass, but soooo fun
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Here are some in different stages. All pieces of glass (for pendants) have a base, a middle decorative layer, and a top clear layer to ‘seal’ it. I was making pendants to be hung on a neclace later, so the white strip is a foam substance that will be taken out later to form a hole to thread a chain through.
The pendant on the left has a deep red base, and 3 circles to form Mickey. The one in the middle has a lime green base, with the dichrotic glass, and I also made two smaller pieces to form into earrings. Lastly, the one on the right had (after this picture was taken) blue and green glass to go with the amber base.
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Jose also explained that trivets can be easily made by layering strips of glass. I made a small piece to be turned into a pendant as well. This piece is only 1.5 in x 1.5 in.
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Here we are lowering the shelf into the kiln. It’s important to put the shelf on stands. Each of the pieces is on a piece of “shelf paper” that will disinigrate during firing, but will enable the glass to melt without melting to the shelf directly. After firing, the paper will be dusty, and you just simply wash it off of your piece. Here you will see the three pendants shown above, plus one last pendant I did last minute, and one last pair of earrings. The large piece on the top is the piece my mentor did. She was making a trivet or suncatcher out of hers.

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And here it is in the kiln. These will be fired for about 6-7 hours at 1700 degrees. They will take an additional day to cool off.
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I should be able to pick these back up in a few days, so stay tuned to the final pictures!

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