What is fused glass?
As the name suggests, fused glass is the process of taking sheets of glass and attaching them or "fusing" them together. Heat from a kiln adheres the glass pieces together. The more heat, the closer together the class becomes. At lower temperatures, the heat can make the glass pieces stick together. However, each piece can still be felt and thus a 3-D effect is created. At higher temperatures, up to 1800 degrees, the glass pieces become completely fused into each other so that when you run your hand across it, you do not feel each piece of glass any more. It has become one, smooth piece of glass.
Basically, how are fused pieces created?
In a nutshell, the process of fused glass requires sheets of glass to first be cut into the desired shape or shapes. Then, the pieces of glass are assembled, and a little glue is used to temporarily allow the pieces to stick together. Next, the assembled glass design is put into a kiln. As the kiln heats up, the glass contracts, expands, and adheres together. Occasionally, the kiln is checked until the piece is melted to the artist’s satisfaction (for example, 3-D or smooth). Next, the item is annealed. If the glass were to be taken out of the kiln while still hot, it would crack. So, the kiln temperature is slowly lowered to allow the glass to slowly cool down. Once the glass has properly cooled down, the fusing process is finished. Other steps can follow this depending on the artist’s needs. For example, if the piece isn’t fused to his/her liking, it can be fired in the kiln again.
What can be made with fused glass?
All kinds of items can be made with fused glass. Items for the home such as plates, clocks, bowls, chimes, and wall hangings are some of today’s most popular fused glass pieces. As for jewelry, fused glass is most often used to create cabochons, pendants, and earring components.
What can a jewelry maker do with fused glass?
Though there are many possibilities with glass and jewelry, here are some of the most obvious ways to include it into designs: