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Make a Glass Color Graph

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Make a Glass Color Graph
Fused Glass Color Graph

Fused Glass Color Graph

Tammy Powley
One of the first projects I ever did in a fused glass class I took once was to make a color graph. Granted, this was not the wildly inventive art I was planning to make, but once my glass instructor explained the reason for doing this, it made sense. In her campaign to "know your glass," she recommended also getting comfortable with the various colors of glass. These colors can look different depending on the light you view them in or the temperature and length of time they are heated in the kiln. Too often, beginning students are unaware of how the colors will turn out when they make something. Instead of making each project a guessing game, the color graph can be used as a reference piece when planning out a design.

My instructor urged me to use my imagination, so I decided to pretend I was a painter and make a picture with the glass. She handed me some clear glass (about 6 x 6 inches) and introduced me to her "freebie" scrap box of glass pieces. I got busy picking out as many different colors as I could find.

As I cut, ground (using a grinding machine), and pasted little glass pieces onto the clear glass, I felt like I was in kindergarten. Remember the joys of finger painting? That is what it felt like.

A note about gluing: Though there is glue available for fused glass, it takes awhile to dry. For projects such as this one, regular white glue works fine and dries more quickly. Just a little is needed. The glue is only helping you put your pieces in place. It does not have anything to do with the fusing of the glass.

I left my first creation at the glass studio to be fired. After looking at various finished pieces throughout her studio, I decided on keeping the 3-D effect, so my piece was not fully fuse. I like to feel the different layers of glass.

Maybe the finished product is not even worthy of my refrigerator, but I learned a lot doing this project. Not only did I become more familiar with the different colors of glass, but I also did a lot of cutting and grinding, which, in turn, made be feel more comfortable handling glass.

Color graphs are a nice way to start with fused glass, and there is still a lot that can be done with color graphs. Small graphs can be turned into pendants. Larger graphs can be glued onto the back of a barrette. Cabs could be created using the color graph idea also.

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