Saturday, 8 February 2014

Glass Fusing

Last weekend I attended a morning workshop which taught the skills of glass fusing.  The process of fusing glass in a kiln takes too long for us to have been able to see it happen, but our tutor talked us through the process of both fusing glass fully, and tack fusing. She took us through all the health and safety precautions we needed to know about, the properties of and the different types of glass.  She showed us some examples of jewellery pieces she had made, and then she let us loose to make our own pieces.

Yesterday I received an e-mail letting me know that my work was ready for collection, so I just HAD to go and get it straight away - I couldn't bear to wait for someone to collect it for me once I knew it was ready!

Some of my pieces turned out just as I'd imagined them, while others produced rather more unexpected results.  I'd put together seven pieces and chose to have some fully fused and some tack fused.  I some cases making a couple similar items and having one fused one way and one the other...

This was my first piece - I spent ages cutting small pieces of glass to fit!  Despite the tutor explaining how glass reacts in the kiln, I didn't really expect it to change shape so drastically!  I think it now resembles a kind of glass boomerang!  I'm thinking that I might have a go at wire wrapping this piece so I can hang it in my window as the colours are pretty even if the shape is a little strange!

My second piece was tack fused and has maintained it's original shape with less rounding of the edges. The finish is not as smooth but I love the shape and texture.

Again with these pieces, one was tacked and the other was fully fused, this time using opalescent glass instead of translucent - and again, I prefer the piece that retains some of the shape of the original glass.

However with my last piece, it had to be fully fused and I love it.  It's a combination of opalescent and fracture and streamer glass with small pieces of copper foil sandwiched between...

The photos above show the before and after fusing, the light here today has been very changeable and I don't think any of the photos do justice to what the glass looks like in reality.  The copper turned a deep red just as the tutor said it would.  I had a feeling this was going to be my favourite piece when I was making it and it really is... I'm now waiting impatiently for some suitable glue to arrive so I can attach a bail and start wearing it!

The last piece I made was similar to this but I sandwiched some knitted wire in the middle and tried cut a small piece of copper in the shape of a bird - not easy to do with a very big pair of scissors!  Sadly something went wrong in the kiln and the top piece of glass moved before it fused which is a shame...

I think I've learned just as much, if not more, from what didn't work as I have from what did.  I'm now looking around for other courses so I can learn more.  I've always loved working with glass and was upset when I had to stop working with stained glass when my hands started playing up.  But working at this scale is so much easier - I find smaller bears put less strain on my hands too.  So maybe one day I'll be working with glass again - that definitely makes my happy list!  :)


  1. Wow they are lovely, you did a great job.
    Clare x

  2. Love the next to bottom one looks oriental. What are you going to make them into. Think the oriental one would make a beautiful pendent how would you attach. Love em, I like how it changes could end up with some happy accidents.

  3. Wow! I've always wanted to try this and now i do even more...they are all gorgeous! :)

  4. Hi drum roll please “Congratulations, I have nominated your blog to receive an ME & CFS & FMS BLOGGER AWARD. Please visit the below post to collect your Award
    Clare x

  5. Hi Lindylaine, just popping over from Clare's blog to say hello. Loving your blog and the range of crafts especially your teddies that are perfect. I was doing a decorative glasswork class until I had to stop because of an injury recently but am looking forward to rejoining and then doing the hot glass class. Good idea to do the two techniques side by side. Looking forward to following you and reading more.
    Love and best
    Craft blog
    Cat blog