Glass is a versatile material that can be made into a variety of items for different purposes, from decorative use to industrial applications.
Layers of glass are melted together becoming one piece, using a kiln. Based on size and thickness a specific firing schedule is prepared and programmed into the kiln at temperatures ranging between 1200-1700°F.
This is actually one of the oldest methods of working with glass, as some historians say it goes back to the time of the Ancient Egyptians. However, the first definitive evidence of glass fusing can be traced back to the Romans, who used this technique before the discovery of glass blowing.
Sample Process of Fusing Glass
Different artists use different techniques to create elegant fused glass art pieces, jewelry, dishware, or just about any type of item. The steps below outline a sample process of how a fused glass piece is made:
• Create and sketch out a design using pieces of glass.
• Arrange the pieces on a flat surface.
• Place it in a kiln for full fusing. This results in a single piece that looks seamless and has rounded corners.
• The piece can be further formed into a bowl shape by slumping. Place the piece on a mold and fire it up at slumping temperatures.
• Some cold working may be required to finish the piece. This can involve sanding, polishing, grinding, or even fire polishing to produce a beautiful and unique finish.
Many techniques can be used to alter the glass and can last anywhere from 6 to 24 hours in one firing schedule. Many times pieces are fired, two three or even four times, carefully controlling the process through varying the temperature in the kiln resulting in getting the desired effect.