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Blog posts of '2017' 'May'

Full Fuse Decorative Plate

Kiln working glass can be a fun and creative way to work with glass. The process involves choosing colors, cutting glass, and fusing, all which require skill through experience.

The plate I am currently working on is 10mm thick with four colors. Sometimes I will draw a design on paper but many times I alter the design as I work. Color choice can be accomplished using a color wheel to choose colors that are complementary.

After choosing colors I then start cutting the glass. I use a glass cutter to score the glass. The glass will break along that score line. I want the pieces to be precise because as glass flows in the kiln I want to preserve the design. Large spaces will alter the design and possibly create an uneven piece.

Once the pieces are cut I lay them out on a kiln shelf. The shelves are primed so that the glass does not stick to it. The entire layup is then restrained by kiln furniture called dams and bricks. The restraining ensures the design will be preserved as well as thickness. Glass wants to be 6mm (1/4") thick, if not restrained it will revert to that thickness instead of the 10mm I desire. In addition, unrestrained glass may flow over the kiln shelf doing damage to the kiln.

layup of fused plate

You can see the 'dams' which press against the fiber paper and glass. The fiber paper keeps the glass from sticking to the dam. Bricks are then placed behind the dams to keep them in place.

The glass is then fully fused - the glass becomes molten and flows into one solid piece. This happens at approximatley 1500 deg F. This piece was 2 days in the kiln.

Glass plate after fusing Now you can see the bricks that kept the glass at a 10mm thickness.

Once done in the kiln, the glass will be what is called 'coldworked' where the edges are smoothed, and then a final kiln firing to get it to a desired shape ie. a curved plate.

Hope this was informative and thanks for reading!