2.11.2007

Glass Fusion

Part of my birthday present was a glass fusion class at my favorite art glass store - and yesterday was class day. Dick and I were two of five students for the three hour hands-on class.

I love fused glass, especially the clear glass tiles imprinted with shapes. Turns out that's the easiest one to do. You cut foam (not asbestos - we asked) into various shapes using stencils
and then place a glass tile on top of the foam. Bake in the kiln and voila, the glass slumps around the foam, creating shapes. We'll see the results some time next week. It takes hours to cook these things, between taking the temperature up gradually to over 1400 degrees, holding it during the 'bake', and then bringing it back down. No instant gratification here.

Next up were sun catchers. Method one was to draw a design (with a scrapbooking stencil - yeh! something to do with all those old templates I have stashed somewhere), create a dam around the design using good old white glue, then fill it in with glass frit.
Method two was the one Dick used - cut glass shapes and lay them on the round glass. When they are kiln baked, the frit and cut glass melt, forming the design. (The bottom glass has a higher COE - are you impressed with the technical terms? - or melting temperature, so it retains its shape while the other glass melts.) That's the theory, anyway; we'll see these results next week too. The last part of the class was jewelry making with various types of glass, including dichroic. Dichroic is so pretty, I just took a piece, topped it with clear glass cut into the same shape, and called it done. We also sandwiched different glass types, shapes, and colors between two pieces of clear glass. When cooked, the layers fuse together in unpredictable colors and shapes. So, have we added glass fusion to our growing list of hobbies? Probably not. With flamework, like glass blowing and bead making (that class is later this month), you get to immediately see your results and can make changes to get the effect you want. Fusion requires patience and lots of time. Neither one of us is all that excited about it.

Remember the knitted scarf?
Frogged the whole thing and redid it on larger needles. It's much more flexible now, much nicer. AND I figured out how to fix a mistake I found a few rows back, then get going again. Thanks to this site. Love it!