What is Fused Glass?

A deep glass dish made in transparent colours

Fused Glass is art glass specially created to melt (fuse) together in a glass kiln.

Here are some questions and answers to help you understand this medium

What is a glass kiln? It is a kiln made especially for fusing glass. It is not suitable for pottery. Glass fuses at about 800C, pottery needs temperatures in the region of 1200C.

What happens in the kiln ? the glass goes into the kiln cold and comes out cold, 24 hours later.  The glass transforms from sharp edged pieces of glass to one smooth and tactile piece

What can I make? Flat pieces – eg coasters or decorative hangers, open shaped pieces: soap dishes, small dishes or plates, free-standing curved decorative pieces.

What forms of glass are available at a workshop? I have a variety of different types of glass available although I do not carry the whole catalogue. Glass is available in sheet form – opaque, transparent and streaky, stringers (straight and curved), powder, grades of frit (think grit but this is in glass). I also have enamels and nuggets

Can I make a bottle or an drinking glass? No, they are made with molten glass poured into a mould.

Do we use recycled glass (broken bottles)? No, the glass we use is new. Results from fusing broken glass bottles is very unpredictable and I have not had satisfactory results from making things using this material

What are the hazards of the workshop? Glass is naturally sharp so care is needed when handling it, this is taught at the beginning of a workshop. Plasters are also available! We do not handle hot glass.

How long does it take to get my work back? It can take up to 3 weeks depending on the throughput of the kiln. Each firing takes around 24 hours. If you make a piece that is to be shaped the glass goes through the kiln twice, first flat then on a ceramic mould.

At the end of the workshop we will discuss how you are going to receive your fired glass. If you can collect it I’ll contact you when it’s ready, if it’s to be posted there is a £3.50 charge.

Depending on the amount of work I have waiting to go through the kiln it may take a while until it’s ready to be collected / posted. I’ll keep you informed of its progress by email.

What can I expect from the day? You will have a very creative day, learning techniques and actively creating a piece of glass. The glass has to be left with me to go through the kiln but you are encouraged to take lots of photographs to see the difference in the glass once it’s fired. Tea and coffee and good conversation are all on offer too.

This is a dish in its various stages. First, the coloured glass is cut into strips and placed on a clear piece of glass. It is fired flat in the kiln (first picture).

Note how the glass has now has rounded edges and some of the colours have changed.

I have put it back in the kiln on a ceramic mould which will shape the glass

Here is the finished piece. It is now a dish with lovely smooth edges and corners

%d bloggers like this: