An oversimplified overview of fusing & slumping

glass work

1) Art glass, AKA fused glass, or warm glass, is made from specially formulated glass which expands and contracts at the same rate.  I use Bullseye brand COE 90 glass.  Compatible glass comes in many forms including powder, dichroic glassstringers, rods, and sheets.

2) The glass bits are heated to around 1480 degrees in a kiln, until everything fuses together. Glass kilns have computer controlled temperature gauges. Frit (glass powder) paintings require multiple firings as colors are built up in layers.

red hot glass in kiln3) Red hot glass at 1480 degrees. The glass must be cooled slowly, in order to anneal properly and not crack.

Bisque bowl with glass

4) Some pieces are placed in a mold and heated to 1250 degrees for them to slump into a mold to create a three-dimensional object.  Molds can be made of ceramic, stainless steel or any heat resistant material.

glass cat pin5) Pieces can be painted with vitreous enamels, traditional stained glass paints and/or glass lusters.  These paints must be fired to set, but after firing they are part of the glass and will not fade or chip. Colors are often built up in layers with multiple firings. quail box

The glass that’s inset into the box at right began as vanilla sheet glass.  The background is frit (powdered glass) and vitreous enamal paint.  The quail was also painted with enamels.

For more information on fusing and slumping, Warm Glass has free tutorials, an active bulletin board and an inspiring gallery.   I also recommend Bullseye Glass Company’s online education program.

Watermelon fused glass earrings with dichroic glass

© 2016 Stacey Alysa Dennick, all rights reserved