50 Tongorekill Road
Glass Fusion Process
Glass Fusion is achieved when pieces of glass are melted together through different heating stages within a high-temperature kiln.
I begin creating a fused glass piece first by selecting or drawing a pattern or design. I then hand cut sheets of glass to fit that design using two or more layers of glass for depth. Many designs include the application of glass frits, glass stringers, enamels and silver and gold leaf. Once all pieces are in place, it is heated in stages in a kiln up to and sometimes exceeding 1500 degrees.
An important factor to consider when fusing glass is the use of compatible glass; they must have similar expansion and contraction characteristics, (called COE - coefficient of expansion )when the glass is heated or cooled, or the glass will become stressed and may crack. Glass must be heated and soaked in stages depending on size and thicknesses of piece to avoid stressing the glass. The use of a pyrometer is helpful to determine the temperature of the kiln, although, different temperatures and heating speeds create different results, as well as, various colors and types of glass. I find viewing the glass through the peepholes, therefore, necessary.
Once the glass has fused, the glass must anneal and slowly be cooled, a process that can take up to 8 hours or longer. When the glass is cool enough to handle, it can then be slumped into a mold or over a mold, which requires placing it back in the kiln for a second firing. Most fused glass pieces have been fired twice or more.
Glass Fusion, for me, is always exciting. There are so many different applications that can be utilized allowing for limitless possiblities.
Copyright © RoseAnna's Glass Art 2006 - 2007
Website: Etela Ivkovic