Creating fused glass artwork is a process where you take different colors and forms of glass and bond them together using a kiln.
A kiln is a type of oven or thermally insulated chamber that can produce temperatures sufficient to complete a process. The process could be hardening, drying, calcining, or creating chemical changes that would fuse pieces of glass together. Kilns have been used for millennia to turn objects made from clay into tiles, bricks, and pottery.
The temperature inside the kiln can be between 1350 and 1550 degrees F depending on which type of fuse you are doing. You can impact the effect and results of this process by changing the temperature inside of the kiln to get the desired effect. If you have ever done ceramics or pottery you are going to learn that glass fusing firings will take place at a cooler temperature than you are used to and in a much shorter firing time.
One process of fusing is known as a tack fuse where the two pieces of glass do not completely melt into one solid piece but instead the glass on top of the glass on the bottom comes out of the kiln with a 3D type effect. These types of fuses will generally create a very colorful artistic result.
In the full fuse process, the two pieces of glass will melt completely together to form one solid piece at which point the glass looks completely different from their original shape.
It is important to understand that there are many different kinds of glass that are used in fused glass artwork. And you will also need to know that they don’t all work together. There are many different manufacturers and many different kinds of glass for you to choose from. There is thick glass, thin glass, standard glass, transparent and opaque glass, and glass that has coatings such as dichroic or iridized. All of these different glasses have different compatibilities and understanding those compatibilities and which ones can work together will help you in your goals of achieving success in your artwork.
Glass fusing allows the artist to create an endless range and variety of colorful objects that capitalize on the unique properties of glass. These colorful pieces of artwork will give the viewer years of visual pleasure.