View Full Version : Fusing Help!
01-24-2003, 11:34 AM
I've been wanting to try fusing for a while, but I just don't know where to start. I got Lundstroms book, but it's got way too much information for me to disgest, and the projects in the book are too big for me; I just want to make some fused jewelry.
Would someone please answer a few questions for me and suggest a way to make a pendant?
1. How do you shape pendants? Do you use a mold? Do you just cut the glass to shape and fire away?
2. Can anyone recommend a recipe for fusing pendants? I am talking about how long do I hold it at a certain temperature etc.
3. I have Moretti glass rods and some dichroic sheets. Can I use these for the first try? I know I'll probably want to get something else for serious fusing if I decide that's the thing I want to do. Any suggestions on what kind of glass to get?
Can you tell I'm clueless? :D
01-24-2003, 11:45 AM
Have you checked out warm glass (http://www.warmglass.com/)
They have some great tutorials onsite.
01-24-2003, 12:19 PM
Here's some quick and easy answers.
Fusing is a lot like making pancakes. You melt glass down. If you melt it really hot it makes round circles and goes to a common depth of 3/8 inch deep. If you melt it just a bit, it rounds the edges a bit and stacked pieces of glass stay looking stacked rather than melting down into each other.
You can use dichro with moretti if the dichro has been made with moretti compatible glass. Dichro is metal treated glass. Whatever type of glass it's made with is the kind of glass you can combine it with. Most dichro is made with Bulleye compatible glass and is not compatible with moretti.
To make pendants, most people use a strip of kiln paper layered between pieces of glass to create the bead hole. Kiln paper is like felt that is fire resistant. It turns to powder after it fires. Some people use paper thin pieces to line their kiln shelves rather than painting with kiln wash.
You can take the thicker kiln paper and cut holes into and put glass into that to make shapes - however, the edges would not be smooth.
You can use a glass grinder to grind the bead into the shape you prefer, or leave the shape as it comes from the kiln.
To gloss the edges of the bead after it's been ground, you 'fire polish' it by putting it back into the kiln and heating it only until the corners soften slightly. You probably will want to remove and restuff the bead hole with kiln paper before you do this.
I fire polish at a bit over 1250 and fire beads usually around 1450 to 1500. Higher for a more rounded shape, lower for a more stiff shape.
You can look into the kiln when the temperature reads over 1000. If you open the kiln between the temps of 500 to 1000 you risk 'devitrifying' the glass. This is a crystalizing of the surface of the glass and gives the bead a matte finish. Usually it's not desireable.
If you don't want to mess with bead holes, you can lay out skinny retangular pieces of glass in a triangle shape with the ends stacked on each to make a donut. These are fun to work with in jewelry and will create cool pins or pendants.
Flat glass works much better than rods for fusing for the obvious reason it's really hard to stack rods. ;)
01-24-2003, 12:29 PM
I wrote a quite detailed tutorial on fusing dichroic glass. It's in Lapidary Journal June 2000. If you can get your hands on it.
01-25-2003, 03:01 PM
Thank you for your tips! Now I have a starting point and don't feel so intimidated. :)
01-26-2003, 05:53 PM
My suggestion to anyone wanting to get started with fusing:
Get something like the Studio Fuser pack from Bullseye (which has a variety of glass quarter sheets, frit, confetti, and stringer).
Cut some 4" square pieces of glass, throw some **** on top, and load it into the kiln on either paper, or a shelf that's well coated with kiln wash.
Repeat about 20 times until you have a feel for what happens when and how the results look! =-)
*Don't obsess* because even moreso than beads, your first products will NOT be exciting. The key is to learn how to use the tool (the kiln) and see how your glass reacts when you do different things to it!
01-27-2003, 01:31 PM
A starter pack! I didn't think of that! I'll have to take a look around on the web. Thanks!
I have a question either for you or for anyone else:
How do you get the nice shapes for pendants for example. Do you fuse, then cut the glass and grind, or do you cut the glass to size and then fuse?
Thanks for all your help!
01-27-2003, 05:53 PM
Alex... cut the glass, grind it, and stack it. Then slowly lift the temp of the kiln to 1000 degrees over at least an hour. Then turn the kiln on hign and watch closely, by lifting the lid and checking every maybe 5 minutes. Your glass will fuse at about 1500 degrees. Then watch to see what you want the final shape to be. Do you want smooth rounded pendants? Then let it round and redden. When the shapes are what you like.. flash vent to 1000 degrees. Shut off the kiln and let it cool very slowly.
This is a simple "recipe" There are other things you can do. This will give you nice smooth cabs. Putting a channel in requires other options. If you grind after fusing.. then you need to fire it again. To fire polish. If you have shelf wash stuck to the pendant, clean it with "the works" toilet cleaner. It works great.
I have a few on my web page.. Don't look at my lampwork there. It's old and needs to be replaced with good "stuff"
01-28-2003, 05:44 PM
Well...better late than never....
You can also use coated mandrels for holes... but you can't overheat the glass at that point because the mandrels will sink. But that is my preferred method for putting holes in my fused pieces....
And hi to Susan!! Welcome to WC! (I don't know if you posted an intro yet, I have been crazy busy and haven't had a chance to look at many posts!) Sue sold me my first kiln!! So really...it is her fault I am doing this with my life!!
01-28-2003, 06:35 PM
I understand how you feel about Lunstroms book. I've been doing this since 93. I still learn more with each rereading of each book. Just apply the techniques on a smaller scale.
You might want to check out Gil Reynolds book. I recommend it as a first to buy for newbies to fusing. The info is much easier to digest. I wish that I had it when I started.
01-28-2003, 07:47 PM
You mean I'm supposed to introduce myself? Hi I'm Susan :-)
Hi Leslie! (big wave!)
Susan Lambert beadnik :-)
01-28-2003, 09:20 PM
Another book would be the book sold on warmglass.com, written by Brad Walker. It is a good resources for new fusers.
When thinking about fusing with glass designed for lampworking (Like moretti) keep in mind that the small fluctuiations in COE that are usually not an issue with a small round piece like a bead become more of an issue when fusing. There is less tolerance for COE variation in fused glass then lampworked. The studio pack from Bullseye is a great suggestion. Spectrum also has samplers.
Have fun experimenting!
I love to fuse!
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