Fused Glass has gone through a special heating process in the kiln at high temperatures to adhere more than one piece of cut glass to another piece.
You can get many different looks just by melting various colors of glass together into one artistic piece.
Unlike stained glass where lead is used to connect the pieces of glass, glass fused together is melted together to with no lead lines to interfere with the design.
Several colors can be combined into a piece of art.
The only requirement is that all the glass used in one project should have the exact or real close COE, which means coefficient of expansion.
This will allow the glass to fuse together with fewer issues.
There is even a special test you can learn to do to find the COE, when it is unknown for the pieces of glass you wish to use for a project.
Various Methods for Accomplishing Fused Glass
There is more than one method for fusing your glass pieces.
It depends on the final result desired, as to which method you would use.
The most basic technique is placing two (or possibly more) pieces of compatible glass (glass with same or close COE) together in the kiln to simply melt or fuse them together into one piece.
Now within this basic method, you can fire to tack fuse, which allows the separate pieces of glass retain their individuality or you can fire to full fuse, which melds the characteristics of the separate pieces into each other.
Slumping is another technique used in Glass Fusing.
In this technique, you allow the glass to bend over or into a mold.
Another method of fusing glass is known as glass casting.
In casting, you let molten glass turn into the shape of the mold it is in and to solidify into a thicker piece than in some other methods of fusing glass.
Within this technique, there are various ways to accomplish this such as frit casting, hot casting, lost wax method, pate de verre and sand casting.
Each one is a viable method for coming up with a casted glass object.
What Types of Glass are Used for Fused Glass Projects?
There are many types of glass that are usable for Glass Fusing projects.
Float glass, which is basically window glass, is the easiest type to find and ideal for beginners.
The Bullseye makes a 90 COE ins a combination of colors and all of it has been pretested for the COE for compatibility.
This makes it easy to mix the various colors together in one project. Spectrum System 96 is 96 COE and made by Spectrum.
It is a bit thinner that Bullseye, but has also has been pretested so it can be combined with other like pieces.
Iridescent glass is made in a number of COEs and is easily combined with other like glasses.
However, it has a special treatment on it that gives it a rainbow effect.
This will add uniqueness to any fusing glass project.
Another unique glass to use in your fusing projects is dichroic glass.
This glass will appear to have different colors in it depending on which angle you view it.
Stained glass is not always suitable for these projects, because it is not as compatible.
You would have to run tests on any pieces you wanted to use prior to starting the project.
The last type of glass that can be combined in some projects, when you are fusing glass is bottle glass.
These should not be mixed with other glass though, but can be used in slumping techniques.
For each Fused Glass technique, you will see that there are various firing instructions.
There is no one set of firing instructions that cover all projects.
You will need to learn the instructions for each one before trying it.
Enjoy the process and working with the various types of glass.
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