Old Fused Glass Is New Again

by Karen Ferrantelli
(Colorado Springs, CO)

Have you heard the saying “Everything old is new again”?


Well this article uses the same theory regarding fused glass.

First a little background, fused glass is the joining of two or more pieces of compatible COE glass.

There are many tutorials regarding how to fuse glass so I will not focus on that aspect of fused glass.

However, the majority of the tutorials do not discuss what to do with the let’s say not perfect pieces or plain pieces.

That is what I would like to discuss in this article.

I have been fusing glass for more than three years.

I have had my own kiln for about a year and a half, and I have been selling my fused glass creations online (http://www.fused-elegance-glass-jewelry.com/) for a year.

When I got my kiln is when I really found the freedom to play and experiment and of course with experimentation comes mistakes.

Going back to the Old Fused is New Again concept; glass can be fired several times (personally I have never fused a piece more than 5 times).

Therefore if you make a mistake with a fused glass piece do not just throw it away or give up on experimenting make something new out of it.

When I first got my kiln one of my pieces was not quite right but it had beautiful colors including purple, blue, and clear glass that I just did not want to waste.

So instead of being disappointed that it did not turn out as I wanted, I got a hammer (think safety) and well needless to say I made some beautiful pieces of jewelry from my ”mistake”.

But it
does not stop there when referring to making new fused glass out of old fused pieces.

I am a simple person and when I first started fusing I did not include a lot of decals or designs or dichroic glass (the vaporizing metallic oxide onto glass – the multiple layers dichroic glass create the stunning colors with amazing depth) in my pieces.

However, when I learn a new technique I look at my older pieces and think, “pretty but a little plain”.

Remember, everything that is old is new again. So using layering techniques I recently learned, I took some of my older pieces, removed the bails, and put a layer or two of textured clear dichroic (cleaned of course) and re-fired them (remember to ramp up slowly when using pre-fired glass).

After firing the glass again the pieces were extremely large so I used cold working methods (cutting and grinding) and created beautiful new fused pieces that did not even look close to how they started.

Decals, settings, or wire-wrapping can also change the look of a piece in extraordinary ways.

One last thought, the scraps that are leftover from the entire process of cutting, fusing, etc., should not be thrown away.

Clean them and use them again!

I have used both fused and raw scraps in molds to make jewelry but the possibilities are endless so try something new with your scraps.

With every new technique I learn I consider how that technique can be used not just for new projects but for old ones as well.

Happy fusing and remember refreshing an older piece is just as exciting as creating a new one.

Karen Ferrantelli
Fused Elegance Glass Jewelry

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