How to Fuse Glass

Leland Dennick working with frit

Working wtih frit & stringers

Fuseable glass is handmade by a handful of companies to expand and contract at the same rate.  It comes in many forms including powder, sheet and stringers (long and skinny).  This specially formulated glass is hand cut, assembled in layers and then melded together in a kiln at 1480 degrees or so. Paintings made from frit (powdered glass) may have many firings as images are built in layers.

A second firing is done to shape (slump) the piece from flat glass into a bowl or other three dimensional piece.

A third firing is done on pieces that are painted with glass paint.

“I feel like an alchemist when I open the kiln and see my layers of glass transformed into a luminous image.” – Leland Dennick

WHAT IS DICHROIC GLASS?

Dichroic glass Buddha mask by Leland Dennick

Dichroic glass Buddha mask

Dichroic glass is beautiful sparkly glass that was originally developed for the aeronautics industry. It must be manufactured in a vacuum chamber where an electron beam deposits many microscopic layers of metallic oxides, such as magnesium and titanium, on glass. This metallic coating absorbs and reflects different colors of light at different angles, making the glass multi-hued.

Because of the complexity involved in making it, dichroic glass is quite costly. It was originally created for satellite mirrors, but it now has many high-tech applications in fiber optics, infrared lasers, motion picture equipment and even sun glasses.

For more information on fusing and slumping, Warm Glass has free tutorials, an active bulletin board and an inspiring gallery.   I also recommend Bullseye Glass Company’s online education program.  Here’s a blog post with a link to a movie my wife and I made about raking glass.

© Copyright Leland Dennick 2014
All rights reserved
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