Thursday, October 22, 2009

A glimpse into the making of my fused glass suncatcher

First I start by cutting a piece of amber colored glass to size. This particular piece is 1.5" x 2.5". It is put into my kiln and fired to 1500° F . The kiln needs to heat up very slowly, taking at least three hours to get to 1500°. Once the kiln reaches the desired temp, I crack open the lid to cool the kiln to 1000°. This allows the glass to stop "cooking" and start the cooling stage. Once the temp reaches 1000° you must leave the lid closed! No peeking ;) The glass sits in the kiln overnight slowly cooling down (annealing). If the glass is heated or cooled too quickly the glass could crack.

You will notice the fired glass on the right has become more translucent and the edges are rounded. This makes for a great base to decorate.

I used a purple dichroic glass which is reflective and shiny. The dichroic glass will be used for the petals. A thin round stringer is used for the stem, the center of the flower is a yellow dichroic piece.

The pieces of glass are arranged on the already fused glass base into the design of a flower. A small amount of fusing glue or white glue can be used to hold the pieces in place.

When the glue is thoroughly dry it is placed in the kiln to be fired again. This time the glass is fired to 1400° for a tack fuse leaving the flower design a little raised and not completely melted into the base piece.

The finished fused piece! The dichroic reflects an orange in this photo and in other lights it appears purple. To hang the suncatcher I drill two holes in the top with a diamond tipped drill bit, attach jump rings and a chain!

An example of a suncatcher with a chain, ready for your window!

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