An Introduction to Making Fused Glass

Molten glass art-making is a process by which individual pieces of glass are fused to make a new piece of glass. The effects that can be achieved through this process are really beautiful.

Molten glass is used to make all kinds of decorative objects, such as jewelry, home decor, and accessories. The process of creating molten glass is very complex and requires patience, attention to detail, and special equipment and supplies for fusing glass. The basics are easy to learn, but it can take years to master the skills needed to get the results you want.

Fused glass 101

The first step in creating a fusible glass pane is choosing the right type of glass. All glass shrinks and expands when heated. When creating a piece of molten glass, the types of glass used must have the same coefficient of expansion, meaning that they all expand and contract at the same rate. Cast glass artists use a variety of glass bits and rods, cut with glass cutting tools, and make the pieces for the final design.

The artist will then assemble the glass pieces into an attractive design. This is where creativity really comes in. Some artists choose to keep their designs simple, using a few layers of glass and simple geometric shapes. Other artists get very intricate in their designs, using many different colors and layers of glaze.

Once the piece is assembled, it is heated in the oven. This step alone requires a great deal of skill and creativity. The temperatures used and the amount of time the glass remains in the oven will affect the final piece. Baking in the oven may take hours, depending on the desired effect. Some artists use a manual torch to fuse their glass pieces, which they feel gives them more control over the results.