Fused Glass is sometimes referred to as ‘Warm Glass’ because it is heated in a controlled kiln environment to temperatures between 1200 and 1500 degrees, depending upon the desired results.
In comparison, Stained Glass is considered ‘cold glass’, and any glass created with an open flame is considered ‘hot glass’. Examples of hot glass include Lampwork, and also Blown Glass which must reach temperatures over 2000 degrees F to achieve a liquid working state.
To join two or more pieces of glass by heating until they flow together. This requires a kiln to hold temperatures between 1450 and 1550 degrees F. Sometimes, all kiln processes are loosely referred to as ‘firing’.
Slumping or Draping:
Shaping glass by bending it into or over a mold. Temperatures range is between 1200 and 1300 degrees F.
Fusing small pieces of crushed glass or ‘frit’ inside a mold. Temperature range is between 1500 – 1600 degrees F.
To free from internal stresses by gradually cooling, to toughen or temper. Think of it as giving the glass a relaxing sauna.
Times through the Kiln – Firing Cycles:
One time can be anywhere between 8-14 hours, depending upon the weather and other factors.
On my fused glass pieces, I usually note how many times the glass has been through the kiln if more than once. Now you know when I say ‘3 times’, it is equivalent to three days.
My Working Process
Creating a Design: Choosing glass colors, considering the color changes possible when layering various transparent or opaque colors together, should I slump it, paint it, drill, sandblast, saw-cut, enamel? There are many directions to choose from! As you have probably guessed, designing can take hours or even years in some cases.
Testing: I run color and viscosity tests before I can actually begin any piece.
Note: Cleaning the glass is SO important because fingerprints will permanently fuse into the piece.
Loading the kiln after writing the firing schedule and programming it into the control box.
Every piece is properly fused and annealed to ensure strength and durability. Each piece is individually crafted, fused and shaped which often takes three firing cycles to complete. Most pieces are signed on the back if it does not interfere with the design.