Fossil Vitra Tutorial

Kilnformed glass artists are always looking for new ways to put imagery on glass. Well documented options include painting with enamels (if you have the skill), silk-screening (if you have the equipment), and even “assembling” the picture with frit (if you have the patience).

This tutorial, which first appeared in the Winter 2010 Glass Craftsman magazine, is for a technique I’ve named Fossil Vitra – an alternative to the above methods. Fossil Vitra requires no painting or drawing skills, and no special equipment.

Fossil Vitra

The Fossil Vitra technique is made by layering glass powder directly on leaves (or other organic material) and placing the powder-coated leaves under a sheet of glass. When fired, the organic material burns away and the glass powder is fused to the base sheet of glass. The illustration below shows the layering before and after the glass is fired:

Fossile Vitra setup

This tutorial will take you step-by-step through the process of creating your own Fossil Vitra fused glass piece.

Next, a list of what you will need for this project.


fossil vitra firing schedule

Hi Paul,

I am a fairly new fuser and have just joined this forum - so bear with me if I don't get it right on my first try.  Your fossil vitra tutorial got my attention immediately and I can't wait to try it.  Quick question on the firing schedule:  The hold column shows 60 min at 900F but the text refers to a half hour hold.  Is a 30 min hold normally sufficient to burn off plant material, hairspray, etc?  Thanks so much.

Nancy B

Loved this technique when

Loved this technique when you first taught it at Helios. Thanks for posting the tutorial so I can refresh my memory.


This was a great tutorial!

This was a great tutorial!  I didn't have powder so used frit, and had run out of kiln paper so used wash.  No probs with either. Ran the schedule just as written and love the results. Can't wait to do more.  Thanks so much!!

any damage to kiln?

I would like to try this technique but wonder if there any damage to the elements or the fire brick from the leaves burning off? Does it put off much smoke?


Hi Carol, I didn't have a

Hi Carol,

I didn't have a problem with either and I've done several items using this technique since.  Works great!!  Go for it!!

Fossil Vitra Tutorial

Wow, I have been experimenting for weeks now trying to get leaves to imprint in my glass, I used mica, I used powdered glass, I used all kinds of things, but this is the first technique that seems like it will do what I want to do! I can't wait to try it. Actually, I found this forum thanks to this tutorial :) Yay!

will this method work if you

will this method work if you also put on a clear glass backing?

Fossil Vitra Question

Wondering if this is only a single layer project? Don't see where it has two layers of glass. Wondering how this works with the 6mm rule.



Fossil Vitra


Do you need to burn out the fiber paper before using it in this procedure?

Paul. I was wondering if

Paul. I was wondering if after the fossil piece is complete could a piece of clear glass be fused over the vitra. Will it poorly affect the piece?  Just wondering of a way to make the piece a little thicker.

Thanks mary.

3 ?s re: glass vitra tutorial

I was wondering if this would work to make glass wafers from the leaves?

I was wondering about mixing mica & clear powder to do this technique?

How about using other elements - paper cutouts, spaghetti, etc?


Fossil Vitra

I have done this project myself a few years ago and experimented quite a bit with various fossils and glues to hold the frit.  Almost all leaves work well, just dont leave the stem to thick, the right firing schedule will leave some texture of the leaf behind. I have used feathers as well, just go light on the frit so as not to clog up the texture of the feather.

Hi Paul, can you tell me if

Hi Paul, can you tell me if after the single piece is made can it then be fused with another piece to then be slumped into a plate or bowl? or can two pieces be fused together in this project that would then be slumped. Thanks

Glass powders?

This project looks really cool, and I can't wait to try it out.  I must ask, though, what exactly are "glass powders"?  Do you mean enamel powder?


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