Fusing Assorted Glass Shards
- January 30, 2012 at 1:03 am #9749
I am new to glass fusing, but am aware of the basics of expansion problems with different types of glass. That being said, I’d really like to make a collage of glass shards I’ve found in a nearby creek. It is an assortment of every type of glass bottle imaginable, both new and vintage. My idea was to use a base plate of fusible glass sheet and lay the various objects on top. I don’t necessarily want to completely fuse the items until they are flat, but rather get some slumping and at least enough fusing for everything to stick together.
I know that this is a bit unusual, but I was hoping that someone else has tried similar projects and could advise me on their experiences. I’ve attached a picture of the assortment of items that I’m working with. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
DaveJanuary 30, 2012 at 8:49 am #12408josthingsParticipant
With the understanding that it could all crack at any time, you can take it to a tack fuse.
I have done a couple of things thes way, some bottles and two pieces of art glass, I cut and did any fire polishing that was nessecary and then did a low tack fuse, then with the art glass I slumped it into a sushi platter mold. As far as I know it is all still doing ok. It was done for a friend, the bottles had sentemnental value and she just loved the glass.
JoJanuary 30, 2012 at 8:54 am #12409
Bottles made today are more nearly compatible with float glass than any other. Older bottles may have all kinds of compositions.
It might be best just to layer the scraps on the shelf and try fusing them together without a base. I had a student from art college trying to make sheets from broken bottles found at teen age drinking dens. Even these bottles produced at similar times, but from different sources, showed a lot of stress when fused. Although they stayed together for a time, only a few made it through the slumping process.
Stephen RichardJanuary 31, 2012 at 12:50 am #12410January 31, 2012 at 8:45 am #12411
Jo comments on tack fusing the bottle pieces. If you choose to do that, you have to have a very long and slow anealing schedule. Tack fused is much more difficult to anneal than full fused, as the pieces are not fully incorporated with each other and so try to act independently, leading to cracks and breakages.
When using glass of unknown compositions and compatibility, you really should check for stress. A highly stressed item is bound to break at some time in the future. A slightly stressed item can last for years.
Stephen RichardJanuary 31, 2012 at 5:22 pm #12412
Thanks for the inputs. Jo suggested cutting and firepolishing the pieces before fusing. Is this mandatory or can the pieces just be cleaned and assembled? Also, can anyone recommend a goodgeneral reference for Kiln profiles?
Thanks! DaveJanuary 31, 2012 at 7:33 pm #12413BeckiParticipant
No…you do not have to fire polish the pieces. That will happen as you fire. You might also want to take a look at the suggested firing schedules that Paul has in the “Tools” section above and go from there.
I would definitely listen to Stephen’s advice…both about tack fusing and the possibility that this project may not be a great success.February 24, 2012 at 9:23 am #12414josthingsParticipant
We fuse a lot of bottles at the studio, and no matter how they got set up they would roll, evrything is lever, our ceramice guru and I have checked it twice, we decided it the heat inside the bottles making them roll, it sounded good anyway!
There wher two bottles in there, different colors, company etc thet rolled into each other and wheer still intact until someone dropped them (threw them).
I asked my girlfriend to check her bottles and she said they where still fine, but have been in a box getting ready for the movers and the plate I made got broken on one side when it got knocked, she took it to a pick and paint store and they fir polished it (full fuse) for her and it came back in pieces.
I fired some recycled window glass. A lot of homes in Hawaii have long panes of glass about half an inch thick, I cut them up and put the in the kiln on a fire polish, I set them on a plate mold just to control them and they looked amazing after, the glass was really old and rather nasty looking. Now it looks great, the green tint is gone and is is bright and sparkling. It fused together but I am going to break it up again and re-fire it. I did the same thing a coupe of years ago with float glass and it shattered in the kiln.
Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t.
JoFebruary 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm #12415
If you chedk out the bottles, you will find that one side is heavier (has more glass/is thicker) than the other. If you find that heavy side and put it down there is less chance for it to roll. In addition, put a little piece of fibre paper at each side of the base.
Stephen RichardJuly 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm #12416WebetilinParticipant
I just read Boyce Lundstrom’sbook The Best bottle Book Ever. It is skimpy for the price but does provide all the info you could ask for about bottle glass and combining it with float glass. If you can fond the book at a library, do that…its a quick read.
Flee at webetilin’ StudiosJuly 9, 2012 at 4:31 am #12417
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