Kids Class Project

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    I am considering doing a fused glass project with the children in my daughter’s 4th grade class. There are about 30 kids in the class.  I was thinking of providing 4 1/2 or 5″ squares of base glass and some pre-cut strips and squares for decoration along with some confetti and frit and maybe stringers to make a little tile or sushi plate.  They could assemble their compositions in class with dabs of Elmers and I would take them home to fire them and return them to the children the next week or two.  I think it would be fun to see the designs they would make and they could learn something about the composition of glass and what happens to it when fired. 

    What I’m worried about is whether they will be able to keep the glass clean enough for a nice successful result.   Has anyone worked with children on this type of project before?  I’m looking for advice and tips that might help.  Wondering if this is this even a feasible project for a class of children of this age. 

    Thanks for any advice and tips you may have.



    I would just be zen about keeping it clean.  They aren’t going to make masterpieces – a little devit isn’t going to distract from the gee wiz factor that comes from making something from glass Wink

    We’ve done projects with schools before where each child gets a 3″ x 3″ piece of clear and a palette of 3 colors of frit and stringer (no sheet glass so no cutting).  We fuse the tiles to a single piece of base glass and slump it into a large bowl or platter (which often gets auctioned off as a fundraiser).  The amazing thing is that by having all the kids use the same small number of colors the final piece is gorgeous every time.

    Helios Kiln Glass Studio



    Fabulous idea!  Thanks so much for the feedback.  I think I’ll propose going that direction and the school has an auction fund raiser every year. 

    Thanks again.



    Suggestion – why not let the kids each make two tiles – 3-1/2″ or 4″ – for the project.  One could be completed as a coaster for them to take home, the other could be used to produce a tray or wall panel for the school, or even as an auction item.  Possibly do one larger tile as a coaster, and a smaller 2″ tile to be used in a smaller mosaic-type object.

    Just a thought.


    Icronic, but I just did a project like this with 27 kids. I broke them into 3 groups of 9 kids. I only worked with one group at a time because they get easily out of control. Each got a 5″x5″ square of clear, a bag of glass scrapes in 3 colors with an additional “odd” element. (a piece of dicro, curly glass from the studio, small bits of rod glass or course frit, etc.). I have small bandaids for them to put on their finger tips because of the sharp edges. They get to glue the pieces any way they want. I also trace their hands on fiber paper to cut out later and put underneath the glass to create an imprint when I fuse. After they’re done I take the 9 squares tiles and arrange them in a 3 by 3 square to fuse as a single piece. It came out excellent. Each group did a different color theme and they were slumpped into a large 16″ sushi plate. The class was for Third graders.


    I like the ideas in this thread. Would “liquid glass”– frit in Liquid Stringer or equivalent– work in these projects? I was wondering if using it almost like a finger paint would create something worthwhile or be a total disaster given the age of the artists.


    I wonder if you have any pictures you can share?  I’m curious about what base glass you used for this yours was it clear or white?  Did the hand prints stay put fairly well after the slump?  I’m going to do the class of 35 4th graders.  They’ll do a tile for mothers day and maybe I’ll have them do two tiles and use the other for a sushi set or wall hanging for the next school auction.  I plan to put a fiber hole in the Mother’s Day tiles so they can be used as a coaster or hung as a sun-catcher.   

    I’m making frit up for the project now.  I like your idea of the bandaids on fingers, I was a little concerned about splinters and cuts. 



    Hello again. I will have pictures next week. The first one, Fire, came out

    excellent. The other 2 are being slumped as I type.

    For the fiber paper hands, I tack glued them to the bottom of the glass

    sheet for fusing, and I left them on for the slump. That way the imprint

    stays in place. Works very well. The glass tile that the students get is

    a 5″ square of clear 90 COE 3mm, bullseye. Any clear will do. The glass that

    they get to put on the clear tile is assorted color bullseye pieces 3mm transparent.

    That’s just my preference so they can see through the color. I also give them some

    small bits of either Dicro, or small clipped pieces of rod glass or confetti. That way each

    group has a different highlight. I think the liquid glass idea will work, try a test piece and

    see what you get. I also used the full fuse schedule for 3 layers of glass posted here and

    it was perfect. Thank you for that.


    I found a picture of my sample tile before it was fused.

    Sample Tile of Art project

    OK, how do I upload an image?


    Linda Steider

    I also teach kids how to fuse glass (K – 12) in the Arts in Ed program.  I have the little kids make refrigerator mags using frit atop a prefused 2″ tile.  They ‘eat through the glass fast’, so I have them draw what they want to translate in glass first.  They glue frit upon their tile like a mosaic picture.  The community projects sound great, but you might consider letting the kids make a small piece to keep for themselves.



    I agree with making something they can keep. For me, their next project will be to either make a mold of their faces, or use a plain mask from the art store to create a glass mask that the kids decorate and take home. They may get squemish about the goop for making  a mold of their face.


    Hi ~ I hope your project(s) turned out well.  I work with children in my studio all the time (see: and they are so inventive and creative!  I would not put bandaids on their fingers ~ I show them first how to cut themselves.  While this might sound crazy ~ show them that sliding their finger on the edge is bad.  Abruptly sticking their hands into a pile of scraps ~ also bad.  They immediately get it to handle the glass with care.  Warning about the scraps on the table in front of them is also helpful (tiny shards that could wind up in their hands).  Keep some brushes handy so they can push this kind of stuff to the middle of the table.

    We also use clear nail polish to “glue” the pieces together.  It will never show after firing….it disappears.  Go to Target or Wallmart & buy the NYC clear polish for less than $1.

    Emphasize clean ~ and you might get that 50% of the time!  lol!  They try ~ but it’s amazing how they do not see the fingerprints, etc.  Giving each table of kids a white cotton glove to pass around is very helpful.  They can remove smudges using the fingertips of the gloves.

    I like all of the project suggestions people have provided you with!  Key rings & magnets are great!

    I have boards I take into classrooms, to ready the projects for transport.  Each board is divided into 8″x8″ compartments, using small strips of screening trim.  Names are written on  blue painters tape ~ and put inside the compartments (removes easy for next group.)  The boards can be stacked~ transported ~ then it’s easy for you to keep track when you load & unload your kiln.

    I might avoid the paints with small children.  Then have a tendency to apply this medium way to thickly no matter what you say.  Older kids get it a little better ~ but I have yet to see a project that was beautifully enhanced by adding a lot of paint.

    Hope this is helpful! 


    I teach Kindergarten in Seattle.  I have slowly introduced glass fusing to my classes over the last three years.  The first project we did I cut glass squares and they stacked them up.  Then I fully fused them and put magnets on the back.  I did all of the cutting.  Each square was progressivly smaller.

    Then I got brave and smashed a bunch of scrap glass, gave each child a clear base.  They used tweezers to pick up the glass and move it to the clear base.  I put a clear slide on top and high fire wire between the two clear pieces so when fused it would be a sun catcher.

    I cut all kinds of different small shapes.  Each child picked a different color base that was about 3 inches by 5 inches.  Then they used the small scrap pieces to add eyes, a mouth, hair, a nose, etc. They made a bunch of faces.

    This year I plan to do the above and have them make keychains.

    Kids LOVE glass fusing.  It is magical.  The biggest hurdle for me was that I needed to have all the glass cut and cleaned before I introduce it to the kids.  They use tweezers to pick up the glass pieces.  That took care of the fingerprints and made it safer for them.

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