Making Some Fused Glass Jewelry

I’ve been playing around with fused glass for the past month or two, doing test firings and learning the best way to get the results I want.

done

 This is going to be a new line of jewelry! I plan on having several different color schemes of the fused glass; “Vineyard” (purples and greens with some black), “Rose Garden” (pinks and greens), “Beachcomber” (pale greens, blues and white with real sand), and this one, a blue and green mix which I am calling “Ocean”. I like having bits of color suspended in clear glass; so many people who make fused glass jewelry do the flashy “dichroic” glass – it”s pretty, but it’s not my thing.

First, I start out with some plain clear glass.  I have a small kiln so I make 6×6 squares.

blank

 Then I sprinkle an assortment of glass “frit” (ground glass) and glass “confetti” which is paper-thin shards of glass.

I don’t really sprinkle – not the confetti, anyway – that stuff is REALLY SHARP. I end up scooping up some on a spoon and pushing off tiny pieces with a brush, all the while repeating to myself, “Don’t touch it! Don’t touch it!” The frit isn’t sharp, so I can sprinkle that.

sprinkles

 When I’m happy with how it looks, it goes in the kiln.

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 After it’s completely cooled – which will take 2-3 hours – I cut it up into different sized pieces with my glass cutter, as well as cutting “toppers” out of another sheet of clear glass. After firing (and messing up) a few batches, I’ve come up with some consistent cut sizes for earrings, pendants and bracelets.

cut

All ready to fire!

ready

I’ve never liked the idea of glue-on bails, especially with transparent glass. Instead I make my own spiral bails from fine silver wire, which will get fused between the two layers of glass. The little chunks of white you see in the picture are tiny pieces of fiber blanket that I use to keep the bails propped up so they don’t shift during firing.

Would you believe that you can use cheap hairspray and Elmers clear glue to tack the pieces together? 😀

Another firing, longer and hotter, to make the two layers fuse together and melt.

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I was so happy, every one of these came out really nice.

Two pieces of the finished product!

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The “Ocean” collection is now available in my Etsy shop! I will post some gallery pics of the other color schemes as I make them.

5 thoughts on “Making Some Fused Glass Jewelry

  1. I’m assuming you have to clean the exposed silver after firing?
    Also was curious to see what type and gauge silver wire you use.

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