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Turing Mistakes into new works of fused glass art.

Posted on April 23, 2010 at 10:28 PM

Fused Glass work can be very forgiving - if you work with your mistakes. What I mean by that is many times works of fused glass art we are working on don't turn out for one reason or another. The glass breaks from stress, the slump doesn't turn out quite the way you wanted or maybe for no other reason than you just don't like the finished piece - you decide that it 'didn't work."

If you were a painter, you could paint white paint over the painting, let it dry and start over. Working with clay, if you have already fired the piece you are pretty much stuck with whatever you did. But with fused glass, you can always turn a monster into a beautiful something.

Some of our best pieces started out as something else entirely. You may not believe me, but at times like this a hammer can be your best friend. I take those glass works of 'art' (and I use the term loosely) and smash it into a thousand pieces. Then, I take all the pieces of broken glass and create a pile of glass in the kiln, trying to keep the glass evenly distributed. Then, turn the kiln on and fuse that pile of broken junk - it will liquify, begin to melt and fuse together. Glass always tries to become 'round' when it is in a liquid state and I read somewhere that when you fuse very thick glass, it tries to flatten out at about 1/4 inch thick don't know the scientific reasons for this - I just know it's true.

This pile of broken pieces of glass will fuse together while flattening out into a round or near round shape. The end result can be an amazing looking piece of glass that can then be slumped or dropped to form a beautiful drop vase or bowl

This Fused Glass "FISH" or "Butterfly" bolwl (it really could be either one) was created from a pile of broken glass that came from a fused glass vase that broke. As long as you know the co-efficient of the glass you are fusing and don't mix 90 with 96 you will be fine. It doesn't matter if you take a piece of glass you fused five years ago - smash it to pieces and start over - it will become a brand new work of art when you have finished. And if you are lucky, the glass will be just as beautiful as something  you created by piecing glass together.

It's one of the reasons we're not afraid to try new things. Because if it doesn't work out, we can always break it to pieces and start over! (I don't know which part is more fun - breaking the piece or fusing it back together!

Categories: Glass Fusing - Working with Fused Glass

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