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What is Fused glass

When I am at fairs or art events, trying to explain what I do can sometimes be tricky. Most people expect that when I say I work with glass, I blow glass and have a 10,000-degree furnace in my backyard. "I wish I did!"

No, I tell them, I fuse glass. What is that, you might ask? It's a great way to create unique art by layering different forms of glass materials and then placing them into a kiln.

There are three main forms of fused glass:


Full fuse: The glass is fired to about 820 degrees Celsius (that's about 1508 degrees Fahrenheit for my American friends). A full fuse, if done right, will leave you with a smooth, flat surface where all the joins have fully fused together. An example is this platter I created using the Mondrian method. All the edges of the glass are smooth and flat


Full fused glass platter created in the style of Piet Mondrian, Yellow red, blue white and black glass
Mondrain Platter

Tack Fuse: This is where you fuse the glass at a lower temperature, around 720 degrees Celsius (1328 degrees Fahrenheit). This process leaves the glass with texture, as the lower heat smooths the edges slightly without fully joining the pieces as in a full fuse.

An example of a tack fuse can be seen below on one of my favorite pieces that I created, which now has a place of pride in Louisville with Koru Chiropractic. It's always so humbling to know my designs are in homes around the globe.


Koru plate featuring a striking design with blue and black glass.
Koru feel the waves
Koru plate now at home in https://koruchiropractic.com/
Koru Plate now in Louisville USA

Contour Fuse: This is where the glass is fused at a higher temperature than a tack fuse, around 740-750 degrees Celsius (1382 degrees Fahrenheit). The glass will smooth over and round the edges more, but it will still retain some texture. It’s a tricky method because you can overfire the glass, causing it to become a full fuse. However, when done right, you get a lovely piece from the kiln.

An example of this is seen below in my teacher apple gifts. I wanted the leaf to be raised and the apple to be flat and rounded, so I fired these to 750 degrees and held them for only 5 minutes to get the right look. These are then attached to cards or hanging gifts for the best teachers.



Red and green fused glass apples for Best teacher gifts
Best Teacher Apples

These are just the basics of fused glass, but there are many more techniques and methods to explore. I hope to share the joys of working with fused glass through my classes and blogs. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to email me or contact me through the website.

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