Fused Glass, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the technique, is a process where glass is fired in a kiln to achieve a desired result. There are basically three stages in glass fusing that will help you achieve your desired results. Slumping, a technique used to make things such as glass vases results at temperatures between 1100-1250 degrees Fahrenheit. Tack fusing, where glass is stacked and fused, yet still textural, is heated at temperatures between 1250-1350 degrees fahrenheit. Fully fused pieces are fused at temperatures above 1350, but not exceeding 1700 degrees. Fused glass is referred to by people who work with glass as warm glass, whereas glassblowing is a hot glass technique where a flame is used. There is evidence of glass fusing amongst the Egyptians, however Romans were the first to be prolific glass workers.
The pendants shown above, excluding the pink pendant, are all tack fused pieces. You can clearly see the separate layers of glass that were used to make the pendants, and the pendants have more defined shape and texture than pieces that are fully fused. The pink pendant is simply a nice chunk of stained glass that was fused to round the edges. The other pendants pictured above are a combination of stained glass and dichroic glass. Dichroic glass, used by glass artists, is made by vaporizing a coating of metal oxides onto glass in a vacuum. Dichroic glass often has an initial visible color, yet another color that reflects when light hits a piece. The dichroic glass in the pieces above is the shiny, textured, and patterned glass. If your interested in any of the pieces above simply double click the photo for further information about each pendant!
This is the batch of pendants I fired in the kiln today, and I am very happy with the outcome! I originally started making pieces like this about two months after opening my store Love Life Live Life in the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community. I was selling a pretty good amount of pendants and running out of glass. I then decided to see what I could do with all the small chips of dichroic glass I had around (I have always been extremely frugal and I hate to waste!). I started composing small pictures with the glass, like these, by cutting and arranging small pieces of dichroic on a black ground. I think of these pieces as small abstract pictures and that is what guides the compositions and the color. Perhaps that comes from my background as a Fine Art Major at Hunter College in NYC, where I studied painting. If you happen to be interested in any of these piece just click on the picture for more information! Also leave a comment and let me know what you think of these pendants.