Adding Texture and Pattern to Float Glass

In your fused recycled glass travels, don’t overlook float glass. Sure, it might seem like large sheets of clear window glass couldn’t be more boring, but it’s really an incredibly versatile tool. Not only is it possible to get large pieces for big projects, you can add so many things to float glass. Today I’ll show you how to add color pattern and texture to float glass, you could also use your larger sheets of bottle glass. (this technique would work with art glass as well, just use 1/4″ thick glass and make sure you use art glass firing schedules.)

 

fused float glass with powder
Adding patterns with colored powder to fused float glass

Materials needed:

1/4″ thick float glass (I’m using a 12″ circle)

Float fire powder and frit, opaque powder and translucent frit work the best. I’m using black powder and cherry red frit

enamel filter

small strainer

floral former

Stencil or doily of your choice – I’m using a vinyl placemat from the thrift store, but cut paper doilys would work too

respirator

pump hairspray

Step 1:

Put your respirator on! Place stencil on the float glass and filter black powder evenly over the entire surface of the stencil and glass

fusing with float fire powder
Filter powder over entire stencil

Step 2:

Carefully remove the stencil and shake extra powder off of it onto a sheet of paper (you are still wearing your respirator, right??) You’ll need to lift the stencil straight up off the glass so you don’t disturb the pattern. If you mess up the pattern, just dump all the powder off and start over. Tip the extra powder back into the container.

Carefully lift of stencil
Carefully lift of stencil

 

Float circle with stenciled powder
Float circle with stenciled powder

Step 4:

Put the float glass circle in the kiln on a prepared shelf and fire to a full fuse using the fuse schedule for 1/4″ glass.

Fire float circle to full fuse
Fire float circle to full fuse

Step 5:

After fusing and cooling, we’ll add the texture part. For this part we’ll need the hairspray, the cherry red frit, and the strainer. And the respirator, you’re still wearing that, right??

fused float with frit texture
Fused float glass with stenciled pattern

We want to add the frit to the opposite side of the pattern, so make sure the side with the powder is down and spray the whole thing with hairspray.

fused float glass with powder pattern
Preparing to add frit

Step 6:

Using the strainer, filter frit across the entire surface. We want it to stick in the hairspray, so work efficiently. I’m covering the whole surface more or less, but you could use a stencil for this side too. (If you do, spray after you remove the stencil.)

adding float fire frit for fusing
Filter float fire frit onto glass
fusing float glass with frit
Float fire frit on float glass

Step 7:

Once the hairspray is dry, place the glass on the prepared floral former and slump using the slump schedule for 1/4″ glass. The frit will tack fuse onto the outside of the kiln and round slightly, becoming quite sparkly. This will result in a pronounced texture that feels bumpy but isn’t sharp.

tack fusing frit on float glass
Slumping and tack fusing frit onto float glass
Pattern and Texture on fused float glass
Pattern and Texture on fused float glass
fused float glass vase detail
Fused float glass vase detail

This project was donated to The Children’s Center.

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