Fused Bottle Glass Windchime Tutorial – Part 3

Today we are making the bottle glass chimes for the flaming heart windchime that we’ve been working on the past couple weeks. The pattern for the windchime is the free January Kiln Carving Pattern. If you are just joining us, it would be good to read Fusing the Windchime top and Adding Color Frit at some point.

Bottle Glass Windchime Materials
Materials and tools for windchime making

Materials:

Bottle glass strips (each pair needs to be from the same bottle)

Glass Donuts

White Glue

Brass Loops

Glass Cutting tools

Step 1:

Cutting the glass strips for the hanging chimes.

Measure glass strips
Measure glass strips for trimming

Measure your glass strips, for this project, I would like all of my chime parts to be the same length. It looks like 4.5″ is what I’m looking at here.

cutting bottle glass for windchimes
Mark cutting lines on glass strips
cut bottle glass for chimes
Glass strips trimmed to length

I’m sure you’ve noticed that not all of those strips are the same width, so our next step is to trim the width down. I find it easiest to stack two strips together and then trim the larger one down to match the smaller one. (If you are using a large flattened sheet of bottle glass, you can mark and cut uniform strips and avoid all this trimming stuff.)

Trim uneven bottle glass strips
Trim uneven strips

trimmedstripStep 2:

Add brass hanging loops to top and bottom of bottle glass strips. We are going to sandwich the loops between two strips of glass, so just add loops to one of each pair of glass strips. I’m using white glue to keep them in place.

add fuse in brass loops
Add brass hanging loops

Add top layer of glass:

stacked bottle glass for fusing
Stacked glass strips

Step 3:

Fuse strips and donuts. Move the strips and the cut donuts to a prepared kiln shelf and fire to a full fuse using the full fuse schedule for 1/4″ glass. (only 2 of my donuts are visible here, there really are 3)

bottle glass strips pre-fuse
Windchime strips ready to fuse

Step 4:

Assemble the whole project.

Windchime Assembly project
Windchime assembly project

Materials needed:

Windchime Top

Windchime strips

glass donuts

tiger-tail or other wire

crimp beads

crimp pliers

heavy duty scissors or wire cutters

Start by slipping the wire through a crimp bead, then a brass loop at the bottom of the windchime, then through the brass loop on the strip and back, making a figure 8 through the bead.

wire and crimp bead assembly
Connect the pieces with wire and a crimp bead.

Pull the wire to the desired tightness and crimp with your crimp pliers:

crimp bead
Crimp the bead

Some types of crimp beads are crimped in 2 steps, so use the appropriate amount of crimping for the type of bead you have. After crimping, you can trim the extra wire closer to the crimp bead.

Crimp bead after smashing
Bead after crimping

Repeat for the other two glass strips.

Step 5:

Attach the glass donuts to the bottom of each strip using the same basic method:

Bottle Glass donuts in windchimes
Attach the donuts to the strips

Step 6:

Add a hanging wire to the top of the windchime. There is no hard and fast rule about how long this wire should be, just long enough to hang the windchime conveniently. The crimp bead connection is slightly different since it just goes through one loop and attaches to itself. Repeat for the other side.

top hanging loop
Add hanging loop

After crimping those beads firmly, you are done!

Bottle glass windchime
Finished Flaming Heart Windchime

Additonal notes:

    • the oxidation on the fused in loops will easily brush off using a wire brush
    • if you want to get super fancy, add seed beads to the top hanging wire before crimping the second side

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