Fusing Multiple Layers of Float Glass
Recently we reviewed a couple of ways to use stacked and tack fused layers of recycled glass to create visual interest in our artwork without the use of color.
You can use this same stacking technique fired to a full fuse to great, but different, effect. This is a useful trick to have in your book. Ready? Here we go.
Critical things to remember as you try this out:
- Use glass that is all from the same sheet. Sheet, window, bottle, plate and float glass are all self compatible.
- Anneal VERY slowly. The many, many changes of thickness in these pieces require an extremely conservative annealing cycle.
- Slump VERY slowly. Again, the varying thicknesses of glass and the empty spaces in between mean you should slow way down to prevent cracking.
On this piece I started small, the center is a 3″ circle that is overlaid with strips of the same sheet of glass going in opposite directions to make a swirly spiral shape.
The top layer of the strips overlays the circle in the enter, the bottom layer abuts the circle. This is a full fuse firing, although I could have held for a bit longer and gotten an even flatter end product. The whole piece was then slumped into a bowl mold.
Now, in a slightly fancier shape:
This piece is the same idea, with a larger circle in the center. The strips are quite thin, about 1/4″ and I held the fuse firing schedule a little longer at the top temp to get a smoother fuse. This piece was slumped into a bowl mold with a rim.
Then things got a little out of hand and the stacking got crazy.
This piece has a large center triangle, with one layer of triangles UNDER the center triangle and one layer of triangles OVER the center. The whole thing was full fused and then slumped into a very shallow triangle shaped mold.
And finally, one more pretty thing for you:
This piece was made with a 12″ square of float glass, cut into 3/8″ strips and then every other strip was pulled out and overlaid at a right angle. This type of piece needs to be fired so slowly, everywhere the glass crosses is 1/2″ thick, immediately next to a short 1/4″ thick section. The frequent and rapid changes in thickness make this design prone to cracking. This piece was fired face down over a stainless steel wok mold.
Now, don’t be scared by the conservative firing schedules, it’s really not too bad. Here are a couple of firing schedules that have worked for me on these projects. If you do have a piece crack, slow down even more, but above all, TRY AGAIN!
Full Fuse Firing Schedule for Multi Layer/Multi Thickness Window Glass (temperatures in F)
|Ramp Rate||to Temp||Hold for|
|150||1550||6-8 (depending on desired result)|
Slump Firing Schedule for Multi Layer/Multi Thickness Window Glass (temperatures in F)
|Ramp Rate||To Temp||Hold for|
And don’t take them out of the kiln until they are safely at room temperature. Try it, you’ll like it!