Fusing with Copper Sheet and Wire

Recycled glass with copper sheet When you are fusing with recycled glass and metal, don’t forget that you can mix metals, both types of metal and different forms of the same metal. Here is a walk through of a recent project that I did using copper sheet and copper wire. This is also a great example about how to use glass with hard water deposits.

Recycled glass with copper sheetI began by tracing my mold onto a large sheet of single strength window glass. I cut two identical pieces from the same sheet. This window had been removed because the double pane unit had started to leak and water condensed on the inside, causing heavy streaks of mineral deposits.

After cutting two identical squares, I washed both of them thoroughly and place the first square with the mineral side up, then placed my cut copper sheet feathers on the glass.

embossing copper inclusionsAfter I had achieved the placement and number of copper feathers that I desired, I pulled each one off separately and outlined it and then filled in the outline with a random pattern using my embossing tool.

After embossing the copperAfter all the copper sheet was embossed, I pulled a number of thin copper wires from a discarded extension cord.

Adding copper wireI’ve created loose curves and coils by wrapping the wire and bending it slightly. Although I’m using the mold as a guide for copper placement, I’ll need to fuse the plate flat in the kiln before bending it. When I place the glass in the kiln, I’ll add the top layer with the hard water deposits on the bottom side (so the two mineral coated sides are together and encapsulated between the layers of glass). Then fire to a full fuse.

Fused copper inclusions

By firing with the hard water deposit sides in, I still get a glossy, glassy surface, with ghosts of minerals inside the glass. To maximize the amount of bubbles, use straight vinegar to wash the glass. The vinegar will react with the minerals during firing and cause lots of tiny bubbles.

To minimize the number of bubbles, wash and scrape the minerals off with a razor, and then wash again. It’s still a good idea to fuse with the mineral sides in, as any stray residue will devitrify on the surface of your piece.

Here’s the final project again, it was displayed at the Glass in the Garden, Glass Art Guild of Utah group show.

Recycled glass with copper sheet

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