Copper and Brass Inclusions Hummingbird

Here we are at project number 2 for this month’s free kiln carving pattern. (This pattern is part of the Big Book of Kiln Carving Patterns) This is not actually a kiln carving project, rather an additional technique that you can do with your kiln carving stencil. You did make a stencil right??

Materials needed:

Copper and brass sheet (22-24 gauge is good)

Clear glass sheets – I’m using two pieces of float cut from the same sheet

heavy duty scissors


metal spoon

sandpaper – 150 grit

brass loops


Step 1:

Trace the head of the hummingbird on the copper sheet using your sharpie.

fusing with copper sheet

Trace the hummingbird head

Trace the wings and body on the brass sheet.

preparing copper sheet for fusing

Tracings on copper and brass sheet

Use those handy scissors to cut out all of the traced parts.

Step 2:

Flatten the brass and copper pieces with the metal spoon.

flattening metal sheet for fusing

Flatten the metal pieces with the spoon

metal hummingbird for fusing

Hummingbird pieces.

Step 3:

Once your hummingbird is flat, use the sandpaper to gently sand the entire surface of all of the metal pieces, front and back.

preparing metal bird for fusing

Sand the metal bird pieces

This step is primarily to remove all of the oxidation and impurities from the surface of the metal sheet. The better job you do here, the brighter your metal will stay during fusing. Some folks use chemicals such as Sparex to achieve the same thing.

Things to remember during sanding:

  • check your cutting. If your bird has any burrs from cutting, they will stab right into your finger as you sand. (You’ll see my band-aid in later photos!)
  • The metal is soft, rubbing back and forth will cause the bird parts to wrinkle up. It works best to hold down one edge and drag the sand paper in one direction away from your finger.
  • This is your chance to get the metal really, really clean. If you don’t, you can get bubbles (example coming right up!)
sanded brass and copper bird

Sanded copper and brass bird

Step 4:

Arrange one piece of glass on a prepared kiln shelf, add the hanging loops and metal bird parts. Stack the second piece of glass on top and fire the whole thing to a full fuse using the full fuse schedule for 1/4″ glass.

fusing a copper and brass hummingbird

Fusing the copper and brass hummingbird

You’ll notice that I didn’t get my copper as clean as it should have been so I have bubbles on the head. It would be easy to grind them down a bit and re-fuse this project.

Fused recycled glass with copper and brass

Fused glass with copper and brass