The process:

Fusing glass is a process of using high heat in a kiln to join pieces of glass together. As heat is applied, the glass softens. And the higher the temperature of the kiln, the more fluid the glass gets.

When I create my glass pieces I layer several different colours of glass together and put the glass in the kiln to be fully fused. Fully fusing the glass is when all of the layers of glass melt into one another creating a smooth surface. There are other types of fusing, such as tack fusing, where the glass is only heated until the pieces stick together. The shape of the glass doesn't really change. Since I fully fuse the glass, the high heat from the kiln melts the layers of glass together to create unique designs. Not every type of glass melts in the same way nor do they react to each other in the same way. As a result, sometimes you just never know how your creations will look when they come out of the kiln. This can be the most exciting part of creating my pieces but also the most worrisome!

Once the pieces of glass have been fused together, they need to cool down at a slow rate to prevent breaking. This process is known as annealing and is controlled by the kiln's settings. After the annealing process is complete the fused glass is ready to be 'cold-worked'. Cold working is basically any type of work that is done to the glass without heat, such as sanding and cutting. Most often I will have to sand down my glass pieces to remove any sharp edges that were created during the fusing process.

As you can imagine the possibilities of creating fused glass pieces are endless. I think that is why I find it to be such an exciting medium to work with!

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