Glass Fusing Classes
Glass Fusing Classes
If you're interested in making your own jewelry, you'll soon notice that the most striking pendants, earrings and beads are unique and glass. Soon you'll be wanting to look into glass fusing classes.
Glass fusing for jewelry making is an easy - and quite low cost - way of creating your own unique pieces and individual style. Finally, you'll be offering something that nobody else has. With glass fusing you can quite effortlessly create one off, handmade, unique jewellery - which will attract a premium price.
At first you might think glass fusing would be complex, or require expensive equipment and a proper kiln, but that's not so! Glass fusing is something you can do at home, even if you live in a studio flat!
Glass fusing classes will give you all the basic skills you need to get started - and there are probably some glass fusing classes at a college close to your home. My first glass fusing classes were 25 miles from my home, and I did a short 6-sessions glass fusing course, of 3 hours/session.
Start Your Own Business
Many people are now starting their own business - and glass fusing is a fun, creative, affordable and great way for you to work from home. Simply develop your techniques and style and you can sell your glass fused items as jewelry, or coasters, window hanging chimes, Xmas tree decorations, party favours, wedding favours!
You can sell your products online or at local craft fairs, or perhaps a local art shop would be interested in buying stock from you!
Glass Fusing Classes
In the first glass fusing class we learnt how to cut the glass. Cutting the glass was straight forward and required nothing more than a set square/ruler, a cheap glass cutting knife and an old carpet tile as a mat.
You simply score down the glass in one firm action, hold the glass, bend it and it snaps along the line you just drew.
If you're not keen on cutting glass, you can even cheat by buying prepared microscope glass slides, just like you used at school in chemistry - these are readily available on ebay for cents!
Once cut you then place the glass in the shapes you want, or paint onto the glass, or even layer in items such as leaves or metal. Once you have your stack of painted glass, with the items to be embedded, it then goes into the kiln.
One thing you'll quickly discover is that things don't look how you visualised them! You'll need to do quite a bit of glass fusing, just to play around with ideas and fire them, so you can see how the glass/colours/embedded items behave and change in the kiln.
In glass fusing classes you'll also learn how to create connections - which is the fancy term to mean "how to use it as jewelry". In order to make a pendant, for example, you'll need to either make a hole in the glass, or attach a loop.
One way, for example, of making a hole all the way through a small square of glass, so it could be used as a flat bead in a necklace, would be to simply lay two square pieces of glass on top of each other with a thin thread of fibre paper between them!
Buying Colored Glass for Glass Fusing
The most stunning fused glass uses colored glass. Although you can paint plain glass, you can easily buy colored glass for glass fusing in a city glass art shop, or even by buying online or through ebay. Many of these pieces are already cut to size/shape, so if you're not keen on cutting glass yourself you can simply buy the size you want and work with pre-cut pieces until you feel confident about cutting your own!
Glass Fusing at Home
Probably one of the first assumptions you'll make is that you need a proper kiln to do glass fusing. Having a proper kiln isn't something you need until you're going into mass manufacture.
Microwave Kilns for Glass Fusing
There are some small kilns now available, which are simply a small pot that you place into your microwave. These are perfect for glass fusing at home. Depending how large your pieces are you will be able to get a 2-3 pieces of glass fusing at the same time.
Microwave kilns are affordable, small, easy to use and perfect for trying out glass fusing at home. You can always upgrade to a full kiln, perhaps in your own workshop, once you've made some sales of your glass fused jewelry!
The difference in selling price of the jewelry you make could easily mean you make back the cost of your microwave kiln in your first 10 or so pieces!
Buying a microwave kiln means you can create your own glass fused jewelery in your own home and develop your designs and style yourself, without having to find/hire a commercial kiln, or pay for studio time. Many glass fusing studios do have an "Open Studio" session you can book to use their kiln, but the cost of these can be 1/4 of the cost of buying your own microwave kiln - and they're not as convenient as you have to book in when they're available and you have to drive and transport your designs there safely.
Using a Microwave Kiln for Silver Clay Jewelry
One thing to note - when you buy a microwave kiln for glass fusing, it's also ideal for making silver clay and other metal clay jewelry. So it's a multi-purpose item, ideal to help you expand your skills, designs and repertoire.
Whether you make jewelry as a hobby, or as an income, buying a microwave kiln that can be used for many purposes makes great economic sense!
How To Use a Microwave Kiln
Using a microwave kiln in your own home is perfectly safe - and very easy to do. If you want to watch how to use a microwave kiln, then you can watch plenty of videos online and see for yourself just how easy it is.
You simply place your glass item/s onto the base, place the base in your microwave, place the lid on the top and start the microwave. How long the glass fusing takes in your microwave is something you'll just have to learn, by a little bit of practice... but during these practice runs you'll be trying out your ideas and techniques, so it'll be fun!
Books for Glass Fusing in Microwaves
There are a lot of glass fusing books available to explore ideas and techniques too, which you can get from ebay or Amazon, or possibly even your local library! At first you might see fabulous glass fused pendants and jewelry and think "wow - I'll never be that good", but it's really easy - and you're going to be the harshest critic of what you produce!
Glass fusing to make jewelry is fast becoming very popular, so make sure you're ahead of the game and producing unique pieces of handmade jewelery that you can sell for the best price!
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Glass fused pendants by: Groupon
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