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Fusing Glass Basics for a New Creative Hobby

Updated on November 13, 2015

Glass Leaf

Fusing Glass Basics for a New Creative & Fun Hobby

Fusing glass is a really fun way to be creative. It is so exciting to put together pieces of glass that will be later heated to make something. To start with you have little to no idea how they will turn out.

It is a little scary to start with as breaking glass goes against all your instincts and of course you can cut yourself so you need to know how to handle the glass properly to reduce (though not eliminate) this.

This page will show you the basic equipment you need to get started. However with glass fusing it is well worth getting some training as it will save you a lot of time. It will also save you getting some of the equipment.

Lens Photo by Gotham Glassworks by Greg Locke

Fused Glass Pendant

Glass Fusion Tools

Setting Up For Glass Fusing

If you are setting up at home you will need the following items so that you can create your glass artwork.

When buying your glass remember that only certain types of glass can be used with certain other types. Make sure you know which these are before mixing. If unsure get a kit to start with. Do not use glass from the beach as you do not know its properties. Only use wine or beer glasses if they all come from the same batch etc

Fused Glass Christmas Decoration

Studio Pro 3/8-Inch Breaker Grozer

Studio Pro 3/8-Inch Breaker Grozer
Studio Pro 3/8-Inch Breaker Grozer

You need one of these to help you break the glass sometimes. This isn't a normal set of pliers if you note carefully one side is flat and one side is curved. How you use them is really important.

 

What Cutters You Need and When to Use Oil

The Pistol Grip Glass Cutter

Toyo Pistol Grip Glass Cutter
Toyo Pistol Grip Glass Cutter

There are different types of glass cutter. Some look like pens, some have a large head and some have a small one. These ones are best if, like me you struggle with putting pressure on things. Again a lesson would give you the opportunity to explore the different types. Also like brushes you might prefer different ones depending on what you are making. Note these have oil in them and are designed specifically for this purpose.

 

Or this Type of Glass Cutter

Uxcell Skidproof Handle Steel Blade Oil Feed Glass Cutter Tool
Uxcell Skidproof Handle Steel Blade Oil Feed Glass Cutter Tool

This is the other type of glass cutter knife that I was saying about. You may want to try both or prefer one or the other to start with.

 

Glass Cutter Oil

CRL Professional Glass Cutter Oil - 4 Ounce
CRL Professional Glass Cutter Oil - 4 Ounce

You need this to go into your glass cutter for when you cut and shape the glass

 

Eye Protection

Safety Works 817691 Over Economical Safety Glasses, Clear
Safety Works 817691 Over Economical Safety Glasses, Clear

You need protective glasses for goggles for while you are cutting the glass and when you are using the fine glass dust. Clear is best for this. They need to protect all side of your eyes as much as possible so something that wraps around the sides and goes over the top of your eyes are best. These are an example as each person will have their own preferences as to what to get. There are others on Amazon.

 

Glass Fusing Workshop

Photo by Jeff Youngstrom

The types of glass you can get varies. You need some glass for the base and then you can either add more glass pieces to that or you can create designs with fine glass powders etc.

If Working From Home: A Microwave Kiln Kit

Fuseworks Microwave Kiln Kit
Fuseworks Microwave Kiln Kit

If you want to set up at home or just want to do small pieces like jewelry you only need a small kiln. This one goes into your microwave.

WARNING:

While used properly it is quite safe, it gets really very hot on the inside and my tutor said that it can melt your hands so do not take any chances with it. Always use the gloves when handling and make sure you have experience before trying it and note the instructions.

 

Fusing Glass

Glass Fused Pendants

Photo by Wendy Tanner

How to Layer Your Dichroic Glass Video

Start Out With A Beginners Fusing Glass Kit for Ease

Fuseworks FW848 Beginners Fusing Kit
Fuseworks FW848 Beginners Fusing Kit

This is a great way to start out as it gives you a variety of different types of glass without you having to pay out individually for them. This gives you a chance to see how each works and the finished effects. You can then invest in those things that you prefer to work with later.

 

Microwavable Glass fusing Kit

Fuseworks Glass Fusing Kit - Microwaveable Glass Fusing Kit
Fuseworks Glass Fusing Kit - Microwaveable Glass Fusing Kit

I like this set because it has many different types of glass to experiment with. You need glass sheets and fusing glass to cut up for your items, Then there's dichroic glass sheets, dichroic glass frit, millefiori, stringers, and confetti mix that you can use for your projects.

 

Dichroic Glass

Fuseworks FW827 1-Ounce Dichroic Bits and Pieces 90 COE Fusible Glass, Assorted Colors
Fuseworks FW827 1-Ounce Dichroic Bits and Pieces 90 COE Fusible Glass, Assorted Colors

Dichroic glass has multiple micro-layers of metal oxides. This gives the glass its dichroic optical properties. Dichroic glass it usually much more expensive than other types of glass and therefore is best in jewelry or other small pieces. It makes for great statement pieces.

 

Other Items You Will Need

You will also need the following items. With glass fusing you do need to make sure you have everything.

Other Tools and Equipment

  • A flat surface like a table.
  • A small carpet area with tight weave that you can rest on.
  • A sink or water area.
  • Glass Glue
  • Small paint brushes and a brush for dusting off fine glass.
  • Somewhere to fuse the glass once you have designed it.

Glass Fused Art

Photo by JulieRed

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