Monday, 21 January 2008

Inclusions-Mini Tutorial!

Ok, so I meant to do another dichroic glass tutorial blog days ago.....I got sidetracked as ever! Things have been quiet with it being January an all which means I have to work twice as hard to keep up! To be honest a nice job in an art gallery where i'd get to look at pretty things all day seems quite an attractive career chance at the moment but i'm sure that's just the tiredness talking...!
Ok so.... You've started fusing glass. You've obliterated lots, cracked some, got annoying white mark on others, but you've had fun along the way!
When you're making dichroic glass jewellery experimentation is the key. I'm going to list a few of my favourite fusing gimmicks. Inclusions when it comes to fused glass means just what it sounds like... materials fused into the glass. There are lots of thing you can add some will work some will just burn away, but it's always interesting.
Here's the main lot
  • metals
  • powders
  • cubic zirconia

There are several popular choices when it comes to adding metals the mains ones being vanadium, silver, gold and copper. You should buy metals specifically for glass fusing if you want the best results. My favourite to use is copper.

This is a small mock up pendant I made to show the copper.. I use punches designed for card making to give me some nice crisp shapes. The copper won't blunt them, in fact the manufacturers say it will actually sharpen the punch. Copper leaf available from craft stores burns away however i've found that copper tape, the type used by stained glass artists looks good in the glass. One thing you need to remember when using any metal is that the inclusion must not touch the edges of the glass as it's fusing otherwise it'll come out lobsided.

This dichroic fused glass heart, part of my new ETSY shop has delicate gold leaf inclusions. Gold and silver leaf are unpredictable when fused into glass. Silver can burn away but it can also react with dichroic coatings with some beautiful results....try it with purple dichroic on clear-the effect is stunning. Silver wire can be fused directly into glass for bails or earwires. Make sure it's pure silver (999) otherwise it'll discolour. I've also fuses brass wire into glass oxidises and gives off bubbles but I though it looked great!

There are several powders you can fuse into glass. These are used to either promote bubbles, to tint the glass or to give metal sheens. Mica powders can be fused into or on top of your glass for metal looks and come in a variety of shades. There are new bubble effect powders coming onto the market all the time. Delphiglass sells some now too. They look best with transparent glass and can give coloured bubbles. You can also try metal oxides, the type used in ceramics to give interesting effects...specifically copper oxide (black).

In this patterned dichroic pendant i've created the bubbles using good old fashioned sodium bicarbonate (bicarb). I love this effect! It looks like bubble rippling through water! I very carefully sprinkled some half way through the this case I used a bottom layer of dichroic glass and 3, 2mm clear bullseye layers on top. All of these powders need to be used with care. Use in ventilated areas and wear face masks...and remember less is more. If you hear a pop coming from the direction of your've used too much!

Another good thing to use on you fused glass projects is Cubic Zirconia. Use it for a really special highlight. It takes a little more work but looks cool!

On this piece from my dichroic glass website, I fused a cab as normal then used a dremmel tool with a diamond tip to drill a small hole into the top of the piece. The hole should be big enough to allow the cubic zirconia to fit in while you refuse. It doesn't need to be a perfect fit, the glass will hold it in place after the fuse.

I'll try an add a few more images of my experiments as I finish them....
I'll be back soon but my bed is calling! TTFN


Anonymous said...

The copper is great, but I love that bubbly one! Will you be selling those?

glasskanvas said...

yup...Mainly on my ebay site. I'm calling them 'bubbles' original!

Sandra Kerr said...

I love your gold insert jewellery. I am having very little success with fusing gold or silver leaf in larger pieces - the metal just disappears. Do you have any tips?