FUSED GLASS ART

My Hard Edge fused glass artwork, glass wall art and panels are made from a number of individual pieces of Spectrum 96 Art Glass.

The design

I start with a pencil, working on a square dot grid.
I'll roughtly sketch out a number of ideas until I feel the balance of shapes is right.

Pencil sketch design for glass art bowl

When I'm happy with the pencil sketch, I redraw it in Adobe Illustrator, or Affinity Designer. I'll spend a long time perfecting it here, to ensure the design is exactly as I imagine ... and also that it will be physically possible to cut it in glass by hand.

Glass art image design in Adobe Illustrator
Once this black & white vector version is perfect, I'll either colour it in Adobe Photoshop, or I lay coloured glass chips onto the design itself to see what works best. Sometimes I do both - the colours on screen never match the glass, but it's a good indication of where I'm going.
Testing glass colour samples on a design

Cutting

The pieces of the pattern are each cut in glass by hand from larger sheets of art glass.

Cutting art glass

Each piece is ground, until they all fit perfectly together - like a jigsaw!

Piecing a fused glass panel together

The pieces are then placed in a specialised glass kiln, with a clear layer of glass on top. They are fused at around 800ºC to create a single 6mm thick piece of flat glass. This takes about 16 hours.

Building glass art in the kiln ready for firing

This flat piece is then burnished with polishing pads, and I may add stringers - thin strips of glass that sit on the surface to add another layer of depth and interest. Again it’s kiln-fused overnight for a fire polish.

Adding  noodles & stringers to a fused glass piece

If the piece is to be curved, to achieve the final shape the flat piece is slumped over a curved ceramic mould at a slightly lower temperature than regular firing.

Slumping glass over a ceramic mould

At each firing stage, the glass is annealed and cooled overnight for maximum strength and durability to give the perfect finished piece.

While the production process is painstaking and lengthy, it's the only way to get the wonderful finished look of glass art.

 

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