How I Make My High End Fused Glass

The Base

People have asked what type of base I use. For all the pieces I have made so far I have fused two sheets of clear Bullseye glass. I started with two 3mm sheets but the glass when finished was very heavy. So recently I have used one layer of 3mm and one of 2mm. I cut and fuse the glass on a standard firing. Flip the glass over and lay the pieces on the flat side of the glass. I hope this helps.

Test Fire First

Some people have asked how I get the pieces to stand up and stay standing! It is purely a case of grinding the base of each piece so that the bottom is flat and there is no lean on the piece. I then just use Elmers glue to glue it to the base. I know that this is a big act of faith.

All I can suggest is that you maybe do small test pieces similar to that shown below. As these were only test pieces with very few pieces of glass on them I fired them on a normal tack fuse – I didn’t allow any extra time for an anneal. If you do that you can check the tack fuse temperature for your kiln and get a little confidence in what will stand after firing.

Video of tack fused test fire
Small tack fuse test to gauge temperature


High End glass glued to wave before firing


High End glass glued to wave after firing

Laying the high end pieces on the glass

Click here to see how I worked on this piece of glass.

I have been asked many times how I make my high end fused glass pieces, so I thought I would do some videos. I hope they help. Have fun.

Click here to see this piece being laid down piece by piece.

How I make the individual strips of glass

Click here to see how I make these individual strips of glass

Firing in the Kiln

Although I am happy to share the following firing schedule I am still learning how to fire this glass, and still learning about kiln schedules. So I have explained at the bottom of the page the reasoning behind each part of my schedule so that anyone visiting this page who knows more than me about kilns will find it easy to adapt the schedule for themselves.

How to Work Out Anneal Time

I use the Bullseye schedule for Annealing Thick Slabs to determine the anneal hold. Their recommendation for annealing glass with pieces of mixed heights is to take the highest piece and double it and then anneal for that. So if your lowest piece was 1 cm high and the highest 2.5 cm high, then you would use the schedule for 5cm, which is what I have done in the schedule below.

Annealing Thick Slabs

Schedule for glass where the highest piece is 2.5 cm high

Celcius

Rate 56, Target 260, Hold for 30
Rate 56, Target 677, Hold for 30
Rate 121, Target 722, Hold for 5
Rate 9999, Target 482, Hold for 480
Rate 4, Target 427, Hold for 0
Rate 7, Target 370, Hold for 0
Rate 22, Target 176, Hold for 0

Farenheit

Rate 133, Target 500, Hold for 30
Rate 133, Target 1250, Hold for 30
Rate 250, Target 1329, Hold for 5
Rate 9999, Target 900, Hold for 480
Rate 7, Target 800, Hold for 0
Rate 12, Target 700, Hold for 0
Rate 72, Target 350, Hold for 0

Reasoning Behind the Schedule

Celcius: 56, 260, hold for 30. Farenheit: 133, 500, hold for 30.
Here I am taking it real slow and holding it midway through the brittle zone to enable heat to conduct through all the different pieces.

Celcius: 56, 677, hold for 30. Farenheit: 133, 1250, hold for 30.
Taking it up to top of brittle zone – still slowly. I have had a piece crack here, so now take it up slowly.

Celcius: 121, 722, hold for 5. Farenheit: 250, 1329, hold 5.
Then going up slightly faster to tack fuse temperature as risk of shock gone. I find at 772/1329 in my kiln even frit tack fuses. The larger pieces can begin to fall over, but mostly they stay standing – so this works for me.

Celcius: 9999, 482, hold for 480. Farenheit: 9999, 900, hold for 480
This is Bullseyes recommended time for a piece that has mixed heights like mine – take the highest piece and double it and fire for that.which in this case would be a 2” / 50 mm slab.

Celcius: 4, 427, hold for 0. Farenheit: 7, 800, hold for 0.
Celcius: 7, 370, hold for 0. Farenheit: 12, 700, hold for 0

Taking it down slow to the bottom end of the anneal, again Bullseye recommended for a 2”/50mm slab.

Celcius: 22, 176, hold for 0. Farenheit: 72, 350, hold for 0

My understanding is that you could just turn your kiln off here and leave it to cool naturally, if your kiln will cool at this rate or slower. I have no idea whether that is the case with my kiln so erred on the side of caution. This is below the bottom end of the anneal, so this is just me cooling down through the brittle zone carefully.

Thank You

I would like to say that I genuinely would never even have thought of trying to make this glass without the feedback on a post I made on Fused Glass Fanatics. The comments got me thinking…

Then, I would never have been able to fire it without the help from all the very generous people on this and other fused glass forums who advised my on what I was doing right and wrong with my kiln firing schedule. So a BIG THANK YOU to everyone on Fused Glass Fanatics, and Fused Glass Enthusiasts UK who selflessly gave me encouragement, advice and helped me understand better about glass and kiln firings.