My 1st course was a simple fused glass jewellery course at Alston Hall which I enjoyed but didn't really,
at that point, think too much more about it.
A few years later, I did a fused glass course with the Lancashire WI at which I made a
small wall hanging & a really lovely brooch
I guess this came at a point in my life when I wanted to find something else (on top of the encaustic art and Chinese painting!!) that I could potentially do at home
at which we produced a larger wall hanging, some coasters
and a lovely piece that now stands in front of my bathroom window
I also discovered that she (Colette Halstead) ran courses from her home at which I could do these 'larger' pieces that she would then fire in her own kiln...............
..........my interest had been tapped!
I booked a course with her and produced a dish, a lamp, 2 more wall hangings and another piece for the bathroom
There was also time to be introduced to the magic that is the HOT POT MICROWAVE KILN and the endless possibilities it holds therein!
I don't want to bore you with all that's written on FUSED GLASS,
so I'm just going to highlight how mine is produced
I use 2 types of glass - which can't be mixed together - Float Glass & Bullseye Glass
Both have different properties, but BOTH have a wonderful range of colours & effects
and can be fused into lovely jewellery.........courtesy of your microwave!!
NB - please don't use your cooking microwave - it has to be a different one
Apart from different colours of glass, inclusions (cut outs, decals, metal etc) can be placed in between the layers of glass, and special 'dichroic' glass can be used for the lovely sparkly effects you see on/in some pieces
Long story short - you have to equip yourself with some basics
microwave, hot pot, cutters, heat resistant gloves, glass, glue, jewellery findings etc
There are a number of UK sites which are good for these included - but not exclusively -
You basically layer 2/3 cut pieces of glass, put them in your HOT POT, set the timer
- it takes some trial & error - and wait for the magic to happen
When you open it up you find what roughly resemble glowing sweets!!!
You then have to be extremely patient whilst the molten glass slowly cools (still in the Hot Pot) - so it doesn't crack - and then a bit more (usually about a hour in total)
before it's cool enough to handle
You never know QUITE how things will turn out until it's cooled down!
Then you can decide if it's a brooch, a pendant or something else entirely!!
NB - If you are thinking of embarking on fused glass,
please run your own web search & ensure you know
the costs and health & safety issues
- the microwave/hot pot and molten glass get exceedingly hot
- hence the need for protective gloves/goggles etc
After producing a few bits of jewellery with Colette, I thought I'd try my hand at a craft fair
I rang my local one - Cuerden Valley Park - who have one every month but was told that someone else does fused glass each month but wasn't going to their forthcoming Summer Fair - so I booked on and THEN asked how many people normally attend. 'About 3-4000' was the reply!!!! Panic then set in - at this stage I had a couple of bracelets and a few brooches but not nearly enough for that size of fair - especially as, at this point, I hadn't got a hot pot!
Fortunately, Colette - very kindly - came to the rescue. I bought my own supplies and filled her kiln for a mass firing - which enabled me to have enough stock for a show
It was a successful day and it was truly lovely to sell my OWN work
- both glass & paintings - for the 1st time
Since then, the microwave has been whirring away producing lots of lovely glass cabochons
There's always going to be far too many to make into jewellery and/or sell - so I thought I'd set up this website as an additional way of reaching people interested in fused glass
I hope you like it!
Due to each piece being hand made - every piece is unique
Please visit the FOR SALE page to see what is currently available