All functional and jewelry items are made using compatible opalescent, translucent and clear glass.
Some pieces also include dichroic glass. Each piece goes through a series of steps including design, kiln
firing(s) and cold work, for specific results. No two pieces are the same.
The design phase involves planning for the desired end result including: color, pattern, size/thickness,
and utility. Both inspiration and planning must occur to ensure the results are aesthetically pleasing and
of high quality. I select the appropriate glass (i.e. sheet, frit, powder, stringer, rods, shards, etc.), plan for
a specific mold, cut and layout my pieces and prepare a schedule for the initial firing.
The piece is then fired to temperatures between 1200-1700° Fahrenheit. The pieces must be heated and
cooled at a rate appropriate for the size and thickness to ensure the results are one solid durable piece of
glass. This process can take anywhere from five hours to multiple days, depending on the volume of
glass being fired. On average, the pieces I make take one day to fire and two to three firings to complete.
Between firings each piece is meticulously cold worked. In this step, the glass is cut using a wet saw with
a diamond blade, sanded with diamond pads both by hand and with the assistance of a lapidary wheel,
sand blasted and finally cleaned.
The piece is then given its final shape. This is done by heating the glass in the kiln to between 1100-
1300º Fahrenheit so the softened glass falls into, or drapes over a mold. Just as in the initial firing, the
appropriate steps must be taken to heat and cool the glass in a manner that limits stress to the piece.
Fused glass can be cleaned with room temperature water and dish soap and/or wiped down with a spray
of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Window cleaners can leave a film that detracts from the glass’ shine.
|The Fused Glass Process
Fused Art Glass by Nicole Vachier Lozano
San Antonio, Texas USA
© 2006-2011 Nicole Vachier Lozano – All Rights Reserved
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