No two pieces of glass are the same, but all fused glass does go through steps that include design, kiln firing and cold working.
An inspired pattern or desired effect generally begins the design phase. Other considerations are the types of glass, colors, size and function. If I’m using a mold, mold choice comes first, I then select glass and cut and layout each piece within the design in preparation for firing. Previously created elements are included in the design such as hand-pulled stringers, patterns-bars & dots; these are an integral part of my glass pieces. A firing schedule is prepared for the initial firing turning inspiration into an aesthetically pleasing quality piece of glass.
Fused glass is fired up to ranges between 1200°-1700° Fahrenheit, the temperatures vary based on the process. The glass is carefully heated and cooled to ensure quality and durability. This process takes anywhere from 5 hours to days, depending on the volume of glass being fired and the desired effect. On average, my work takes one day to fire and two to three firings to complete.
Between firings pieces are cold worked; this may be through cutting or grinding with a diamond blade, sanding by hand or machine and thoroughly cleaning. The final step is heating the glass in the kiln to between 1100°-1300° F so the softened glass falls into, or drapes over a mold. Just as in the initial firing, steps are taken to heat and cool the glass in a manner to limit stress in the piece.
Fused glass should not be used in a microwave or oven, hand washing is recommended.
Hand-pulled stringers (Vitrograph), hand-pulled twisted stringers, hand-pulled patterned murrini, pattern-bars, & dots are some the elements that are made in advance to be utilized in my glass designs. (I will be sharing these processes in the future.)