Items on this page can be shipped internationally using the First-Class Package International Service of the USPS.
Fusing is the process where glass is heated in a kiln to a specific temperature so that a desired modification to the glass occurs. A kiln firing is heating the glass to one of these temperatures. There are three common temperature ranges used with each modifying the glass in a different manner.
Most of the objects that I fuse used two firings with some using three. The first firing is to a fusing range to produce a blank of glass from the individual pieces. I often use a single piece of clear glass as a bottom layer. On top of this I put strips of colored glass. The fusing range converts these pieces into a single glass blank. The second firing is to a slumping range. The glass blank from the first step is placed on top of a mold. At the slumping temperature range the "soft" glass falls into the mold assuming it's shape. The actual glass processing time in each firing is only about 20 minutes at the desired temperature. However, a complete firing is usually in the 15 to 17 hour range. Why so long? The glass must be heated slowly and cooled even slower so that it doesn't crack or have large air bubbles form.
On the left is shown a firing blank for a USA colors rectangular plate. The blank sits with my kiln on a circular kiln shelf. The kiln shelf is a special ceramic disk that can tolerate the temperatures in the kiln. The dark pencil like object, at the bottom of the image, is the thermocouple that senses the temperature in the kiln. Most modern kilns use a microprocessor to controls firing based on the temperature sensed and the time period desired.
The second firing would be done with this blank placed on top of the desired mold as shown in the second photo on the right. The mold is above and the flat glass blank to be shaped is below.
The results of the second firing is the finished rectangular plate shown on the left.
A variation of this rectangular plate is to tack fuse some glass pieces onto the glass blank created in the fusing step. Shown below is a white rectangular plate with the numbers 50 tack fused to the blank. The tack fused glass remains above the surface giving a three dimensional effect to the numbers. This style of plate needs three firings: one to create the flat glass blank, a second to place the numbers onto this surface, and a final firing to slump the glass into the desired mold.
The glass pieces used in the tack fusing step could be numbers, letters, or small shapes that have some special meaning. The limit is the plate size. In general the tack fusing elements need to be 1/2" to 1" from the border of the final plate. The numbers on the plate are 2.5" high on a plate 5" wide.
Packing, shipping and insurance depends some on the distance from Durham, NC. Within the continental 48 states it is usually in the $10 to $15 range. Up to 4 plates can be shipped in the same box at the same cost, thus a significant savings. Square and Rectangular plates can be mixed with up to a total of 4 for the same cost as one plate would be.
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