Fused Square Plate Designs

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.

Glass Blanks On the left is shown two blanks, one for a square dish and another for a rectangular disk. Both are in the colors of the Irish Flag. The blanks have a solid clear glass base and the three strips of colored glass placed on top. The first firing will transform these pieces into a single blank of glass. The second firing would be done with one of the blanks placed on top of the desired mold.

The photo below shows a finished square 8" plate in the USA colors. The mold used has a relatively narrow and shallow lip perhaps 1/2" wide and deep.

Glass ready to slump

Night Sky plate The photo on the right shows a slightly smaller plate at 7". For this plate the first firing sets the small white opal glass segments, stars to my eye, into the solid cobalt blue opal glass blank that has a clear glass backing. The stars are fused into the surface of the blue glass and are flush to the top surface. A second tack fuse firing is used to place the small crescent moon segment onto the glass. This has the moon stay slightly off the blue surface and gives it a sense of depth on the surface. The final slumping firing shapes the blank into the mold used. In this case the mold has 4 slight swirls that go from near the edge to the flat central bottom that is about 1/2 the size of the full plate. The descending swirls add an additional interesting visual effect to the plate.

Packing, shipping and insurance depends some on the distance from Durham, NC. Within the continental 48 states it is usually in the $10 to $20 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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