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Copyright, All Rights Reserved. All content on this site is copyrighted, Dana Worley, as of the date of posting. Reuse or redistribution of this content is strictly prohibited without express written permission of the author.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

One man's trash...

One of the frequent questions I see on forums is, "What do I do with all these scraps?!" Well, we all know how the idiom above ends -- One man's trash is another man's treasure. I would argue that there really aren't any scraps with fused glass, there are only pieces waiting to be incorporated into wonderful treasures. To perhaps help spark a few ideas, following are some of the techniques I've learned.

Black, white & brown pot melt bowl
Black, white & brown pot melt bowl

Pot and Mesh Melts
Pot and mesh melts are high temperature firings where the glass is usually suspended and allowed to flow to the shelf below. Some really striking effects can be achieved with this technique, if you are careful about the colors you mix. Here are some resources for pot and mesh melts.

Steve Immerman, tutorials on mesh melts and pot melts: http://www.clearwaterglass.com/Tutorials/MeshMelt.html

Pot melt ready to load in the kiln
Pot melt ready to load in the kiln
Paul Tarlow has a nice calculator on his fusedglass.org web site: http://fusedglass.org/tools/pot_drop_calculator and check out his popular ebook titled, "Fused Glass Mesh and Trough Melts": http://fusedglassbooks.com/

You can make your own setup with purchased stainless screen as described in the resources above, or screen melt systems are commercially available. 


Necklace and earrings created from fused glass puddles
Necklace and earrings created
from fused glass puddles
Puddles
Fused glass puddles are Paul Tarlow's twist on pattern bars. It's a technique that doesn't require an expensive tool, such as a tile saw, like most pattern bars do. Check out Paul's tutorial on: http://fusedglass.org/learn/project_tutorials/fused_glass_puddles

I used puddles to create the jewelry set at the right. Puddles can also be incorporated into larger pieces as well. 




Scrap Box
Setting up the scrap box
Setting up the scrap box
Finished sushi platter using the scrap box technique
Finished sushi platter
The scrap box is a technique I learned in a class with Patty Gray at the Glass Craft & Bead Expo a few years ago. It's another twist on the familiar pattern bar technique. I love the depth that was created in the finished piece because of the use of clear glass. 


Fused glass scrap box platter
Fused glass scrap box platter

This platter was also done using the scrap box technique. However, after the first firing of the box, I liked the pattern so much I decided not to slice the pieces and use it as is. The pattern looks like waves.

Want to learn more about scrap boxes? Take a class with Patty (www.pattygray.com) -- this is only one of the techniques you'll learn in her action-packed, multi-day classes!




Gray, red & black fused glass bowl
Gray, red & black fused glass bowl
Design Elements
Those  bits and pieces can be tossed in the kiln with a full fuse to create design elements that can be used in other pieces. The berries in this lovely bowl were created with red glass bits (actually cut specifically for this project, but well... they could have been scrap!). This bowl was literally a show stopper at the holiday gift show I attended. Lots of people stopped to admire.

Smaller pieces from other projects were used to create a geometrical design for this fused glass candle holder:

Geometrical fused glass votive holder
Geometrical fused glass votive holder







Fused glass suncatcher/wall hanging
Fused glass suncatcher/wall hanging

Wall Hangings
This wall hanging uses the approximately 3" pieces of clear that were cut off the edge of another project. Add some design elements, glass frit (another use for scrap!), and you've got a cute gift piece that can be hung in a window or on a wall.


Fused glass mosaic
Fused glass mosaic


Mosaics
Just as stained glass leftovers can be used for grouted mosaics, fused glass pieces can be turned into mosaics. Frit is used for the "grout". I will admit, I don't have much patience for mosaics!




Fused glass pyramid paperweight
Fused glass pyramid paperweight

Glass casting molds
While most often casting is done with billets (thicker chunks of glass), there are many smaller casting molds that can be filled with fused glass scraps for very nice results. Bullseye Glass makes several of these molds -- check out their tutorial for their pyramid mold.  



More inspiration...
If you still need more inspiration, Paul Tarlow has a tutorial on his site for a scrap glass project: 
http://fusedglass.org/learn/project_tutorials/scrap_glass_project. And, if you check back at Paul's ebooks page, you'll also find his book, "Waste Not -- Fused Projects Using Scrap". 

Blue & green fused glass bowl
Blue & green fused glass bowl
Mauve hors d'oeuvres platter

These are just a couple of items I created after being inspired by some of the techniques in his book:





I hope you've found this post interesting and maybe even inspirational. Do you have a favorite technique for using up your "small treasures"? Leave a comment and let us know!

Happy scrapping!

Dana

12 comments:

  1. I appreciate you taking your time to share your ideas and photos. I find it very inspiring, and it gives me the urge to experiment more.

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    1. Thank you, Patrick. I'm glad you found the post useful!

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  2. Very interesting, thank you for sharing!

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  3. Any suggestions for creative use of clear scraps? In my work I use only clear, so I only have clear scraps, and lots of it. These are often wide rectangular strips (1/2" to 2" wide, 8" to 12" long). While I could buy some color to add to it, that seems to defeat the purpose of scrap!

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    1. Paul, I think I would work with texture; e.g, -- crush to coarse frit and tack fuse onto other pieces, cut narrow strips and stand them "on their sides" then tack fuse... I have some ideas in mind for the latter which I plan on trying soon.

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  4. Replies
    1. You're welcome! I hope it was useful info.

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  5. Since I can't take a class with Patty Gray, how are you making the 'Scrap Box'? Is it just clear strips of glass set on edge, maybe glued at the corners? I'ld love to try it. I just found your site, great stuff here! Molly

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    1. Hi Molly, You can glue the sides, but it is easier to use transparent tape. The tape will burn off during firing. The box needs to be dammed with fiber paper strips.

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    2. who can i buy plate stands -metal- from

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    3. I get my stands at a variety of places. Aftosa is a good place to order basic stands on-line at a good price. Or, you can find them on Amazon. I also have a few people who make custom stands for me.

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