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.
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.
These are just a couple of items I created after being inspired by some of the techniques in his book:
|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|
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
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.
|Setting up the scrap box|
|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|
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|
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|
|Fused glass suncatcher/wall hanging|
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.
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!
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.
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|
|Mauve hors d'oeuvres platter|
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!