Fused Glass Bubbles

Bubbles created using Unique Glass Color Artisan Paints
Bubbles created using Unique Glass Color Artisan Paints
Glass artists usually try to avoid bubbles in their work, but there are times where, if you can control the appearance of the bubbles, they can be used as design elements in your fused glass art. I have written a couple of blog posts about my experiments with intentionally creating bubbles, and when asked, I refer people to those articles and other resources. Because those questions come up regularly, I thought I would try to put the information into one blog post.

What causes bubbles in the first place? Bubbles are caused by air trapped within the glass. The air can be caused by the placement of capped elements within a piece or it can be induced with an off-gassing agent. Bubbles can also be caused by firing too hot/too long, or by irregularities in the kiln shelf or other firing surface. Bullseye Glass has an excellent tech note on Volume and Bubble Control, if you would like to learn more.

When you understand what causes bubbles, you can begin to understand how to use them to your advantage. Here are some blog posts and other resources to get you started:
  • Blog post, 2014 Magless Exchange, Dana Worley. Experiments using a combination of kiln-carving and various off-gassing agents to create bubbles.
  • Blog post, More Fun With Bubbles, Dana Worley. Art glass piece using a combination of kiln-carving and Unique Glass Color Artisan paints.
  • Blog post, Fused Glass Candle Shield, Dana Worley. Tutorial that incorporates Unique Glass Color Artisan paints. Artisans are "bubble paints" that produce colorful bubbles.
  • eBook, Fused Glass Bubble Sorcery, Paul Tarlow. eBook, available for immediate download. (Paul has a large selection of ebooks, all of which are great additions to your fused glass library.)
  • Bullseye Educational Videos, search for Beating Bubbles.

I hope you find this compilation of information useful in your quest for capturing bubbles!


Related Topics

Fused Glass Pebbles: Pebbles are part of the crackle technique developed by Bob Leatherbarrow. Visually, they are similar to bubbles and are another great technique to add to your skills. Pebbles are discussed in detail in Bob's ebook, Intermediate Kiln-Formed Glass Powders.

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Want to learn more about Glass Fusing? Check out all of Bullseye Glass's Educational Videos:

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