Fused Glass Jewelry, Fused Glass Pendants
Erica creates custom fused glass jewelry pieces such as fused glass pendants. Each piece of fused glass jewelry is created in a kiln at temperatures around 1700°F. These pieces can be created with an opaque or transparent colored glass. Opaque glass is glass you can not see through such as black or white. Transparent glass or cathedral glass is glass you can see through and transmits light. Glass fusing is a wonderful medium because it allows many color combinations with all color choices available.
Fused Glass – Types and Colors
Erica primarily uses glass from System 96 for all the fused glass jewelry and art she creates. Each piece of glass that is fused to another piece has to have the same coefficient of expansion (COE) – the rate of expansion and contraction of the glass as it heats and cools in the kiln. Erica is very careful to make sure all the glass she uses all has the same COE, so the glass will not crack in the process.
There is a wide variety of colors available for fused glass pendants and the color pallette is constantly growing. View the table of the colors that are available for glass fusing.
Fused Glass Jewelry Design Process
Erica applies her skill and knowledge of the glass fusing process and the materials to create distintive, compelling fused glass jewelry. Each custom fused glass jewelry piece that Erica designs has at least 2 layers of glass. Projects are assembled by stacking at least two layers on top of each other. The piece on the bottom is sometimes called a “blank.” The piece on top is sometimes the design layer or it can be done the other way around, where the blank is on the top and the design layer is on the bottom. Different desired effects can be attained by having the design layer on the top or the bottom. Sometimes laying a clear piece on the top can magnify the color underneath.
The glass raw material is about 1/8″ thick. When the glass is fused, it wants to be a 1/4″ thick. That is why two layers are best when creating a fused piece to keep a consistent shape. If more than 2 layers are stacked in a fused piece, the piece will grow. The thickness can be attained by building a dam outside the glass piece.
Different effects on the surface of the glass can be obtained by heating the kiln higher or lower. For instance, if you heat the glass piece to a full fuse (about 1450°F), each piece on the design layer will be flat. Another type of fuse, called a tack fuse (about 1375°F), gives more dimension to the design layer. The pieces are fused together with little deformation and the edges of the piece are slightly rounded.
Green Hope Fused Glass Pendants
The Green Hope Pendants are created by cutting strips of glass and laying them next to each other in a kiln. The strips are then heated to temperatures around 1800°F so that they are molten glass. The piece is then combed using a stainless steel rake to manipulate the strips in the glass and give it a “feathered” look. That piece is then cooled to room temperature, broken up into pieces, and fire polished into individual pendants. Each piece has the colors of green hope, but each fused glass pendant is unique. All proceeds from these Green Hope pendants go to cancer research.