Recycled Textured Float Glass Fusing Test

Curiosity finally got the better of me and I just had to test fuse some textured plate-glass. This is the type of glass used in doors, and other areas where privacy is an issue. In fact, the pieces I used came out of an old door I had sitting around under the house for some time.

So how did it go?

Besides curiosity, my motivation for trying this test is simply because float glass is plentiful and cheap. At a local recycled building materials yard I can buy large amounts of this, in different colours, plain and textured, at bargain prices.

But is it of any use?

Well, some research on the net found a huge range of creative work done by many artists using nothing but plain float glass. Work that ranged from functional daily pieces to fine art sculpture. But what about textured float glass? I could not find a single project by anybody that started with textured glass of this type.

So I had to run a test to see how the glass reacted and hopefully discover if there is a reason for this absence.

My test is simple. The glass has a smooth side and a textured side so I simply fused pieces of the glass with different combinations of the textured and smooths sides face up and down, and in contact.

Textured Float Glass Test Pieces
Textured Float Glass Test Pieces

You can see in this photo the pieces in the kiln unfired.

  1. Bottom piece texture up, top piece texture up.
  2. Bottom piece texture up, top piece texture down, so textured faces together.
  3. Bottom piece texture down, top piece texture down.
  4. Bottom piece texture down, top piece texture up.

These were all cleaned thoroughly and fired on Bullseye Thinfire paper. The fusing schedule is below.

Fused Textured Float Glass
Fused Textured Float Glass

In the second photo you can see that there isn’t a huge difference between each test piece, though a couple have retained the original texture a little more.

  1. This had texture trapped between the layers and texture on top. The top texture disappeared for the most past. The trapped texture was retained a little, but only just.
  2. This had both textured sides in the middle and I expected to see the most retained texture there. Instead, it seems the air in the voids flowed together and we lost the original texture but end up with interesting bubble patterns.
  3. In this test the bottom was textured and one textured side trapped in the middle. This seemed to be a mix of 1 and 2. The original texture seemed the be retained a little on the bottom but some interesting bubbles in the middle.
  4. The last test with the bottom textured and the top surface textured the were very few bubbles but the bottom texture seemed to be retained. The top surface smoothed out considerably.

I suppose I have to say the results were unremarkable. The bubbles were quite interesting in test 2 where both textured surfaces were in contact, and texture surface down did retain the original pattern slightly, but the texture surface on top simply disappeared.

But I didn’t find any obvious reason this glass couldn’t be used. The bubbles effect could be used to good effect with a little creativity so if you have a ready source of this material you may want to consider trying it in a project.

Firing Schedule

Full Fuse – Float Glass Test

Please be aware that all kilns fire differently and this schedule may not produce the same results in your kiln.

Segment Rate (C/hr) Target (C) Hold (mns)
1. Release 150 537 30
2. Process 316 815 15
3. Anneal Full 516 60
4. Cool 83 371 5

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