This glass fusing tutorial starts a bit dodgy, and ends up …😀 Follow me as I use a dodgy bit of steel mesh to try and create a pattern bar. You’ll love it, or at least have a laugh.
The video tutorial includes the design, materials, and equipment information, the full fuse to make the pattern bar and the final review.
In the YouTube video, you will find links to related videos, a chapter list with time stamps, and links to more resources.
Just as a reminder, the glass I use is Bullseye 90 COE. On the shelf for full fusing, I use Thinfire fiber paper. When fire polishing on my shelf, and slumping in moulds, I spray with boron nitride mould release.
The goal of this tutorial video is to demonstrate that it is possible to use old items for things like this pattern bar melt.
The mesh I’m using was part of an old gas heater that I recently replaced. As I always do, I pulled it apart to see what was inside. I’m a bit of a hoarder like that. I keep all sorts of things, like screws, bolts, and anything that I can reuse. You never know when you’ll need it. You should see all the storage jars I have, filled with bits and pieces! This mesh covered the front of the 5 gas elements, so it had to be either stainless steel or high-temperature steel.
The final dimensions of the bar are 10 cm x 10 cm (4 inches), with a depth of about 12 mm (0.5 inches). The dam material I used was made by cutting an old kiln shelf into bars. It was lined with previously fired 3 mm fiber paper. The shelf was covered with Thinfire paper.
Do not use anything on the mesh. If you do it will separate from the mesh and fall down into your molten glass. That’s not a good look.
The glass is Clear, Opal Vanilla (0137) and transparent Deep Royal Blue (1114). These were all scrap pieces from other projects. I used a lot of transparent glass to try and get a nice depth of colour and light transmission in the piece. Using all opal would not have given the same effect.
The scrap was placed on the mesh in layers, randomly mixing the colours on each layer, but keeping in mind not to concentrate a particular colour in any spot. Take care and make sure it is stable, especially if you have to move it to your glass kiln later.
You will see in the schedule below I took it slow. I tend to be very conservative with my schedule. I’d rather it take a bit longer and come out correct. Of course, trying to not introduce any problems like devitrification.
There is a long hold at a very high temperature so the glass will run freely and as completely as possible through the mesh. The small mesh size was a concern.
The cooling, especially the anneal stage was quite long, due to the thickness. Always consult the Bullseye recommended annealing times whenever you’re fusing thick pieces.
Check the video to see the final result, but always remember that things like a pot melt often come out with sharp jagged pieces that will cut you easily. Take special care when handling.
If you have any questions please ask in the comments section on YouTube.
💥 Full Fuse Firing Schedule
- #1 – 222 C (432 F) up to 535 C (995 F), hold 60 minutes.
- #2 – 333 C (630 F) up to 670 C (1238 F), hold 60 minutes. So it softens and settles onto the mesh.
- #3 – 450 C ( 842 F) up to 920 C (1688 F), hold 60 minutes.
- #4 – Full down to 815 C (1500 F), hold 30 minutes.
- #5 – Full down to 482 C (900 F), hold 120 minutes
- #6 – 38 C (100 F) down to 425 C (797 F), no hold
- #7 – 82 C (180 F) down to 371 C (700 F), no hold
- #8 – 316 C (600 F) down to room temperature.