For the last two years I have been experimenting with fused glass with my high school students, and for personal use. I immediately fell in love with the puzzle like method to piecing together my designs. My high schoolers always claim this assignment as one of their favorites. The forgiving nature of glass creates a very predictable outcome (to read more about my fused glass lesson check it out here).
After I got a handle on fused glass basics, I decided to branch out and see what else glass making had to offer. In my pursuit of fusing knowledge, I discovered glass paint. It opened a whole new world of adding design to my pieces, and I have loved every minute of experimenting with it.
Glass paint enables you to easily add organic shapes and designs to your pieces. I now use glass paint to scribbles bird nests, write words, and add the thin lines to my birch tree plates.
To create my birch tree plates I begin with white glass, black and white or blue glass, and a sheet of clear glass. I cut the clear glass to a 10″ circle, then cut strips of white and black glass. I lay them on top of the clear, then cut the edges to curve along the edge of the circular, clear sheet. I alternate the white, for the birch trees, and the other color, for the background. A couple drops of Elmer’s glue helps keep the glass in place as I work.
Once the clear sheet is filled with the stripes, I flip it over, leaving the clear on top of the striped pattern. I use black glass paint to paint thin lines on the white glass stripes, to add detail to the trees. Every now and then I scribble a tree knot before moving onto the next set of thin lines.
After the details are added I place the glass piece in the kiln, stripes on the bottom, clear sheet in the middle, and glass paint details on top. I fire the kiln up once, to fuse the glass to one layer, then set it in a mold and fire the glass a second time. The glass melts just enough to take the shape of the plate mold.
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