What is Fused Glass?
Fused glass is glass that is created by heating together pieces of compatible glass to a temperature high enough to cause them to melt together into a permanently blended unit.
More About Fusing
During the past thirty years we have given the name “glass fusing” to the art and craft of blending different glasses into a new, permanent glass, comprised of the previously separate glasses. The finished objects are identified as fused glass or kiln fired glass. It is possible to make a range of objects of any shape and size with glass kiln working techniques.
Although glass was fused in ancient times, modern equipment and materials, as well as a contemporary understanding of the principles involved in the process, make glass fusing one of many popular techniques used for artistic expression with glass.
Contemporary Studio Art Glass
Other ways of working glass are classified as “cold working”, as in stained or leaded glass, which involves combining different glasses using lead lines to hold the various pieces together; or “hot working” as when glass is gathered in a molten state from a furnace and formed while hot on the end of a blow pipe. Fused glass is considered “warm glass”, in that the design is created with pieces of cold glass and then put into a kiln and heated to fuse those pieces into a single piece. The finished glass tile can be slumped in a kiln into a three dimensional shape.
Evolution of the Contemporary Fusing Movement
Boyce Lundstrom pioneered the understanding of factors involved in this craft, as well as designing and promoting the earliest glass fusing equipment. In the late seventies and early nineteen eighties he traveled to many parts of the world, sharing information with enthusiastic artists interested in learning how to fuse glass. Starting in 1986, he also shared with students his life at Camp Colton, hosting eight years of residential fusing classes in Oregon.
Boyce has written and published the quintessential books on glass fusing, slumping and casting, used by tens of thousands of glass artists and studio craftsmen. Simple enough to be a guide for a complete glass neophyte, they also provide the depth of accurate information that has caused them to be considered the bible for those interested in these techniques.
The State of the Art
Glass fusing invites such varied approaches to expression with glass! Sometimes different artitsts’ fused work displayed in galleries and shops is not recognized by viewers as being the same technique, because it doesn’t look related. As this glass work has proliferated, the diversity of the product is gratifying and is a tribute to how this craft lends itself to exploration in unlimited directions. Although glass fusing classes at Camp Colton are no longer held, students have become teachers, so classes and seminars are available throughout the world. The internet is a pretty good way to shop for what is currently scheduled. Some of these sources are suggested in our fusing links page.