How to Make Fused Glass Jewelry, Pendants and Earrings

January 1, 2010 by  
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How to Make Fused Glass Jewelry, Pendants and Earrings
By Denise M.

Up until a few years ago fused glass jewelry was a small niche in the jewelry world, well over the last few years fused glass jewelry has grown tremendously in popularity. You can’t miss these beautiful pieces of jewelry. If you have ever been to a craft fair you have probably seen fused glass jewelry. The most common pieces are pendants and earrings.

One of the striking characteristics of fused glass jewelry is the brilliant sparkling colors that change when the light hits the glass at different angles. The type of glass that causes this sparkle is called dichroic glass. These pendants and earrings are made by layering different pieces of glass on top of a base piece of glass.

You then put the glass in a kiln and set the kiln to a specified temperature (ranges from average 1300-1500 degrees). The kiln does all the work and is actually on for anywhere from 3-5 hours but you have to leave the glass in the kiln until the temperature returns to room temperature. This usually takes another 4-6 hours. The glass melts together either fully or partially (depending on the look you want). When the glass completely melts into each other it is called a full fuse. When the glass pieces keep there shape but stick the each other, that is called tack fuse.

Your biggest investment in this craft is the kiln, you can find decent kilns on Ebay for about $350.00, they are on the small side but for jewelry you don’t need anything bigger. Then you should have a grinder. I found mine on Craigslist used for $20. New they start at approximately $100.00. You also need a glass cutter. There are different cutters but they run about $25.00-$35.00. Then of course the glass, dichroic glass is very expensive. 1/2 pd will probably run at least $40.00, but should make 15-20 pieces or more.

Usually you will want to reshape the glass after the initial firing in the kiln. A glass grinder is the tool used to shape the glass. After the glass is shaped you refire it again to make the edges that you just grinded shiny. Then you add a bail and viola you have a beautiful custom made piece of art to wear.

Denise M. enjoys writing articles on many topics. Please visit her latest website about  Metal Stamps.

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