Fused Glass and Copper Wall Hanging

Mary Barron from Boulder, Colo., makes what she calls "Four Moments of Inspiration" — four fused-glass plaques attached to four copper panels that are connected together and suspended from a copper tube to form a wall hanging.

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Materials and Tools:

sheets and pieces of fusible glass with compatible COE
frit of compatible glass
glass grinder
glass cutter
straight edge or cutting system board
cutting pliers
rubbing alcohol
Elmer's glue
cotton rags
small paintbrush
gold paint
inclusions: fiberglass screen, mica, wire
glass kiln
four 4" x 4" sheets 16-ounce copper
19- and 14-gauge copper wire
drill press
needle-nosed pliers
fine-grit sandpaper
finishing compound
copper patina solution
metal finishing compound, polish, waxes
1/4" copper tube

Steps:

1. Cut four 2" x 2" pieces of glass for the base. Grind corners of glass to desired radius. Clean glass with rubbing alcohol.

2. Paint a swash along one side of base with Elmer's glue and cover with frit.

3. Cut two small corner pieces of glass, one smaller than the other, and grind one corner to match the radius of the base. Clean both pieces and glue to base.

4. Cut a rectangle of glass about 1/2" x 1/4" and smaller rectangles to fit on top until you reach the desired effect. Clean off all pieces with rubbing alcohol and start gluing into place.

5. Add inclusions such as wire, mica or fiberglass screen. Add larger chunks of frit.

6. Paint with gold to give a little more detail and fun.

7. Fire in kiln: Place built-up glass pieces on kiln shelf covered with appropriate thickness and style of fiber paper. Fire to 1440 F degrees, ramping up at a rate of 150 F degrees per hour to 500 F degrees; then 300 F degrees per hour to 1000 F degrees, and finally to a top temp at 200 F degrees per hour.

8. Hold for two minutes at highest temperature; then "flash" by fully opening kiln cover to immediately lower temperature to 1000 F degrees.

9. Regulate temperature reduction from 1000 to 950 F degrees at a rate of 200 F degrees per hour by moderating lid opening based on quantity of glass being fired and temperature outside of kiln.

10. After flashing, hold kiln temperature at 950 F degrees for 40 minutes; then cool to 800 F degrees at 175 F degrees per hour and finally to 120 F degrees at 350 F degrees per hour.

11. Open kiln after temperature reaches 80 to 90 F degrees. Remove glass from kiln and wash off fiber paper shreds. Set aside.

12. Drill two holes along two, three or four edges of copper panels, depending on placement. Grind corners of panels to desired radius.

13. Sand upper surface to achieve desired effect. Coat upper surface with copper patina, buff off, then wax surface, buff, and sand center to roughen for adhesive.

14. Cut copper support tubing to required length, sand, patina and finish. Bend copper wire into loops, attach panels together, solder wire ends, patina and buff soldered connections.

15. Attach panels to support bar with thicker wire loops; adjust to ensure straight hanging line.

16. Clean glass and copper and epoxy together.

Web site: www.adagioartglass.com

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