Fused Glass Light Box
Leah Bohannon takes her admiration for glass items and creates fused glass light boxes.
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Project by Leah Bohannon from Chicago.
Leah was a successful financial consultant working at a Fortune 500 company. Though doing well professionally, her artistic side wasn't being fulfilled. When a flyer arrived in the mail advertising local crafting classes, everything changed quickly. Remembering the glass items she had admired at flea markets as a child, she signed up for a fused glass class and it quickly became her favorite hobby. She has developed a unique way to display her work: by creating a light box.
assorted bull's eye 3mm glass
6" x 8" bull's eye 3mm clear glass
kiln shelf treated with kiln wash
belt sander or fine sandpaper
fine steel wool
light kit with screws
hinges with screws
hardware for doorknob
glass grinder (optional)
1. To make the fused glass tile: Measure and cut out one 6" x 8" piece of the clear glass. Use running pliers to break glass along the score line.
2. Use glass scraps for this project. Measure and cut various sizes of rectangles, squares and thin strips to formulate a design. Use the piece of clear as a "canvas"; place and move around the various scraps until the design is a complete 6"x 8" rectangle.
3. Clean all the glass pieces with dish soap and hot water, while retaining your design. Dry each piece thoroughly with a lint-free cotton towel. Place the colored pieces on the kiln shelf, and top with the clear glass.
4. Fire to fuse temperature (approximately 11450 F degrees) and anneal (cool slowly). The fusing process takes approximately 6 hours and approximately 6 more hours to anneal.
5. When the kiln reaches room temperature, the fused glass tile may be removed from the kiln. True-up all edges with a grinder to achieve straight 90-degree corner/angles.
6. To make the frame: Cut a 3-1/2-inch strip of 3/4-inch birch.
7. With table saw, create a route for the fused glass tile to be inserted into the wood. Start 1/4 inch from the edge opposite the rabbit, cutting into the same side of the wood. Pass approximately 3 times side-by-side on the table saw so that the route is 3/8 inch wide. Test glass insertion.
8. Using a router, create a rabbit on one side of the strip at 3/8 inches deep directly on edge.
9. Using a miter saw, miter 45-degree angles for corners of box. Test glass often to achieve a tight fit.
10. Sand all pieces. Wipe all pieces down with damp towel.
11. Inject a moderate line of wood glue into each route and coat one side of mitered corners. Assemble with fused glass tile and strap tightly. Clean off excess wood glue with damp towel. Cure glue for 24 hours.
12. In the meantime, fit and measure 1/4-inch birch for back door. Be sure to account for hinges by decreasing one side by 1/4 inch.
13. With table saw, cut door approximately 6"x 8-1/4". Test size in box.
14. Place light kit on door and mark placement.
15. Drill hole for cord to exit box. Drill hole for doorknob hardware halfway between top and bottom, inset from the edge by at least 1/2 inch.
16. Sand door. Wipe down with damp towel.
17. Stamp logo on inside of door with red wood stain. Allow to dry completely. Varnish as desired.
18. Screw hinges in place on door. Feed light kit cord through hole. Screw light kit in place on door. Insert doorknob hardware. Screw hinge in place inside box. Apply thin strips of hook and loop tape to keep door shut.
Narriman Elkins shares her process for designing a fused glass pattern bar insert for a jewelry box.