How to Create Glass Tile Art
Fuse unique glass tile pieces for display in your home.
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When Kristin Norris walked away from a lucrative promotion in the health care industry, her boss thought a competitor had approached hernot that she was leaving to study glass techniques. Before long she instituted a glass program at the local community college in Annapolis, Md. Now, when she's not teaching and using her marketing skills to help other artists promote their work, she's using a variety of torch work and fused glass techniques, like those seen in her inclusion treasure glass tiles.
Materials and Tools:
4" x 6" lime green opal glass
3 small clear irrid glass squares
clear dichroic glass
clear dichroic glass frit
coarse clear glass frit
gold mica flakes
medium glass frit
fine silver wire
silver and copper foil
copper wire netting
scissors, pencil, spoon
glass cutting oil
glass breaker pliers
4 kiln bricks
4 kiln dams
thin fire shelf paper
kiln and kiln shelf
wet belt sander
wet belt sander belts 80 mesh up to cork
1. Score and break the green glass to size. Score and break three clear squares of glass approximately 1-inch in size.
2. Cut two pieces of fine silver wire and curl them into "S" shapes with round nose pliers. Hammer the wire shapes flat on the jeweler's block.
3. Cut two pieces of silver foil into wavy strips. Cut two 1/2" x 4" strips and two 1/2" x 6" strips of fire paper.
4. Cut a piece of silver wire and two pieces of copper wire, wrap each one around a pencil to form a coil. Hammer the wire shapes flat on the jeweler's block.
5. Cut squares of copper netting and strips of copper foil. Wrap the copper foil pieces around a pencil and hammer flat on a jeweler's block.
6. Arrange the fine silver wire, silver foil, copper wire, copper netting and copper foil on top of the green glass.
7. Place the small clear irrid glass squares over the silver and copper wire.
8. Sprinkle mica flakes, dichroic frit and powder frit onto the piece. Place the piece carefully onto the kiln shelf.
9. Enclose the piece with kiln dams and bricks.
10. Place the strips of fire paper between the glass piece and the dams.
11. Spoon a small layer of the coarse clear frit onto the piece, being sure not to allow any of the frit to get between the fire paper and the dams.
12. Sprinkle dichroic frit, powder frit and mica powders into the coarse frit.
13. Spoon another layer of coarse clear frit onto the piece, being sure not to allow any of the frit to get between the fire paper and the dams. Continue adding frit until it is about 1/8-inch below the top of the fire paper strips. Carefully place the glass tile into the kiln and fire the piece.
14. Once the treasure glass tile is completed (16-18 hours), take the glass tile out of the kiln and cold work the tile on the wet belt sander.
15. Using the 80-mesh belt up to the cork, cold work the edges to optically clear, being sure to cold work the sides evenly.
16. Display your inclusion treasure glass tile as a decorative piece, use a ring saw to cut the glass tile into jewelry pieces or use the treasure glass tile as a focal piece in a backsplash.