Glass Fusing Project Procedures

GLASS FUSING PROJECT PROCEDURES

 

            SET-UP YOUR PROJECT:

  • Well in advance of your class time, sign up for a kiln date!  You are allowed two days- for example, load on Monday morning, unload Tuesday morning, load Tuesday morning, unload Wednesday morning. 
  • Two weeks prior to class time, choose your project and line up helpers for your lesson.  Each student in each class has one 4”x4” piece of clear glass, plus colored glass for design.  Projects can be found in the Glass book in the PTSA room.  Please stick to the projects chosen for each grade level!  This will help us plan glass inventory and develop lessons to incorporate fused glass in the Explore Art curriculum.  If you have an idea for a new project, please contact Alejandra Guzman (alejandraguz@hotmail.com.). I can develop the new project with you if it’s workable for our inventory. 
  • If you have never cut glass before, please attend a workshop (in the fall) or have Muddy or Alejandra teach you.  The tools for cutting are very expensive and easily damaged by misuse.  The glass cutter should be held at 120 degree angle, and you should hear a crackling sound when you cut or the glass won’t be scored properly for a clean break.    
  • Once you’ve chosen your project, you will need to cut the glass prior to your lesson.  Docents pre-cut the 4×4 squares and allow older students to cut smaller pieces of colored glass, rods, and stringers.  After you’ve cut your pieces, clean them with paper towels and glass cleaner to remove dust, fingerprints and marker lines. 
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Please make sure that you put paper on your table to protect the surface, the tools, and your glass before cutting.  Small shards can cut you before you even know it.  Clean up is easier and more thorough if you use paper on your cutting surface.  Check all surfaces, including the floor and nearby chairs, to make sure you’ve picked up all scraps and shards that might have dropped off your table.  Use a damp paper towel and wipe up tables and chairs to catch any remaining bits of glass.
  • Kindergarteners and first graders shouldn’t cut glass.  Their job is to assemble the project pieces, make simple design choices, and learn about the art of glass fusing. 
  • Prior to class time, make sure the paper plates have enough colored glass for your classroom.  There are several sets of plates with a selection of colors for each table.  To refill, use the glass in the plastic containers in the glass cabinet.   

 

CLASS TIME:

  • Set up a cutting station in the classroom with a box for cutting rods and stringers.  Cover the table with paper and set up the tools.  Review the Glass Fusing packet found in the Glass book from the PTSA room to make sure you have everything you need. 
  • Talk to your volunteers and make sure everyone knows how to cut glass and create the project.
  • Please make sure you discuss safety first before beginning the lesson and remind students not to handle shards or take pieces of glass home.
  • Students apply pieces of glass to the clear base with a tiny bit of Elmer’s glue and a toothpick.  Use sparingly- the glue is there just to secure the parts prior to firing.  If you have some pieces that won’t stay in place, a tiny amount of Original Super Glue can be applied by a parent only.  Super glue is helpful in applying wire hooks so they don’t slip off.  There will be a few tubes in the glass supply cabinet in the kindergarten pod.  Use with care. 
  • Students shouldn’t stack glass on their projects more than three layers high.  This means that your clear glass is the first layer, your main design pieces are the second layer, and a third layer can be small bits on top of the second layer, such as a stringer piece or a small dot for design. 
  • Students should use paper plates to create their projects on.  Have them write their names on the plates for easy identification and transport to the kiln room. 

FIRING DAY:

  • Be in the kiln room after 9am to begin loading.
  • Set up the kiln using tall stilts in the bottom to raise the first shelf to the area nearest the element.  Make sure this shelf is labeled “GLASS ONLY.”  Glass only shelves have a special kiln wash, like paint, that allows glass to be fired without sticking to the shelf.  Your pieces will be fired to the shelf if you use the wrong shelf. You may have to use a regular clay shelf to raise the shelves high enough, but don’t put glass on the clay shelf.  Glass shelves are hexagonally shaped.  (The clay shelves are all half shelves.)
  • Arrange pieces on this shelf, making sure no pieces are touching each other and are at least ¼ inch apart and away from the edges.  Create a map of the kiln and note each piece with a description and the name of the student.    
  • Add a second shelf, making sure it’s labeled “GLASS ONLY.”  If the glass only shelf has chipped shelf wash, you’ll need to use shelf paper for each piece that might be close or cover a chipped area, cut to size.  Shelf paper is costly, so use sparingly.  You cannot use any more shelves or your pieces won’t fire evenly.  Save the remaining pieces for your next firing.   

UNLOAD DAY:

  • Be in the kiln room by 8:30 so you can unload before the next person comes in to load their projects. 
  • Make sure the kiln temperature is 100 degrees or less before removing projects or applying water.  If you used shelf paper, carefully remove your pieces without disturbing the shelf paper debris as much as possible.  Pick up your projects and wipe off with a damp cloth. Carefully brush off shelf paper debris with the brush into the garbage.  Control the dust as much as possible, and be sure to wash your hands after you’re done.  Once your pieces are at room temperature, they can be washed with water if necessary.    
  • Make sure kiln room is cleaned up and no items are left behind.