The Art of Fused Glass

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Missouri Artists on Main

319 – 321 South Main Street

St. Charles, MO

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Glass is composed of silica and small amounts of other ingredients that are melted together at a high temperature. As it cools, it thickens, and then becomes rigid.  Although rapidly chilled molten rock, usually volcanic, can create naturally occurring glasses, the history of glass is essentially the story of a human-made material.

Frantz, Susanne K. and Henry Frankel . “Glass.” Encyclopedia of Aesthetics. Ed. Michael Kelly. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.

There are many forms of glass art. Fused glass is one of them.

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Fused Glass tray by MAOM artist Debbie Mansir

Unlike stained glass, fused glass has no lead lines. Fused glass is ideally suited for making functional pieces.

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Square plate by MAOM fused glass artist Gail Johns. Gail also uses a fused glass technique to make torched glass bead jewelry.

What is FUSED GLASS?

MAOM fused glass artist Kitty Mollman  spoke to this question in an article published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Fused glass is generally two layers of glass of a specific type assembled to form a pattern. The first layer is usually a single sheet of glass, and the second layer is composed of pieces of glass of various sizes that have been cut from a larger sheet. These pieces may be of many different colors and types of glass such as transparent, opaque and iridized. The two layers are assembled, placed very carefully on a kiln shelf and fired to about 1,480 degrees so that they fuse into one piece of glass. After the piece has cooled to room temperature, it is placed on a ceramic mold and refired to a lower temperature until it relaxes and “slumps” into the form of the mold.

Deer, Karen. “Made in St. Louis: Kitty Mollman: Fused-glass artist explores beauty, potential of medium.” St. Louis Post Dispatch 4 March 2012. H2

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Tray by MAOM artist Kitty Mollman

Fused glass is also used for nonfunctional work such as the beautiful wall art by MAOM artist Peggy King (below).

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Depending on the temperature of the subsequent firings textural elements can be added as in this plaque by Kitty Mollman.

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