The magical thing about glass fusing is you can work with the same materials for years and all it takes to fascinate you again is the introduction of a new component. The round Christmas ornament is far from a unique design. But add a new twist, a little bling and amazingly you have a delightfully fresh version of an old favorite.
At this hectic time of year, we’re all looking for fast and flashy projects that make great gifts. These easy to make ornaments are your ticket to wonderfully productive studio time. What makes these simple pieces so attractive is the paring of traditional holiday colors along with lively patterns.
Making the Ornament Bowl
Begin by cutting a 9-inch circle of clear glass for the ornament base. Cut 2 clear pieces of glass to represent the bail of the ornament. Select your murrine and cut it into 1/8-inch-long bits with mosaic nippers. Choose your holiday colors and cut them into strips. Arrange the strips on the clear base. Separate the cut strips with twisted cane. For added interest, include a strip of murrine.
Then, just for fun, rearrange your materials. Try different combinations until you have a pleasing pattern. I love this spontaneous type of assembly as it always produces a more dynamic design than I originally imagined.
Using a 9-inch round paper pattern as a guide, draw the circle shape on the strips and cane with a marker. Cut the strips and cane to fit neatly on the clear base glass. Cut clear dichroic to represent the bail of the ornament.
Cut narrow strips of dichroic on clear. Arrange the dichroic strips on the wide band of color to make the snowflakes. Be sure the dichroic coating side is down so it won’t scratch when the bowl is used.
Place the assembled glass in the kiln on a primed or shelf paper lined kiln shelf. Stack the 2 clear bails beside the circle. Overlap the white and the clear bails with the dichroic bail to bridge the parts when fused.
Making the Dichroic Ornaments
I plan to use these little beauties as festive spoon rests in the kitchen. The dichroic coating is fragile and will scratch if not protected by clear glass. When making functional art with dichroic glass, I assemble the projects differently. Unlike the first ornament, which was built on a clear base, the base of these small decorations will be made up of pieces. The pieces will then be capped with a single piece of clear glass to enhance the dichroic colors and protect the coating from getting scratched.
Begin by cutting 4-inch circles out of clear glass. Cut 2 bails for each of the ornaments out of clear glass. Set the circles and bails aside. Cut a fun assortment of 4-inch squares of dichroic on black into strips. Rearrange the strips to make four unique ornament designs. Add a few twisted canes for a lacy effect. Turn any textured glass strips over. Using the clear circles as a guide, trace the circle shape on the back of the dichroic strips with a silver marker. Cut the glass and cane to match the circle. Turn the cut glass over and rearrange the strips and cane. Cut a bail for each ornament out of dichroic on clear.
Place the dichroic and cane layer in the kiln on a primed or shelf paper lined kiln shelf. Cap the dichroic glass with the 4-inch clear glass circles. Stack the 2 clear bails beside the glass. Overlap the clear cap and the clear bails with the dichroic bail to bridge the parts when fused.
Full fuse the assembled projects using the guide in my tech docs link below.
If any of the circles are uneven, grind the edges as needed to improve the shapes.
Place the fused glass in slumping molds. Slump using the guide below in my Tech Docs link below.
I love including functional art in everyday life. And the kitchen, being the hub of family activity that it is, is a great place to enjoy personal, hand-made holiday decorations.
Full fuse and then slump your plates using my firing guides available on my website in the FREE Tech Docs section on Firing Guides & Graphs For 96 & 90 COE Fusible Glass
For a limited time get your FREE Holiday project patterns on my website.
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