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How to Tack and Slump Small Accent Pieces to Embellish Fused Glass Art

Knowledge – Confidence – Inspiration

Are you ready to add a fun new twist to your fused glass pieces? The simple application of 3-D components can dramatically increase the visual allure of your work. And best of all, this easy technique presents endless possibilities for you to create exciting and flashy new designs.

When making these decorative butterflies I use a single layer of 2mm thick glass. Using thin material produces lightweight delicate looking accent pieces that complement the finished piece of art without overpowering it.

How to make these butterflies.

Download and print the butterfly pattern. Make a second copy of the pattern to cut up. Glue the cut paper pattern pieces on 2mm clear dichroic glass. I used a variety of different dichroic patterns.

The dichroic coating on the glass can go up or face down. I have some butterflies with the coating up and others with the coating down for added interest. I suggest you be consistent and keep the coating orientation the same on each individual butterfly.

Using the pattern as a guide, cut the butterfly wings out of 2mm clear dichroic glass. Cut as close to the pattern as possible to achieve the most accurate shape. Use grozing pliers to remove any excess glass and clean up the edges.

Tip: I try not to grind dichroic glass as it chips the coating around the edge.

Use the pattern as a guide to cut the butterfly bodies out if 2mm dichroic on black glass.

It’s easy to find new uses for these winged beauties once they’re made. I suggest you make more than you plan to use, then great new ideas will definitely come to mind.

Assemble and tack fuse the butterflies.

Lay the butterfly wings out on a primed or fiber paper lined kiln shelf with the wing tips touching. Place the butterfly body on top so it overlaps the wings. Place the individual butterflies about ½ inch apart so they don’t stick to each other. Fire the glass to a tack fuse temperate using the guide provided below.

Tip: Tack Fuse. At this temperature the glass is heated enough to polish the edges and stick together without distorting the shape.

Slump the assembles butterflies.

Carefully center each assembled butterfly in a round 5 inch ceramic slumping mold. You can substitute another mold if needed. Fire the kiln to the slump temperature using the guide provided below.

Tip: Slump. At this temperature the glass is heated enough to conform to the shape of the mold it rests on without shrinking.

Carefully, unload the kiln and enjoy your light and airy butterflies. Glue them on a piece of art with E6000 or other clear adhesive.

Let your imagination run wild, get carried away with fun ways to use these glistening garden friends.  

The story behind the sculpture titled, Flourishing.

A few years ago, I was in my glass studio day and night deep in the creative zone. I was making project after project for new instructional videos. When I’m in a whirl wind of producing I allow myself to wander outside my usual artistic boundaries to explore. On this one occasion my adventures produced a brightly colored, wildly active free flow. The resulting fused glass sheet had energetic movement and quiet chaos. Strangely, the piece spoke to me even though it was made with colors outside my personal color palette. I fell in love with the glass because it was a surprise whose unique radiance felt like home. I imagined the enthusiastic glass represented what my overactive mind would look like if we could take a peek inside.

My first and only self-portrait.

Right away, I knew how to use the glass. I drew a pattern from a photograph of my profile that included my wild hair. It took three wet saws, some grinding, and a lot of patience to cut the intricate outer shape. But I was determined to get it just right.

I then fire polished the cut glass to make the edge uniform and shiny. The custom stand is made from  clear glass with clear glass rods glued to the bottom. The simple stand gives the artwork a lift that allows light to pass through and illuminate the whimsical design. Then I made the butterflies and glued them in place, so they appear to be gracefully floating in space.  

What this artwork means to me.

The vibrant spiraling colors represent the ideas continually flowing through my mind. The butterflies represent the ideas being set free to become new artistic creations.

You can learn how to make your own self portrait in my Sculptural Fused Glass Video.

What’s Free Flow?

Free flow is a technique I developed to make my own sheets of fused glass with custom color mixes.

You can learn how to make your own in my Go with the Flow video.   

For More Firing Guides Check out my FREE Tech Docs

Happy Fusing!


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Fusing for the Adventurous Webinar

March 9, 2023

Get ready to push boundaries, challenge old ideas and enjoy the thrill of limitless possibilities. Join glass me in this comprehensive hands-on webinar, and learn how easy it is to use tried and true methods in unlikely, innovative ways!

With 4 major projects and a few bonus pieces, you’ll get more than you bargained for!

Radiant Ribbons combines dichroic glass and patterned rods into three wavy sections that create beautiful wall art, a dazzling focal point for any living space.

Leaves involves cutting and layering glass surrounded by bits of dichro. Depth is produced by having all of the component parts “floating” in frit and edged in solid color to construct a scene reminiscent of a shadow box.

Fun with Rods gives you the opportunity to fabricate a light and airy project with curvy slumped colored rods.

Plus, you’ll have the fun of kiln casting with murrini creating Hearts on Fire.

All of these techniques will produce dramatic results in your art, and take your work to an exciting new level of sophistication. Beginning and advanced fusers alike will find inspiration, motivation, and a renewed sense of artistic freedom by combining the ideas presented in this webinar.

 And of course you’ll be provided with my custom firing guides.

Armed with your newfound skills, you’ll be incorporating these techniques into your work in no time, while expanding your creative visions. You’ll gain the cool confidence to turn your glass visions into reality. Don’t miss this great opportunity to take your work and inspiration to greater heights!

Tell them how you really feel with sassy mugs, Eco-totes and bold T-shirts!

Downloadable instructional videos for every skill level.

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