We’re a chatty society. We favor T-shirts with funny sayings and wall art with inspirational messages written on them. It’s only natural to want to add a similar touch to your fused glass art. But creating text that’s attractive and legible in glass is difficult because the medium is bulky.
I’ve been including words in my art for years. It takes extra effort, but I’m willing to put in the time when the inclusion of a written message will strengthen the impact of my artwork. The techniques outlined here are fun, fast, and easy. They’re great compliments for seasonal pieces, personalized gifts, and stylized art.
Let’s get started.
Great Fall is a super fun project! The step-by-step tutorial and full size pattern are now available in the Fall 2023 issue of Glass Patterns Quarterly. I included it here because it’s a terrific example of combining different methods in the same piece of art.
I wanted the word Great to be compact and graceful. I painted it on the glass with black Glassline outlining medium. After the paint dries, I go back and touch up the lettering to make the line width uniform. I use the point of a wooden toothpick or a razor knife to scrape the unwanted paint away.
When it came time to render the word Fall, I had a few ideas in mind. I could simply cut thin strips of glass or use noodles to write the word. Then it occurred to me that using colorful stringers would give me visual texture and look like sticks. This was the first time I tried that method and I’m really pleased with the results.
Welcome Fall is a new video course that will be released soon. Premium Video Members can look forward to having access to this fun project with their membership.
Batty utilizes the cut glass method to include text. The balloon style lettering is easy to cut out of glass and the oversized word adds an additional splash of color to the simple design. This bouncy lettering style is well suited for short impactful words. The Batty pattern is in my eBook Fireworks.
Love also uses the cut glass method to achieve lettering. Here the lettering is the design and so, bold bright colors are key to delivering the lively message. These straight letters are fast and easy to cut. They’re a great choice for writing names. The Love how-to video and pattern eBook is available through my Premium Video Membership.
Cookies for Santa
Cookies for Santa is a wonderful example of using frit to write intricate messages on your fused glass designs. Simply sift powder frit over the glass then write your words in the frit with a small paint brush or the eraser end of a pencil. For the best results, use high contrast colors and apply a thick layer of frit. Have fun with it! The Cookies for Santa pattern is in my eBook Fireworks.
Wish features delicate, whimsical lettering. The word is made by sifting powder frit, over a stencil. This easy technique is great for quick projects that call for intimate details. Hint, use more than one color frit to get a paintbrush stroke quality to the lettering. Also, use high contrast colors to ensure good readability.
Wedding Heart is a little more complicated than the other techniques shown here. The advantage of using this method is it’s extremely effective and the results are graceful and elegant. Here the lettering is handwritten in liquid platinum with a needle type applicator pen. These items are available from your art glass supplier. The liquid platinum is fired onto the glass in the kiln for a permanent finish. The lettering is fired face down, in contact with a primed ceramic kiln shelf. Tip, the lettering does not adhere well if fired on fiber paper. It comes out dull and blotchy instead of uniform and shiny.
The lettering on the front of the heart is written with a silver sharpie marker. It’s not permanent and will wash off if the glass gets wet. We used these hearts for seating markers at my daughter’s wedding. They were memorable keepsakes and the guests loved them!
Including words in your projects is a fun way to ramp up the visual intricacy of your art.
Whether you keep it simple or combine multiple techniques you’re sure to enjoy the process and the outcome. I hope you found this spotlight on easy ways to include lettering in your fused glass designs helpful. Now get writing!
Watch the How to Include Words in Your Designs with Lisa Vogt video here.