Welcome to Sapphire Fused Glass!
 Welcome to Sapphire Fused Glass!  

How a Fused Glass piece is made.


The process of making any fused glass piece, large or small, is quite involved. We use specially made glass...System 96...which is specifically suited to fusing at high temperatures. Only the same type of glass can be used to fuse to itself. All our glass is purchased from the Creative Glass Guild in Bristol.


Firstly we choose a subject that we would like to make into a glass piece. This could be from a picture, a photo, or just an idea in our head. 


We then design a 'cartoon' which is a simple drawing, outlining the picture we want to create. Once that is complete, the next thing is to determine the glass to use, and whether there will be any 'inclusions' (we sometimes use copper wire or foil; or make extra bubbles).


Then it's on to the cutting. Usually each piece has a clear base on which to build our picture, ontop of which we start adding the glass shapes we want. The pieces of glass are all cut by hand, so no two items will be the same. The picture gradually builds up, usually with 2-3 layers of glass. At this point if we are including any copper or adding any frit (tiny particles of glass) this is when we do it.


Once we are happy with the effect, we then clean all the glass thoroughly and load it into the kiln. For an intricate piece this can take anything up to an hour to assemble! We have our own kiln but for larger items we use the kilns at Bristol's Creative Glass Guild.


The kiln is then set to the appropriate programme for the piece that we are firing.  For instance, a completely smooth piece will need hotter temperatures than a piece that has contours. The firing process can take up to 24 hours.


If we are then making the piece into a bowl or a free standing curved picture for example, a mould is used to sit the glass into and another firing takes place, which again can take up to about 20 hours. This moulds the glass into its final shape.


The whole process is not quick , hence the reason we state that as a rule of thumb it can be about two weeks from putting an order in to getting the final peice. However,  if you need something quicker, please do ask! We will do our utmost to help.


We hope you enjoy browsing our gallery!