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Making Fused Glass Cabochons or Stones

 

Materials Needed:

Prepared kiln shelf

Dichroic Glass

Art Glass (colored and clear)

Glass Cutter

Safety goggles

 Overview:

There are many types of stones that can be made using dichroic glass. We will cover several in this section of the guide. Stones, Cabs or Cabochons are simply small globs of melted glass containing no holes that you can string something thru, i.e. they are not beads.

 General tips:

If you are going to stack layers of dichroic glass one on top of the other, always stack UP the rainbow, i.e. Red is on the bottom, Orange next up with Violet on top.  Dichroic glass will change in the kiln and, while red seems fairly transparent, it will be very opaque once fired and you will not see the glass underneath. (Rainbow = Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet).

 You can use fusers glue to keep the little bits from collapsing when you move the self.

 I always ‘build’ my pieces right on the prepared kiln shelf and then carefully move them over to the kiln. Place your kiln shelf on your worktable but do not cut glass right next to the shelf or you may cause the shelf to wiggle and topple your pieces.

Glass wants to be 1/4" thick and it wants to be round. SO.. the higher you stack your glass the bigger it will get. Think of it as baking cookies.... you spoon the dough into a little mound on the cookie sheet... as it bakes it spreads out to form a nice round cookie that is no longer as high as the spoonful it started out as. See the Troubleshooting page for more info.  Your pieces may start out square or rectangular but will round up as you fire. NO NEED TO GRIND EVERYTHING TO A CIRCLE BEFORE FIRING.  You won't believe how many people have told me their instructors made them do this.... sheesh!!!!

 Types of Cabochons:

 ·          2 Layer  stone

·          3 Layer, multicolor stone

·          Multi Layered stone

2 Layer Stones                       

 You will need black art glass and dichroic glass.

To form a perfect stone the dichroic glass should be a hair larger than

the base glass. Stones can be made with the dichroic coating face up or

 with clear on top. If you leave the dichroic coating side up, your

stone will have a metallic or matte finish. When the clear is up you get more depth and a glossy finish. The stones shown above have clear on top. 

Matte Finish:   

Place a ½” square of black art glass on the kiln shelf. Cut a square of dichroic glass that is a little larger than ½” square. You can use either dichroic glass on a black base or on clear, it makes very little difference. Fire to full fuse.  

Clear Finish:

Method #1: Place a ½” square of black art glass on the shelf. Place a little larger than ½” piece of dichroic glass on a clear base on top with the clear side up. Fire to full fuse.

Method#2: Place a ½” square of dichroic glass on a black base on the shelf. Place a piece of clear glass that is a little bigger than ½” square on top of the dichroic glass.  Fire to full fuse.

 Three Layer Multi Color Stone       

  

You will need a base layer of black, some dichroic glass and a top layer of clear that is a little larger than the base layer. Place the base layer (say ½” square) on the kiln shelf. Arrange the bits of dichroic glass in a single layer on top of the base. Place the clear cap on top. Fire to full fuse.

 Multi Layered Stones

 

You will need a base layer of black or colored art glass, some dichroic glass and a clear cap (optional). Place the base on the kiln shelf. Stack up bits of glass randomly. You may need fusers glue to hold them in place. Build in even layers much like a brick layer would lay bricks. If you build unevenly your piece will topple when you attempt to carry it to the kiln.  The example shown on the left has fine silver balls and a cubic zirconia embedded in the glass and a blue base. The example on the right has a red base. The image in the center shows how to stack the glass. Full fuse. 

Text Box: HINT(s): 
·          Full fuse is generally 1450 – 1500 degrees but this depends on many things. Each kiln is different so you must test YOURS to see how it fuses. Place a stacked piece in the kiln and set so that it fires to 1480 degrees as fast as it can go. Once it reaches around 1300 check to see what the glass looks like. Take notes on appearance at every 100 degree increment from 1300 to 1480.
·          Stones for PMC – clear glass may* react with PMC to form a golden halo around the perimeter of your stone. To prevent this use Crystal Clear art glass in place of normal clear. It is more expensive but won’t react to form a yellow ring. Bullseye #1401-30F. ==>>*I have only had one or two stones get a yellow haze around the edges where it touches the silver. It is unclear why the discoloration happens sometimes but not all the time. I am currently running some tests to determine which colors of art glass react with the silver, when they do, when they do not and why.... I'll post the info as I know.



 
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