A local supplier of glass decided to get out of the glass selling business. Unfortunately before he announced it to the public, he sold all of his fusible glass and supplies and hence all that was left was his copious amount of stained glass. I wanted to take advantage of his great glass prices and knew that as long as I did not fuse two different pieces of glass together, that I could use the stained glass, so I bought some transparent iridescent pieces and also some opaque swirl pieces.
My first test was a clear iridescent glass which I cut into a circle and first fused to 1350 degrees F so I could soften the edges. From past experience, if the iridescent is exposed, it sometimes burns off, so I put the iridescent side down. Then I put the circle on a stainless steel floral vase former and slumped it taking the kiln to 1235 degrees F. It came out great.
I then wanted to try a vase with a square blank and used a yellow/orange swirl glass for that vase. The seller had told me his experience with heating the opalescent stained glass was that it needed more temperature, however I decided to keep the edge softening temperature the same. It actually needed less temperature as at 1350 degrees F, I ended up with some needle points on the edges and needed to grind the edges some before slumping. Similarly on the slump, I could have used less than 1235 degrees F. The vase ended up touching the shelf, but still has a nice look to it.
I did two other tests each using a single sheet of the stained glass and fusing it to itself. For the first test I cut a rectangle out of the 12″x12″ sheet of glass and then took the remaining pieces and cut them into smaller pieces and fused them around the outside of the plate so that it had a raised edge. Worked great. Since I took this piece to 1400 degrees, I ended up with a little devitrification on the glass, but overall it is nice for a candle plate.
The last test was cutting my 12″ x 12″ piece into strips and fusing them together looking like a basket weave except I left out the weave. Took this piece to 1380 degrees F and then slumped it at 1170 degrees F. Again it worked very well. Still some devitrification, so I think the opal stained glass pieces are very similar to the opal fused glass pieces and temperature and firing schedules are important to consider.
The picture shows three of my four test pieces. If you have access to stained glass, and want to create a piece that is basically one color or want your piece to be just a single piece of glass thick, try using stained glass!
NOTE: I learn much of what I know from reading other websites, classes and blogs and hence, I haven’t really invented anything new here. But I am sharing what I found to work and not work. If you have found other ways to do something similar to this, please share. Thanks!