I see many different people using small perfect circles in their fused glass jewelry and I kept wondering how to make them so round. I usually would fuse two pieces of 3mm stacked glass then draw a circle on the back of the fused not-quite circular piece and start grinding until I felt I had gotten the glass to look like a perfect circle, but in reality, I knew it wasn’t quite perfect.
Then I remembered that during class I had taken at Bullseye Resource Center in Portland, we used excess part sheet small parts fusing three layers of 3mm square glass pieces to 1525 degrees F and voila, they had come out round.
I recently bought some bookmarks that have a small round spot for gluing glass cabochons (or wood as I bought these from a wood catalog) and decided to do some test glass circles in clear glass to see which size would work best before I started working with the more expensive dichroic glass. I cut three squares of each size (3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″ and 3/4″) and stacked these three squares lining them up (not sure it matters, but wanted you to know exactly what I had done). I then fired to 1525 degrees F using a typical kiln cycle. See the top row of my picture below.
The end result is as follows:
- Original Cut Square Size Finished Circle Size
- 3/8″ 5/8″
- 1/2″ 3/4″
- 5/8″ 1″
- 3/4″ 1-1/8″
The finished circle size of 3/4″ is perfect for my bookmarks and so my next task will be to make these out of some dichroic scrap pieces and hopefully have some really cool bookmarks to add to my Etsy shop.
As a quick addition, I also wondered about using Bullseye rods to make small circles. It is quite easy to just nip off a piece of the rid and fire it and get small circles or dots. But I wasn’t sure how much effect the size of the rod nipped off would have on the dot. So I did three pieces for this test.
For the rods, it seems that the length of the rod cut ends up being the size of the dot. So for example, a 1/4″ length cut off the rod ended up in a dot of 1/4″ diameter and a 3/8″ length of rod cut ended up in a dot of 3/8″ diameter. See the bottom row of the above picture.
I’ll let you know how my dichroic circles work. Hope this helps you with your perfect small circles!
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!