Saturday, December 20, 2014

How to Screw Up and Salvage a Fused Glass Picture Frame

10"w x 10"h x 1.75"d
kiln-fired glass

I had this "genius" idea that I wanted to make a fused glass picture frame. The easiest method to take would have been to create the outside frame and attach it to a pre-made smaller frame with a flat face that it could be glued on. Glueing glass you ask..? They make industrial strength glue for that very thing.

But that seemed to easy of a solution. If I'm going to make a picture frame from glass I want the entire thing to be glass, including the pocket for the picture, glass, mat and backing to slide into. As far as the construction was concerned it made sense and using fiber paper I could block out the areas I needed to stay open.

My first fire was a full fuse in which I created the Cinnabar (brown) frame. Once it was put together it was much easier to work with. Then I create a pocket for the picture, as seen below, using fiber paper, a glass square (under the fiber paper) and pocket walls of glass.

I set the frame on top. It rested on the pocket edges. I felt it was important to have no gap of space.

I adorned it in little glass squares, stuffed fiber paper under the edges of the frame so it wouldn't droop and it went into the kiln for a second fire, a tack fuse.

There's always surprises with big things like this for some reason. Making this in two fires just seemed to good to be true. Or it wouldn't of been if I had left enough fiber paper overhang for the brown frame to potential spread.

And it came out cracked. 

It seems like the glass on the left side in the above photo rolled over the edge of the fiber paper pulling the frame and causing it to fracture through the middle. Interesting...physics applied to real-life right here. 

So I'm bummed but everything else about it came out so, so good. My pocket that I stressed about is a picture of perfection and the squares fused beautifully...all except for one little clear piece (seen to the right). A great candidate for glass glue.

What now?!

With the suggestion of my teacher I drew a jagged, "mountain-like" edge along the side of the frame. We were hanging a photograph of us atop Fireman's Lookout in Crater Lake, OR after all! And hopped of the ring saw to turn that fracture into part of the piece.

The finished product, shown above, had a organic, mountain ridge like look and feel. I hand sanded the edge, leaving them with a sandblasted look in fear of putting it back in the kiln for a fire polish. The solo square that jumped ship during the tack fuse got glued back on and tonight I will attach a wire to the back. 

After the framing process I'll shared the finished, finished piece.


  1. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. cotton twill fabric