Fusing Glass – Cutting the Colored Glass

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 21,158
    Glass art expert Erwin Timmers demonstrates how to fuse glass and how to cut colored glass.

    Erwin Timmers: Hello! My name Erwin Timmers and we are here at the Washington Glass School and I am going to show you how to cut colored glass to put onto your fused glass bowl. I have picked out a pattern, it is stylize number 2 actually because my daughter is turning two and I make them a glass object each year that is my kids have there birthday. So, this is going to be for her birthday, Kiara.

    I have already cut out some colors that are in rectangular shape that is close to the eventual curved shaped that we are going to need. That my pattern here, I wanted to do a progression of red colors and you can see how on the pattern, these rectangular pieces are big enough to make the shakes. We lay this over here, right. I am going to start with the bottom ones because those are the easiest ones and it is very similar to the last one where we were cutting a straight square, put on your safety glasses and where are my favorite cutters, here we go.

    I like to leave a little bit of meet on the outside, I could move the glass over all the way, then getting this off cleanly would be a lot more difficult. So, what I like to do is move it over, so you have more glass on both sides of your score and your cut. You can either -- well there is two ways to do it, you can either just trace the drawing that you have laying underneath, that is the beauty of glass. Now, if you are using opaque glass, you won't be able to do that and then you can use a sharpie to actually draw on the glass and the nice thing about the sharpie is that you will not even have to clean that up after as the sharpie just burns off in the kiln.

    Okay, so you have got your shape. Again, I am not going to not settle end, alright and this is a little bit more tricky because you are doing it free hand, you do not have a ruler. Here we go, I can make two scores in one, doesn't matter. Usually I like to start with the middle score to break that and again, I am just using my fingers and break it off like that, this is great thin glass, it is easy to do. You make your -- hold your fingers like that in middle, thumbs on the outside, there you go. So, now you have your piece that fits here and again, and then this piece is going to fit in the middle here. Again, I will trace it with a sharpie. Bring it over here and a lot of glass fusing is about making mistakes and then learning from them. At least that is how I have learned a lot, because if you do not make mistakes, you really do not learn much, there you go. This is another tool and I guess I cut it too quickly, but it is usually used for removing very small pieces of glass from the outside of the score and I will do a good example for you here. We have a very thin sliver, it is very tough to get your fingers on there and apply enough pressure.

    So, that is when use this tool, you use it as the smiling alligator, like we like call it and you have lined it right up against your score. Then you pull and you push downwards, basically doing the same motion you are creating that fulcrum in the middle and opening up the score and you can easily remove smaller slivers like that. Now, this one is going to be the most challenging because it has got a circle. Circles are much more difficult to cut than glass thin squares are and you will see why.

    Again, I am going to use the sharpie here, trace it and then make my cut. Now, you have to make the score in one full score. You can't stop and then continue on again because you will have a break in your score that will allow the glass to break in any which direction and probably break your piece. So, what I usually do is hold the piece, the piece of glass in the best position for me to start the score and then as I am scoring, I will be moving the piece of glass like that. I always make sure that I go off with the end, just so that the very edge of the glass has a score on it because sometimes, if you stop just before the edge of the glass you still can not get your break properly.

    Now I am going to try that same method and here you see that this break is just starting to happen and this is where it get tricky and sometimes it is best to start on the other end then and they have two pieces and there you go, eventually it will come out and there is your circle. If you have a curve or even a compound curve, it is often best to start at both ends and let the score just come together. Okay, so now I have my two. So next I will show you the importance of cleaning the glass and positioning it on the bowl and also we will talk about the thickness of the fused glass bowl.