The term "fused glass" encompasses a number of different art glass styles. The creation of fused glass is done by combining at least two pieces of glass, placing them in a kiln, and heating them until they combine or "fuse" together into a single piece. The most common of this type of glass used in jewellery is dichroic glass, where metal elements are added to the process. Creating jewellery using these fine pieces of art glass is as simple or as difficult as you choose it to be and depends largely on the skills you have as a jewellery maker.
Choose your fused glass beads. Fused glass and dichroic beads come in a wide range of styles, shapes and colours. Start by exploring the possibilities available. Choose your beads for colour and design. Remember, each one you choose will have been handmade and none will be exactly the same as any other. If you wish to combine them into one project, try to pick those that have similar designs or shading.
Choose your project. Fused glass of any kind can be one of the more expensive items you will use in your jewellery making. If you are a beginner, choose something simple that will set off the colour of the beads you have. Watches or simple necklaces are a great place to start. Choose a watch face that will reflect the colours of the beads you've chosen.
Combine materials that will enhance the fused glass or dichroic pieces you have chosen. Enhancing your focal beads with smaller seed beads, crystals and even coloured art wire will allow your imagination to run free. Any piece of jewellery you may wish to create can be enhanced by the addition of an art glass focal bead. Plan your project well before beginning. Notice in this prize-winning bracelet how each fused glass and dichroic leaf is different and yet all the colours combine well with the touches of art wire spirals. The main bracelet is made from multiple strands of crystals and beads of different shapes and colours.
Things you need
- Fused glass pendants or beads
- Jewellery-making tools
- beads in complementary or contrasting colours
- Findings and enhancements appropriate for the project