Fused glass is just what it sounds like--pieces of glass that are fused together to make one single piece. It is similar to stained glass in the colour and creativity that goes into it. It is different than stained glass though, as there are no lead lines and you can create three-dimensional works. Often, shops and museums have classes for those interested in this rapidly growing hobby.
Fused Glass Buttons
You can add fused glass buttons to almost any garment to give it a personalised look. Using a button with a shank, you can easily sew on the fused glass button. Alternatively, you can glue on a button shank after making the glass button. Determine the size and number of buttons needed, then get glass in the right colour. Decorate the colour glass with any combination or piece of frit (leftover or broken pieces of glass), stringers, rods or confetti. Once the glass is fused and cool, it is ready to sew on.
Business Card Holder
You make the basic structure of a business card holder in separate sections which get fused together in the kiln. You can customise them to any look or preference, including the addition of names or business logos. This project does need some special materials, but they should be available at the shop or museum that has the kiln. You need a base glass, which is the form of the business card holder itself, and is the part that you fuse other pieces of glass to. The decorative pieces can be as random or as precise as you wish, and is limited only by your imagination or the needs of the person you're making it for.
Coral Reef Bowl
A coral reef bowl project takes several steps and is perfect if you have your own kiln. First, decide what size to make the bowl. This is easier if you have a stainless steel bowl in the kitchen to use as a mould. Cut strips of glass in a desired colour. The length of the strips depends on the size of the bowl. For instance a 9-inch bowl will need several 9-inch by 1/4-inch glass strips. Cross two of the pieces to identify the centre of the bowl. Add a few more strips in a design that looks like flattened coral. At this point, heat the glass on a kiln shelf. Once the glass has been fired once, let it cool to room temperature an add more glass pieces as needed. These pieces can be the same colour or a different one. Now put the glass piece on the mould in the kiln and fuse it. Once it is cool, it is ready to clean and use.