Beginner’s Glass Fusing ; Recycled Glass Dichroic Earrings

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How to make dichroic glass with microwave kiln

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I have had a microwave kiln kit by Fuseworks for at least a year, and have finally gotten around to experimenting with glass fusing for the first time.  This pair of earrings showcase the very first attempt using the kiln!  I love them.  For so many reasons, I love them.  First, fusing in your microwave is super easy and fun.  It takes like 3 minutes for the glass to turn all glowy and molten.  So awesome.  Secondly, you can use recycled glass and you all know how all about repurposing and eco-crafts I am, right?  Once you invest in the kiln, you can break old bottles for your base, and purchase dichroic, fusible glass for not too high a price.  Especially considering how beautiful it makes the pieces.  I got sheets of it at Hobby Lobby for $4.99, and can get at least 10 fused glass focal beads out of that.


How to fuse glass in microwave tutorial

SUPPLIES:

Fuseworks Microwave Kiln Tutorial

I got my Beginner’s fusing kit at Hobby Lobby.  It is cheaper on Amazon; Fuseworks Beginner’s Fusing Kit

Broken beer or wine bottles in colors of your choice

Dichroic and other fusible glass

Glass cutter

Running Pliers

Flush Wire Cutters

Round nose pliers

flat nose pliers

Antiqued Copper Wire 20 Gauge

Bead Landing Jig to make earring findings – you can make them your own way or buy them made, but I love this jig and it saves money to make my own!

TUTORIAL:

Kiln with glass bead layers

I used very imperfect rectangles of wine bottle shards, one slightly larger than the other, and a piece of transparent dichroic glass that came in my Fuseworks kit.  Per the instructions that came with the kit, I placed the include fusing paper on the kiln, then stacked my glass layers on top of that.  It is easiest to do this in the microwave because moving the kiln will cause your pieces to go all over the place and it gets really annoying.  Put it in place in the microwave, then start layering your glass.

The larger green piece went first on top of the kiln paper.  Next the smaller, then the even smaller dichroic shard, with the foil side face down.  The kiln is small, but I did both of my earrings at the same time (not shown in pic).

Microwave kiln for glass fusing tutorial

Place kiln lid and turn on microwave for 2 minutes at first to begin fusing.  Check after two minutes, making sure to wear gloves, by lifting lid.  If your piece is uniformly glowing orange and the edges are rounded and fused together, you are done, but that is unlikely at 2 minutes.  I kept going for 30 second intervals.  The first attempt fused in 4 minutes.  Then remove the kiln from microwave (without removing lid, which can cause rapid cooling and cracking of the glass) and place on heat resistant surface.  I put mine on my stove burner.

Let cool for at least 30 min before removing lid!  Don’t touch glass for 45 min, and even then, be careful!  You can’t tell if it is hot by looking at it.

DIY Dichroic glass jewelry begginers glass fusing

 I left my pieces alone overnight while I decided what to do with them.  Then I wire wrapped them like I showed you in this Bail free, glue free way to hang pendants tutorial.  Or you can glue on a bail.  Those came in the kit too!

I am addicted!  I have had a couple of fails, but mostly just fun creating with a new technique, resulting in beautiful fused glass creations!  I hope you love this medium as much as I do.  Have you tried it before?  Any tips you want to share?

Comments

  1. Holy COW!!!! A microwave kiln, REALLY!!! The possibilities are endless, and your earrings are out of this world! They are elegant and artsy! Amazing work!!!! Thank you!

  2. Awesome…I didn’t know anything like this was available. The earrings are beautiful by the way.

  3. I got one of these for Christmas and was very excited to try it but it says you can only use it in an all metal microwave. That made me sad. In your picture though, it looks like your microwave is not metal. Did you have any problems with it?

  4. Hobby Lobby Really?

  5. Don’t shop at Hobby Lobby.

  6. Wow i like what you can make in an ordinary microwave. Very creative! Where did you buy your kiln?

  7. Oohh i see the kiln comes in the kit…nice

  8. I do not recommend mix bottle and dichroic glass for fusing. They have different COE. You will get cracks once they fused together.

  9. Beautiful earrings! I need to learn how to do the wire wrap. I have the same kiln, I have been lucky a handful of times mixing different COE glasses together but I’ve mostly experienced the cracking about 1 minute 15 seconds into fusing, it’s really a bummer when it happens. You might have been lucky to find out that wine and beer bottles work, I’ve personally not tried this, but you can bet I’m going to! Thanks!

  10. Cheryl Chivers says:

    I actually bought one of these kilns through Walmart on-line. Shipping is free. Can’t wait to try this out. The kiln comes with glass, gloves, kiln paper and directions. But your directions are better. Thanks so much.

Trackbacks

  1. […] these fused dichroic glass pieces can be made in your microwave in 3 minutes?  I showed you these fused glass dichroic wire wrapped earrings a few weeks back, and I have pretty much been at it ever since.  I have upgraded to an electric […]

  2. […] I showed you my first microwave kiln project here: […]

  3. […] your bottles, one at a time in your microwave kiln.  I showed you how to use that here: DIY Wine Bottle Earrings. You can also use a regular kiln if you have that. Let them cool to room temperature before […]

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