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Fused Glass

Fused glass techniques are generally used to create Art glass, glass tiles, and jewellery, notably beads. Slumping techniques allow the creation of larger, functional pieces like dishes, bowls, plates, and ashtrays. Producing functional pieces generally requires 2 or more separate firings, one to fuse the glass and a second slump it to shape.


Since the 1970s, more hobbyists have focused on using kiln-fused glass to make beads and components for jewellery. This has become especially popular since the introduction of glass manufactured for the specific purpose of fusing.

History

While the precise origins of glass fusing techniques are not known with certainty, there is archeological evidence that the Egyptians were familiar with techniques ca. 2000 BCE.[1] Although this date is generally accepted by researchers, some historians argue that the earliest fusing techniques were first developed by the Romans, who were much more prolific glassworkers.[2] Fusing was the primary method of making small glass objects for approximately 2,000 years, until the development of the glass blowpipe. Glassblowing largely supplanted fusing due to its greater efficiency and utility.

While glass working in general enjoyed a revival during the Renaissance, fusing was largely ignored during this period. Fusing began to regain popularity in the early part of the 20th century, particularly in the U.S. during the 1960s. Modern glass fusing is a widespread hobby but the technique is also gaining popularity in the world of fine art.