Using A Microwave to Fuse Your Dichroic Glass

Published: 06th May 2011
Views: N/A

To begin, you're going to need a few items. Here is a list of what you'll want to have on hand.

Surface & Embellishments:

  • Clear dichroic glass scrap pieces

  • Black silk cord

Tools & Supplies:

  • Kiln

  • Kiln paper

  • Dry-wheeled glass cutter

  • Runner pliers

  • Hot mitts

  • Wheeled nipper

  • Microwave oven

Okay, here's what you're going to want to do.

  1. Trace and cut out the pattern onto a page. Place the pattern under a sheet of clear glass, lining up edge of pattern with glass. use the nippers to cut little pieces of dichroic scrap to cover base heart.

  2. Use the glass cutter to cut along dotted line of pattern, and the running piers to break out glass pieces. Cut two of each pattern piece. (Tip: Glass may have rough edges, which will disappear after fusing.) Use lint-free damp cloth to clean glass. Fit each of the pieces for base of heart.

  3. Use the glass cutter or wheeled glass nipper to cut little random-sized pieces of dichroic scraps.

  4. Place clear glass on kiln paper in shape of heart as shown in diagram. Start fitting dichroic scrap bits and pieces on top of the clear piece until it is completely covered. (Tip: Try using a different base glass such as white, black or red.)

  5. Carefully set kiln base with glass inside microwave. Cover base and glass with kiln lid.

  6. Refer to the chart below for fusing times. (Tip: All microwave and kiln combinations have different firing patterns. Take careful notes and log all fusing times for future use.)

  7. After time is up, open microwave and use hot mitts to carefully life lid enough to inspect fusing process. Fuse longer, in 15 second intervals, until desired results are achieved. Use hot mitts to remove kiln from microwave and place on a heat-resistant surface. Let cool for at least 30 minutes with lid on. (Tip: Removing lid or peeking under lid during cooling process will cause glass to crack. Glass remains hot for a long time and should be handled with great caution.)

  8. Thread both cord ends through the heart shape and tie slip knot around it. Knot both ends.

  9. Dichroic glass art design tip from professional craftsperson.

    Dichroic glass may darken or loose its color if over fired. To prevent this, reduce power of microwaves exceeding 800 watts. For example, if fusing in a 1200 watt microwave, reduce power to 70% for first firing of 2 minutes. When finished, open microwave, and use hot mitts to carefully lift kiln lid enough to inspect fusing process. By doing so, you will release some heat from chamber, resulting in a reduction of temperature inside kiln. Return lid to base and continue with second firing at 100% or full power.

    Fusing Chart

    Watts Minutes Thickness of Glass
    800 3 to 4 1/4" (2 3/8" pieces)
    1100 2 at 70% + 1 1/2 at 100% 1/4" (2 3/8" pieces)
    1200 2 at 70% + 1 1/2 at 100% 1/4" (2 3/8" pieces)

    If you don't alread know, the best place to locate 90 & 96 COE dichroic glass for making dichroic jewelry, is the leading source of dichro - where you will find every color, pattern, and texture dichroic sheets, plus equipment, such as glass kilns and other tools.

Report this article Ask About This Article

More to Explore