Authorized Distributor

Free Shipping On All Orders

Please Read Our COVID-19 Update

Glass Fusing 101: Supplies, Tools and Equipment You Need

glass fusing equipment

Glass fusing is a beautiful form of art that can be easily made by anyone. There are so many glass fusing techniques that your level of expertise does not matter. If you get into it, there will always be room for improvement and you’ll never get bored.

Depending on the kind of techniques and items you want to make, the glass fusing supplies and equipment you’ll need will vary greatly. For example, if you are a beginner and this is your first time fusing glass, a kiln and fusible glass is all you need to get started.

If you are looking to get more creative, you will probably need different types of glass and fusing molds. If you want to go full on and become a glass fusing artist, you can then purchase the full set of glass fusing tools that include different kinds of fusing glasses, accessories for the kiln, paints, molds, adhesives, cutters, breakers, and many more.

In this article, we’ll tell you everything about the basic tools, materials and equipment used for glass fusing and we’ll help you decide what glass fusing kit to get depending on your goals.

 

Glass fusing supplies: list of common tools, materials and equipment

Fusible glass

Fusible glass comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Here’s the main kinds of fusible glass and some factors you need to consider before buying them.

  • Fusible sheet glass is the easiest kind of glass to work with as it can be easily cut into many different shapes or used as the base of a piece. It comes in many different colors from opaque black to clear, transparent glass.
  • Stringers are threads of glass that look like spaghetti. They are commonly used to create straight lines. They are not normally used by themselves but together with other elements, like on top of sheet glass that’s used as a base or background, for example.
  • Confetti glass are very thin pieces of glass that literally look like confetti. They usually come in bags or packages that contain random-sized pieces of glass in many different colors.
  • Millefiori glass are small, round pieces of glass with floral patterns. These pieces are usually used for decoration, but they can be used to create full pieces of art by fusing a bunch of them together.

These 4 types of fusible glass are the most common ones. However, you can find fusing glass in literally any color and size, from the big sheets mentioned above to powdered glass and anything in between.

 

Glass thickness

When it comes to thickness, most fusible glass is either 2, 3 or 6 millimeters thick. The reason is that when glass is fused, it will always end up being 6 millimeters thick. So depending on the technique you use, you may or may not want to use glass that is thick to begin with.

For example, if you will work with 3 layers of glass, you’ll get the best results if you use 3 layers of 2 millimeters as the glass won’t change its shape much when melted. If your piece is thinner than 6 millimeter, it will shrink, and if it’s thicker, it will expand.

Another characteristic you need to keep in mind about fusible glass is compatibility. There are many kinds of glass depending on their chemical composition and they melt at different temperatures; this is known as Coefficient of Expansion (CoE). If you are working with two different kinds of glass, you need to make sure they have the same CoE, otherwise your pieces won’t fuse properly. The best way to do this is by buying all the glass used in a piece from the same provider.

 

Glass fusing kilns

evenheat glass kiln

You absolutely need a kiln to fuse glass, and there are basically two ways you can go about this. You can get a small microwave kiln that you can use to fuse tiny glass art in any microwave oven, or you can get an electric kiln.

Microwave kilns are usually made out of silicon carbide, have a chamber of up to 6 inches of diameter and tend to work quite well. In a matter of about 10 minutes, most of them are able to fuse small pieces of glass just like a regular kiln does. This is the cheapest option and it’s recommended for those who are just planning on fusing very small pieces of glass in small quantities at a time.

For those who need more space and are planning on fusing glass on a regular basis either as a hobby or professionally, an electric glass kiln is by far the best option.

We have written a comprehensive guide on how to choose the best kilns for glass fusing, in which we explain in more details all factors you need to consider before buying one and a list of recommended kilns depending on what technique you’ll use.

To summarize, electric glass fusing kilns come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They can cost as low as US$300 or as much as US$16K. There are plenty of options to choose from depending on their size, capacity, voltage, maximum temperature, heat distribution requirements, controller types and many other characteristics that you might need.

Additionally, depending on the kind of kiln you get and the fusing techniques you’ll use, you might want to get kiln accessories such as kiln shelves, posts and bricks. They make the fusing process more efficient by helping you arrange the pieces inside the oven either to fit as many as possible in a single batch or to achieve certain looks with the help of gravity.

Check out our full guide for more details about glass fusing kilns and kilns accessories.

 

Other glass fusing equipment and tools

glass window

As stated before, all you need to fuse glass is fusible glass and a kiln. However, there are endless tools that you can use in the fusing process that help you shape the glass, achieve certain textures or colors, or simply decorate your item once it’s fused. The most common glass fusing supplies and tools include:

  • Glass molds: Fusing glass with the help of ceramic molds is not super easy and it requires some practice and knowledge, especially if you want to achieve a specific color distribution throughout the piece. When glass artists work with molds, they commonly use either crushed or powdered glass in different colors.
  • Adhesives: Adhesives are liquids you can apply on top of pieces of glass to make crushed or powdered glass stick to their surfaces. It acts like a kind of glue and it helps you place glass on a specific position or shape to be fused afterwards.
  • Glass cutters and breakers: Glass cutters help you, well, cut the glass. Cutting glass it’s not as easy as cutting paper, so you will also need a glass breaker to get the job done. The glass cutter scores a line of the piece of glass that needs to be snapped with the cutter so it can actually break into two pieces; it’s a two-step process.
  • Safety gear: Safety comes first. Working with materials that will get hotter than 1,000 degrees fahrenheit can be pretty dangerous if they are not handled properly. We advise you to get a pair of hot gloves and safety glasses to use every time you take your art in and out the kiln. They are not expensive at all and you can easily find them online or in any art supply or home improvement store.

 

Conclusion

By creating your very own glass fusing kit with the glass fusing supplies and equipment mentioned in this article, you are all set to start creating beautiful and creative glass art. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have further questions about glass fusing supplies or our kilns before you start your glass fusing journey.

★ Verified Reviews

Let customers speak for us

280 reviews
95%
(266)
5%
(14)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
Great Customer Service!
Excellent!
The Soul Ceramic staff is great
Great service, even better kiln
Great product