My "GG" (grandma), was a gifted glass artist. I learned many things from her, more than anyone can imagine.
She is a free Spirit now, but with me always, especially in my studio.
Playing with glass was my favorite pasttime with her, and she'd been fusing glass WAYYYYYYYYYY back in the day, before there were "rules".
Anyhow...whenever I had a great idea that I wasn't *quite* sure about, I'd run it past her. And do you know what she would tell me?
"It's your glass. It's your kiln. You won't hurt either of them. Go ahead and try it and we'll see what happens"
SO...don't be chicken. Experiment. Try it out. Take a chance. Waste some time. Get creative. Play. Don't ask first, because someone will just say "OMG NO, you can't DO that!" All of these *rules* cause everything to look exactly like everything else. Fusing is MUCH more than sandwiching a piece of dicro between 2 pieces of glass. Don't listen to the nay-sayers.
Do it anyhow, and see. I hear my GG's words every time I go to my studio.
If you have followed this advice, I'd love to see some of your unique, crazy stuff.
It's lovely! That's a tack fuse, a verrrrrrrry short tack fuse that you have, there. Had you fused it just a TEENY bit longer, your edges would have softened up.
Also, I highly recommend AGAINST the microwave kiln for a couple of reasons.
1. I can't imagine how on earth you could possibly correctly anneal anything in this type of kiln, resulting in poor quality glass, and
2. The workspace per fusing is sooo tiny, that you would outgrow it in a week. Serious.
My advice? Get a tabletop kiln, like a little Hotbox, check ebay or Delphiglass.com. They don't require a special outlet. See how you like fusing from home, ( you'll also need a small grinder, and glass cutter, and safety gear, along with other miscellaneous stuff)...but omg don't buy a microwave kiln.
Photojen: it was about 8 inches tall. *sob*....I kind of wish I hadn't taken it to the gallery.
Kappy: It's not a super difficult process, IF you do it correctly. The stars must align properly for all of the different things to happen in order, and, because you are a fuser...you know what I mean!
I've made a couple dozen of these now, and I'll pass some tips on to you...
I always fuse 2 circles together, full fuse, with the design on top, so, basically, it's like 2.5 layers. There's a big hullabaloo in the fusing community that you don't *have* to go with this step, but I prefer to, as I don't like having sharp edges to my work. I like it fluid.
Then...( and this is key )...suspend in your kiln using a drop ring mold and stilts, always have your kiln shelf washed very well, or use thinfire, and GOOOOOOOO SLOOOOOOOOOOOOW. slow slow slow. Peek, don't GAWK, frequently.
Soon, you'll notice a little "dip" in the middle, and, (no kidding)..within a very short time, it'll drop. Stop the fusing wherever you want it to stop, by flashing your kiln. Go directly to anneal, and wait patiently. (that's kinda hard )
Some like to have these suspended, I prefer to drop them to the bottom of my kiln, they are quite sturdy, and will stand freely without being very wobbly.
They also look absolutely darling on their side!
Make one, Kappy! I love your color choices...give it a try!
OH..yes, one thing. Remember this: (this is key )...the longer the drop, the MORE GLASS you need to use. Otherwise your drop will "rip"...the glass will be sooooooo thin that your piece will not be functional.
Let me know if you have more questions...hope I didn't bore you to death!