Who knew fused glass would require so much math?

I've had a funny relationship with math my whole life.  I loved it as a kid and through high school.  I even considered majoring in math -- that is, until I got to college calculus and math went beyond 3 dimensions.  I quickly detoured to liberal arts, then law, then art, thinking my math days were behind me.

But then came fused glass.  Not only do you have to make calculations to figure out how much heat you need depending on the mass of glass you are firing, but you also need to do a lot of basic arithmetic in cutting glass to fit your design.  Here's an example.

I created a couple of pieces I thought would be a great accent in a sculpture.  I selected the mold I wanted to use - a large S-curve -  and measured its dimensions.  I cut a piece of paper to those dimensions and laid the accent pieces in where I wanted them, tracing around them (the blank rectangles in the photo below).  

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The next step was to cut rectangles to fit in with the accent pieces.  I had two goals:  to cut the fewest pieces of glass possible, and to cut different configurations for each of the two layers, so the glass would overlap the seams, making them less visible.

Note my paper with measurements close at hand while I was cutting:

 I laid the cut pieces in on my diagram to make sure they fit.

I laid the cut pieces in on my diagram to make sure they fit.

 After cutting all the pieces, I laid the first layer out in the kiln.

After cutting all the pieces, I laid the first layer out in the kiln.

 A couple pieces were slightly off (I mis-measured) but I decided to not to worry about it, since I could trim any irregular edges on the tile saw after fusing.  Next, I cut all the pieces for the second layer and laid them out:

A couple pieces were slightly off (I mis-measured) but I decided to not to worry about it, since I could trim any irregular edges on the tile saw after fusing.

Next, I cut all the pieces for the second layer and laid them out:

 You can see the overlapping of some of the pieces to minimize the seams (although I didn't eliminate the long vertical seam, as that would have required a lot more pieces).   

You can see the overlapping of some of the pieces to minimize the seams (although I didn't eliminate the long vertical seam, as that would have required a lot more pieces).

 

 After fusing, the seams are barely visible.  As expected, the edges are a bit irregular, so I trimmed and fire polished.    Here's the pieces after fire-polishing and ready to slump:

After fusing, the seams are barely visible.  As expected, the edges are a bit irregular, so I trimmed and fire polished.  

Here's the pieces after fire-polishing and ready to slump:

 And here it is after slumping:

And here it is after slumping:

 It was worth the math!

It was worth the math!

A new website

Greetings, and thanks for visiting RosaModerna.com.  I've been wanting to create a website for my glass and jewelry, in addition to my painting website at www.rosehagan.com, but coding isn't my strong suit.  Thanks to Squarespace, who make it easy to set up a website, I now have this site devoted to fused glass and jewelry.

For the moment, my work is available for purchase from my studio, at my Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/RosaModerna), and at Serendipity Gallery in St. Louis.  Soon, you'll be able to purchase items directly from this site.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at rose.hagan@gmail.com.

 

Thanks!

Rose