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Mixing Green Beans with Brown

Part Two of a Multi-Part Tutorial on Fusing and Compatibility

 

 

Click here to go to the first part of this article.

I spent hours (well, maybe fifteen minutes) artfully arranging my scraps in the kiln.  I made sure that every area was covered at least a couple of layers thick.  I fired the kiln carefully, peering through the peephole to make certain that all was well.  I watched the scraps melt down, fusing together, until the surface was shiny and smooth as cheese on top of a casserole.  Then, with the kiln still closed, I carefully allowed the glass to cool, not too fast, just like all the books say.  I kept one eye on the  kiln and and the other alert for stray dogs and children to shoo away.   

What happened was a disaster.  Instead of a colorful, smooth mixture, I got cracks.  I even heard a ping or two, and once a crack emerged while I held the cooled piece in my hands.  All my work, all for nothing.

It was as though my bean casserole was burnt.  Even worse, as though parts were burnt and parts were uncooked, and parts turned into something else altogether.  Inedible.  Worse than inedible, it was so ugly you couldn't serve it even if it were edible.

That's how I discovered glass incompatibility.

 

Take a moment to check out this wonderful example (and I mean wonderful in only the best sense) of glass incompatibility.  This is what happens if you fuse Bullseye and Spectrum glass together!  (And yes, those curved lines are cracks.)

Photo courtesy of glass artist Deb Compton.

Click here to go to the next part of this article, which talks about what compatibility is and how to test to make sure that two glasses can be fused together.

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Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

This article was originally written in 1999 and was one of a series that became the basis for the Warm Glass website.  A version of the article has also been published in Common Ground: Glass, the newsletter of the International Guild of Glass Artists

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