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Mixing Green Beans with Brown

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


This article is one of a series that looks at glass fusing and slumping from a slightly off-center perspective.  Click here if you'd like to read "The Creative Can of Beans", the first article in the series.

You're a glass artist.  And as a glass artist, you have one thing in common with every other glass artist in the world.  No, it's not a love a glass or an appreciation for a material that shimmers in the light.  It's not a desire to bring beauty to the world or to share your vision with others.  It's not even a painstaking skill you've developed over years of effort.

It's something else you've developed over all those years.  It's all those piles of glass scraps.

You know what I'm talking about.  Every time you make something in glass, you have all these pieces left over.  And they're too precious, too damned expensive, to throw away.  So, like a thousand thousand glass artists the world over, you save the scraps.

You toss them into bins.  You lay them gently into boxes.  You fill buckets until they overflow, scraps sliding across the floor.  You get energized and sort them by color, get overwhelmed and just toss them anywhere.

Anywhere but the trash.  If there's one thing that glass artists everywhere have in common, it's that you never throw away glass.  You save it. 

One of the attractions of fusing it that it promises the opportunity to use all of those scraps.  Just think how wonderful it would be to fuse them all together to make a beautiful multi-colored bowl or wall panel. 

So that's what you do.  Well, at least that's what I did.  Long ago, when I first started fusing, I took a pile of scraps from my old stained glass days and popped them in the kiln to see what would happen.  My idea was like making three bean salad, only with more than three beans and with more colors than just green and brown.  I wanted fat white beans, skinny green ones, speckled beans, and rainbow beans, too, all beautifully mixed together in the heat of my shiny new kiln.

You know what happened.  Well, maybe you don't.


To find out what happened, check here for part two of this article.


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.  It has also been published in Common Ground: Glass, the newsletter of the International Guild of Glass Artists

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