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Making Your Own Glass Frit

Frit is nothing more than small pieces of glass. Generally, it is sorted by size and used in a variety of ways, the most common of which are kiln casting, pate de verre, or as a design element on sheet glass.

The easiest way to obtain your own frit is to buy it. Tested compatible frit is available from both Bullseye and Uroboros. It comes in a number of different sizes, ranging from powder to chunks as large as 1/4" (6 mm).

An alternative to buying frit is to make your own. This can be done in many different ways, the most common of which are described below.

Using a hammer

For this approach, place the glass to be used between several pieces of newspaper (or a plastic bag) and strike with a hammer until the pieces reach the desired size. This method is crude but effective. Make sure you wear eye protection. It's also always a good idea to wear a mask or respirator any time you're around small airborne particles of glass dust. Breathing in silica dust can be hazardous to your health. 

Tack fusing

Place the glass in the kiln. One arrangement that works well is to heap smaller chips of glass on a larger sheet. Heat until the glass tack fuses - around 1400 degrees F. Once the glass has fused, turn off the kiln, remove the glass (use gloves and tongs - steel fireplace tongs work well), and drop immediately into a bucket about 2/3 full of cold water. The shock will crack the glass into many small pieces. Glass broken this way will be in relatively large chunks. If you want finer pieces, you can use the hammer technique described above to break it down some more. You can also achieve a different effect by heating to a lower temperature.

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Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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Four Corners International, Inc.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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