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Aluminum as an Inclusion


This is part two of a series on using aluminum as an inclusion in glass.  Click here to go to part one.

Like most metals, different thickness of aluminum behave differently when fired in the kiln. 

When fully fused, thin pieces of aluminum (such as pieces cut from an aluminum soft drink can) leave a dense layer of dark brown bubbles with lighter (even golden) highlights.  Paint from the can burns off totally, leaving only the bubbles behind.

By contrast, fully fusing thinner pieces of aluminum (such as a single layer of household aluminum foil) leaves behind a scattering of small brown bubbles and silvery patches of metal, with broad areas of exposed glass.  

Inclusions made with more layers of foil, different sheet thicknesses, and other forms of aluminum (such as wire and screen) result in even more variations of color and density.  For instance, fully fusing small balls of aluminum will create a single gas bubble around each ball, with a scattering of dark patches as well.  And if the aluminum ball gets large enough, the bubble of gas can burst through the glass. 

As with many materials, experimentation is the order of the day.  Don't be afraid to try fully fusing different thickness and types of aluminum.  Just be careful not to use metal that's so thick it will crack the glass.

Click here for more on firing aluminum in the kiln.


Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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

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