Making Fused Glass
Pattern Bars



Fused glass pattern bars can be made by fusing together a stack of fusing glass strips in a glass kiln or by using a pot melt to drop the glass into a pattern bar mold.

The completed bar  then sliced into strips on a tile saw, trim saw or glass saw for use in other glass fusing projects.

For best results a blade designed for glass cutting should be used as normal tile saw blades will chip and may break parts of the slices.

FUSING DAMS

A popular method for fusing glass pattern bars is to create a dam inside the glass fusing kiln to hold a stack of glass strips during fusing.

Dams can be square or oblong and are usually made from a refractory material strong enough to hold the weight of the glass and prevent it moving outward during the fusing process.

Ready made dam strips can be purchased or made from old cut up kiln shelves.





Once a color combination and design is decided upon, the strips are cut and placed in the dam, which may be up to 2" high and about an inch wide.

FIBER PAPER

Fiber paper 1/8" or 1/16" thick is used to line the inside of the dam; neither kiln wash or thinfire paper are suitable for this process.

Fiber paper should be cut about 1/8" shorter than the height of the glass as the glass will sink down past the top of the paper, this is done to minimize any needling that may occur on the top edge.

If desired multiple stacks off fusing glass can be stacked inside a dam, separated by fiber paper. In this way, different patterns can be made at the same time.

The kiln shelf can be coated with either kiln wash or a piece of fiber paper.

POT MELTS

Pot melts may be suspended over a dam or mold and the glass melted, the result will be very different to the glass strip method.

It is possible to buy a variety of different shaped ceramic molds suitable for glass pattern bars. Molds may be triangular, half circle, oblong or ceramic tubes which can be filled with glass.

A ceramic mold was used for one of the bars in the following photos.

fusing glass pattern bar fused glass pattern bar slices glass fused pattern bar strips
Glass pattern bar fused in a ceramic mold . Glass slices cut from a fused pattern bar. Fused glass pattern bar made in a small dam.

GLASS SLICES

The small slices were cut cross ways from a block, which was fused, in a small dam that was about 11/4" inches high x 1 inch wide x 4 inches long.

The long strips are produced by slicing the pattern bar length ways; the bar has to be constructed specially to produce this effect.

This photo is a cross section of glass strips used to make the bar, this is repeated for the full length including the spaces shown in the middle of the glass pieces.

The bar was fused in a ceramic mold, however a dam can be used to produce the length and width desired.

Fusing method developed by glass artist Brock Craig.

Triangular, round, square or oblong stainless steel pattern bar molds are available. Some of these molds are designed for use with pot melts.

FUSING

There is no set firing schedule for strip pattern bars, for a bar about 11/4 inches square the following schedule could be used.

400° F (222° C) to 1100° F (593° C) hold 20 min.

400° F (222° C) to 1500° F (816° C) hold 20 min.

Adjust hold time and temperature if needed

AFAP to 900° F (482° C), hold 4 hours

100° F (56° C) to 750° F, (399° C) no hold

Turn kiln off and allow to cool completely before removing pattern bar.

Cut pattern bar slices should be placed in water container with detergent until ready to use in a fusing project.

This will prevent debris from the cutting process becoming hard and leaving marks during fusing.

When ready to use clean with toothbrush.

Some coldworking may be needed to finish each slice prior to fusing.



Return From Glass Pattern Bars To The Glassworks
Return To Home Page