Place: Glass Mosaics Canada
Location: 709 The Queensway, Etobicoke , Ontario, 647-977-3030
Hours: Mon: Closed, Tues & Wed: 12 – 7pm, Thurs & Fri: 12-8pm Sat: 11-6pm, Sub: 11-4pm
Another artsy workshop for me and this time it was fused glass jewelry. Fused glass is a new form of jewelry making that is no more than 20 years old. The instructors were giving us some back history and mentioned Murano Italy and immediately I thought of those glass charm beads on my Pandora bracelets that are made from Murano glass.
Fused glass has to be fired in a kiln from around 1000°F to 1500°F to simply melt the glass and therefore fuse it together. The glass you use for one piece must have the same COE (Coefficient of expansion) Canada uses basically one COE which I believe is 90 or 96. (There was so much information in this class) When the COE is the same you can expect all the glass to melt at the same time and rate and therefore prevent breaking and shattering as the glass cooled because they share the same COE.
The two techniques we used today were: stacked and overlay. Stacked involves layering thin pieces of glass on top of each other; but not stacking to high while leaving a minimum 1mm space between each piece of glass to allow each different colour to be seen. Overlay is laying pieces of glass flat beside each other and then placing a clear piece of glass bigger than the pieces below. When the clear glass melts it makes a nice cover or seal over the pieces or glass below and bonds them together.
Once again I found it hard to select the size and colours I wanted to use. The shapes for beginners were pretty much rectangular or square in nature yet it was still so hard to make my selections. After each of us laid out our designs we has to wash the glass to remove any dirt or debris, dry them and then place a little solvent in between each layer of glass to get them ready for firing. The third option we could try was a combination of the stacking and overlay techniques into one piece.
The studio also sells pendants, earrings and coasters. There are many classes offered here and I’d like to try them sometime. I went back a month later to pick up my jewelry and they turned out beautiful. The instructors affixed the pendant hooks for us and I can’t wait to wear my new pendants.