Rainbow Glass Studios were featured on the Channel 4 TV series Kirstie’s Homemade Home, where Richard showed Kirstie how to make a fused glass bowl.
Glass fusing began around 5000 years ago. The art of fusing glass with metal dates back to ancient times. Egyptian faience ware was known to have been produced between 6 and 7 thousand years ago. (Faience is a term applied to Islamic and European tin-glazed earthenware). Egyptian glassware dating back to this time was made by mixing sand, lime and soda with copper (added as a colouring agent). The mixture was fused at an extremely high temperature to make a new piece of glass.
The earliest form of this glass was applied, as a thin layer, to a core made of sand and clay or stone. It was only later that glass could be manufactured in its pure form. At first items made were small and decorative, for example jewellery and figurines.
It seems that it wasn’t until between 3 and 4 thousand years ago that the Egyptians used glass to make vessels, bowls and vases. This technical advancement was probably due to Egyptian forces moving into the Middle East and making use of knowledge and techniques of local craftsmen captured and taken into slavery. At this time, the manufacture of Egyptian glass was almost certainly controlled by Egyptian royalty.
In modern times fusing glass was rediscovered in the USA in the 1960’s where developments led to compatible glass sheets being mass produced enabling small stained glass studios to make artistic decorative fused glass.
Displayed are just a few techniques that can be employed within a design. At Rainbow Glass Studios we can produce pieces measuring 2 meters x 1 meter. This can then be laminated to a toughened sheet of float glass for strength and safety or it can be coated with a durable varnish preventing shattering and also conforms to British Safety standards.
For any queries regarding these techniques please contact Richard Paton.