You can create a fused design in glass and then glue on a bail to transform the glass into a unique pendant. Or, fuse the glass and then set it in a frame of metal clay to create a truly one-of-a-kind look.
Note: Metal clay and glass are perfect pairs but, when joining them, they need to be fired in a standard kiln with a controller.
Following manufacturer's instructions, create kiln wash using glass separator provided with the kiln. Using a 1-inch brush, apply 3-4 layers of kiln wash to the base of the microwave kiln or to a kiln shelf.
Allow the kiln wash to dry completely between layers and have the last layer be completely dry before using in the microwave. You can use a hairdryer to expedite the drying time.
The base of the pendant shown uses a piece of glass right out of the container. You can alter the shape using the glass cutter if you'd like. Use glass nippers to cut stringers into pieces that will fit the base piece of glass. Wear safety glasses when cutting glass.
Clean all pieces of glass with soap and water. Dry the pieces and only touch them from the sides so you do not leave any oil on the glass. Traces of oil will cause unwanted changes to the glass in the fusing process.
Using tweezers, assemble the design either within the microwave kiln or on a kiln shelf already in place within the kiln.
Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the glass in the microwave kiln or in a standard kiln. Once cooled, rinse with soap and water.
Metal Clay Frame
Lightly oil your hands, work surface, roller and the tip of a craft knife or beading awl. Roll out 25 grams of clay to 4 playing cards (1mm) thick, rolling the clay to a shape that will work for the shape of your glass.
Lay the glass on top of the rolled out clay. Cut around the glass to create the opening in the frame.
Remove the glass and the excess clay. Wrap the excess clay up in plastic cling wrap and add a spritz or two of water if needed. Cut the outside edge of the frame to suit your design.
Using a clean towel, wipe off your work surface so it is free of debris and oils. Press the remaining clay into a log. Using the snake roller, roll out the log to create a nice long rope.
Note: You want the clay to be moist so the surface does not crack when rolling, but if the clay is too damp it will want to stick to the tool and the work surface. If needed, put a little bit of oil onto your fingers then squeeze the clay between your fingers to help work the moisture in, then roll the clay out.
Place the glass into the opening to maintain the shape of the clay. Lay the rope against the edge of the frame, working it around the corners and the shape you have created.
Note: If there are a lot of curves, bend the rope slowly, giving it time to adjust to the change. Metal clay is dense and likes to be straight, so be kind to it and it will reward you; if you force the clay it will shear off.
Using the paintbrush, apply water between the two layers of clay then use your fingers or a clay tool to apply pressure, joining the frame and the rope together.
Work carefully so you don't affect the nice shape of the rope.
Press a fine-silver upeye finding into the rope where you want the pendant to hang from. Allow the clay to dry completely.
Using clay paste, fill in the space between the rope and the frame on the back side of the frame. If the space is large, you can use fresh clay instead of paste to expedite the filling process. Smooth the clay to blend the rope and the frame together. Depending on the placement of the upeye, you may find it is partially exposed; if needed, apply clay to cover it. Allow the clay to dry completely.
Using progressive grits of polishing papers working from lowest to highest, refine the surface of the pendant. Use clay paste to fill in any gaps or imperfections. Allow to dry.
Check the fit of the opening for the fused glass. The glass should fit in this space perfectly. As the clay shrinks in the firing phase, the glass will be "set" in place. Work carefully as the clay will be fragile at this stage.
Optional: Roll small balls of clay and allow to dry. Using tweezers, dip the dried ball of clay into a bit of paste then apply to the frame. Allow to dry. If needed, add a bit of paste to fill in any gaps.
Once you are happy with the finished frame, place the glass and the frame onto a kiln-washed kiln shelf. Fire the kiln with the following firing schedule:
Ramp speed: 1200-degrees F/hour; up to 1200-degrees F; hold for 45 minutes then allow to cool to room temperature without opening the kiln door.
Once the pendant has cooled to room temperature, remove from the kiln and with a steel wire brush, soap and water, brush the surface of the pendant. You can stop here or progress to a brighter shine using a steel or agate burnisher or by tumbling the pendant in a tumbler with steel shot and a dilute mixture of soap and water.
Optional: Use liver of sulfur to patina the pendant.
Optional Alternative Designs
This finished pendant shows the clay cut out to a funky shape that works with the finished shape of the fused glass.
This finished pendant is created using glass stringers from a glass mix.
The pieces featured in the Gallery of Designs are copyrighted designs and are provided for inspiration only. We
encourage you to substitute different colors, products and techniques to make the design your own.