Bedazzled Earrings: A Microwave Fusing Project

How-To
By: Rita Levine

Skill Level: 2 (Adult 1-5: 1 being the easiest, 5 being most difficult)

Time to Complete: 45 Minutes

Materials:

  • Fuseworks Kiln
  • Fuseworks Kiln Paper
  • Fuseworks Glass Cutter
  • Wheeled Glass Nippers
  • Ruler
  • Westrim pearl assortment
  • Sterling Silver Plated Square Cabochon Mini Links - Delphi 85435
  • 2 hat pins
  • Earring wires
  • Scrap fusing glass 90 COE
  • Chain-nose pliers
  • Round-nose pliers
  • Instructions:

    1. Place white glass on a clean flat cutting surface with the smooth side of the glass facing towards you.

    2. Start on an edge of the glass holding the cutter firmly in one hand. Keep the cutter perpendicular to the glass. Push the cutter gently and evenly across the glass. Decrease pressure slightly as you reach the opposite edge of the glass; lift the cutter off the glass at the end.

    3. Breaking the score line can be done with breaking pliers. Hold the glass in one hand, with the score facing up. With the other hand, center the score line in the jaws of the breaking pliers about a half inch onto the glass surface. Apply pressure to the handles; you will hear a “pop” and the score will run, breaking the glass into two pieces.

    4. Cut two 1/2” x 1/2” square from the white glass.

    5. Next, choose a desired Dichroic glass color, this project uses Dichroic Spiral Violet and Dichroic Green and nip 2 pieces from each color using a wheeled glass nippers. Dichroic pieces can be random in shape but two must fit on the 1/2” x 1/2” surface of the white glass.

    6. After cutting glass to the desired shape, clean and dry with a lint-free cloth. If using fusing glue to hold your glass project in place, make sure the glue is completely dry before firing.

    7. Cut a square of kiln paper to fit the base of the Fuseworks™ Microwave Kiln. Place paper on the kiln base.

    8. Place the 1/2” white squares on top of kiln paper and arrange the Dichroic bits on top as desired.

    9. Carefully place kiln base with glass in the center of microwave oven. Place lid on top of the base. If using fusing glue to hold the Dichroic bits in place make sure the glue has dried thoroughly before fusing.

    10. To achieve a tack fuse, use a 1200 WATT microwave and set temperature at 80% power for 2 minutes, then on high for 30 seconds. PLEASE NOTE: Every microwave oven and kiln will vary. If using a microwave with a lower wattage keep the time consistent but increase the power.

    11. When microwave time has expired, use heat resistant gloves or mitts to carefully open the lid. Glass should be slightly rounded but still maintain it shape and integrity. If the glass is notfused to your liking, return kiln lid and microwave at 20 second intervals until piece is fused. Do not leave the lid off the kiln for an extended period of time during this stage. Never touch the glass. HOT TIP! HOT glass looks like COLD glass, BE CAREFUL!

    12. When desired results have been achieved, using heat resistant gloves, remove the kiln from the microwave oven. Set on a heat resistant work surface and allow to cool for 30-45 minutes. Do not remove lid at this time. Removing the lid may cause your glass to crack.

    13. Once the glass has cooled completely, remove the fiber paper from the back of the fused project by rubbing the surface with a wet paper towel or cleaning the project under warm water.

    14. Use E6000 glue and adhere each piece of glass to the front the silver plated square cabochon mini links, allow drying.

    15. While the glue dries, thread pearls onto a head pin. Using a chain-nose pliers, bend wire over the pliers to a 90 degree angle. Next, grasp the head pin with a round-nose pliers, pull the wire up and over the top of the round nose pliers to form a full loop. Nip the long end of the wire with a wire nipper to form a loop. Open the loop and thread one end of the Cabochon on to the loop and press to close.

    16. Attach the earring wires to the top of the cabochon using this same method.

    17. Enjoy!

    Project Tips:

     

    • A great way to use up your scrap glass.
    • Do NOT use a self-lubricating style cutter with oil while cutting glass. Oil of any kind on the surface of the glass may mar your glass or cause breakage when fired.
    • Always read and follow kiln safety instructions.
    • Always wear safety glass when working with glass crafting tools.
    • Fusing glue 1 drop of Elmer’s School Glue to 3 drops water, mix thoroughly.

    This project designed by Rita Levine of Diamond Tech for Fired Arts and Crafts Magazine

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    ABOUT ME
    Rita Levine

    Rita Levine

    Rita has been surrounded by arts and crafts her entire life. Is it any wonder that she is now employed by Diamond Tech, one of the largest manufacturers of art glass, mosaic and hot glass crafting products? Rita says most of her inspiration comes from her mother. Her mother's handiwork could be seen in the kitchen where Rita watched her stir up imaginative dishes for her hungry family of nine and in the sewing room where she magically turned feed-sacks into adorable sundresses for her daughters. "So, I would say my genius and inspiration comes from dear ol' Mom," Rita said. Since graduating from the University of Cincinnati, Rita's art career has centered on paper, pencil and computers. However that all changed when she became employed by Diamond Tech. During her tenure, she was introduced to and fell in love with glass and mosaics, a love affair or obsession that continues today.  This obsession has lead Rita to edit and co-author twelve glass crafting books, produce a video on glass beadmaking and provide handmade mosaic projects to several well-known magazines. "In my opinion, glass crafting is an unsung art and I am here to sing its praises. I believe the more one learns about stained glass, mosaics, fusing and glass beadmaking the more one wants to learn MORE!" For 20 years Rita has lived in sunny Tampa, FL. "I have lovely daughter who enjoys mosaics, not necessarily with me - teenagers. Often times we find ourselves at garage sales looking at tables chairs, clocks and saying to each other, 'we can mosaic that!' I'm telling you it's addictive."