Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Caged Glass Gem Statement Necklace

As many of you know about 3 years ago I started experimenting with a microwave glass kiln from Fuseworks.  Since then it has not left my kitchen counter because I use it almost daily.  From the very beginning I've logged my experiments with fusing glass and when I started to write 
The Big Ass Book of Bling, I decided that there was definitely going to be an entire chapter on fusing glass and creating jewelry with it.  This is one of my favorite pieces from the book and it was the first piece I created for the book when I started to write it.  This piece would look stunning with almost anything from a t-shirt to simple black dress.
Caged Glass Gems 

Various glass marbles, seed beads, pebbles 
White school glue
Aluminum flashing
Tin shears with serrated edges
18 gage wire
Hammer and large nail
Black acrylic paint and rag
Large jump rings
Lobster claw
Silver chain
Needle nose pliers
You'll need to create your glass gems with your Fuseworks Microwave Kiln.  I take decorative glass pieces that were created by the same manufacturer and fuse them together.  Often you can find bags of small glass pieces at the dollar store in different colors that will work well together.  It's really important to make sure that the pieces are from the same manufacturer because they will have the same COE, which is how quickly the glass will cool.  If your glass pieces do not have the same COE then your glass gems will crack as they cool.  
1.     Lay fuse paper on the bottom of your glass kiln.
2.  Glue your pieces together with a tiny bit of Elmer's Glue.
3.  Place the base with your glass pieces in the microwave.
4.  Once it's in place, carefully place the lid on the kiln.
5.  Microwave your glass for about 4 minutes on high. 
6.  Use your cotton gloves and carefully lift the lid to see if your glass has fused.  If it hasn't you
may need to let it fuse for another minute or two.  Experiment! 
7.  Let your glass gem cool for at least 20 minutes!  
Follow all of the instructions that come with the kiln!
Once you've created your gems, you will cut oval pieces out of aluminum flashing.  You can get this at almost any hardware store.  You'll want to use tin shears with a serrated edge blades.
These will cut the tin so that it's not sharp around the edges.
Hammer it on a piece of scrap wood.  Not your counter tops!  This will give your metal a nice texture.
Rub with acrylic paint. I like metallic Lumiere paint in pewter but you could use black.
It's up to you.
Place your gem on the oval and mark holes all the way around it and on the top and bottom of the oval.
Tap holes around your gem on the oval using a large nail on your scrap wood.
The top and bottom holes will be for connecting the pieces together with jump rings later.
Turn the oval over and tap down the sharp edges.
Take about 10 inches of 20 gage wire and wrap the gem in place by threading
the wire through the holes.
Twist the wire on the back to keep it in place.
Connect the pieces with jump rings to create your design.
Add chain and closure to the back of the choker.
Statement piece!
For 150 more projects and an entire chapter on the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln and fused glass jewelry, grab a copy of 

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