Fused Glass Garden Stake

by Shelly Gillmann
(Issaquah, WA)

I realize this is a stained glass site, but I saw somewhere that you once taught glass fusing(?). I need to come up with a plan for making about 25 small fused glass flowers (maybe 4" in diameter?). I'm picturing a small stake for the garden or indoor pot, but I'm not certain about the best way to construct it. I'm one of 2 volunteer "art docents" for my daughter's 5th grade class. Our school is fortunate to have a fairly new kiln; we get to do fused glass for one of our projects! My class art docent partner and I are thinking Mother's Day Flowers. Although the kids won't be doing their "glass lesson" until the spring, all the school art docents need to pick and cut their glass next week. So, unfortunately, I don't really have time to experiment in advance. We're thinking we will cut a bunch of straight-edged petals in a handful of color choices. We're thinking that we can design the center of the flower to include a stake of some sort. Imbed a length of copper wire? I do not have a lot of hand strength, so maybe a U-shaped length of copper wire twisted together (with my wire twisting pliers)? Maybe there's some hardware something where we could imbed a screw of some sort and then screw it in a metal tube after? Or just a fused glass strip for the stake/stem (although we are not allocated a ton of glass per student for these projects). While we'd prefer the finished product to have a stake, we are not against the making a suncatcher. But, again, we need to plan for incorporating the hardware/findings. What I'm asking here is for any feedback or input any of you might have. Thanks in advance!


Answer

I'd go with the suncatcher. It would be easier and quicker to make. You can use twisted copper wire to hang it. Twist the wire and form it into a U shape. Squeeze the open ends in a bit. That will give it a better hold in the glass

Lay the wire on the suncatcher wherever you want the hanger located. Leave the curved part of the U sticking out. Place another piece of glass over the remainder of the U. As the glass heats up, the small piece of glass will flow around the wire and fuse into the suncatcher, thus attaching the wire to the glass.

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