Fused Glass/Metal Experiments

I’ve been trying combining fused glass with various powdered metals and metal compounds to see what effect it has on the glass colour. I’ve been intentionally avoiding compounds which – when heated – might decompose into harmful byproducts (eg chlorine containing compounds).

I didn’t take photos of all the experiments prior to firing, but here are the three copper-based powder test pieces:

Results

Aluminium foil – turned transparent black and caused some bubbles within the glass. Looks kinda dirty really!

Bismuth Trioxide – no visible effect. Its not a traditional compound to use with glass, but I thought I’d give it a go anyway.

Copper Carbonate – glass has turned blue as well as generating large bubbles (Carbon Dioxide?).

Copper Oxide – glass has turned a slightly different shade of blue with smaller bubbles.

Copper Leaf and Fake Gold Leaf – both turned blue with some bubbles. Looks like the Fake Gold Leaf is mainly copper 🙂 (these two were too close together and fused into one)

Copper Powder – turned black (copper oxide?), but there is a slight blue tinge as well. Interesting dispersal pattern -that could look interesting on a larger area.

Copper Sheet (~0.5mm) – it was a bit dirty as its been lying around in the cupboard for years, but looks like it might go an interesting red colour.

Copper Wire and aluminium foil – The copper wire has gone much redder than it was. The aluminium foil makes it look a bit dirty though.

Iron III Oxide – hasn’t combined with the glass, but its left a nice red colour in there.

Iron Powder – this started off grey, but has turned black after firing (Iron II Oxide?).

PVC Glue – I tried just leaving some pvc glue in there to see if it distorted the glass or left a trace.. There is a very slight visible cloudiness.

Summary

Lots of useful things here that could be used to “paint” pictures within the glass. I’m a bit disappointed by the aluminium foil though.

I was using a paint brush and some of the various powder in distilled water. This was quite hard to apply consistently, which is most visible in the Iron III Oxide trial. In future, I’m thinking of using a “sifter” on top of a pattern painted in water to give a more even distribution. More on that in a later post.

I’d also like to try a thicker piece of aluminium to see if that looks less dirty.

Note: its probably not a good idea to combine Aluminium and Iron Oxide as that is the recipe for Thermite! With what we’re doing with glass fusing, we’re nowhere near its ignition temperature, but its still not a good habit to get into.

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