Techniques

Choosing The Right Fusible Art Glass: A Definitive Guide

BEFORE you decide on the right kind of glass for kiln forming, cold working, blowing, or otherwise, you should know how glass is made.

What is Glass?

You’d be surprised at how many seasoned artists don’t know, for example, that rose-pink glass gets its color from gold, or that many glass makers manually swirl and shape the patterns in their sheet glass.

Learn more about the mixing and melting processes that companies like Bullseye use to produce their art glass supplies below:

What Is Glass? from Bullseye Glass on Vimeo.

Here comes the fun part.

Choosing the Perfect Piece of Glass

Now that you know a little bit about how glass is made, you’re ready to learn how to choose the appropriate type of glass for your next work of art.  

Choosing the right kind of glass is an essential first step in your work. Whether you’re new to the world of glass art, or you’re already keen on glass crafts, you shouldn’t rely on a single brand. Ed Hoy’s offers a myriad of glass from different manufacturers, and we never stop growing. We’re always stocking new products, because we like variety, and because we want to keep customers like you experimenting with different forms and styles of art glass.

Whether You’re Switching Brands or Simply Trying Something New, Here’s What You Need to Know

  1. Consult a fellow glass artist first. Finding a mentor online is easy, and incredibly rewarding, especially when you’re trying to find the right materials. Our glass art class instructors are a great source of knowledge, and getting in contact with one of them after a riveting course is an excellent way to grow your network and expand your skills!
  2. Consider the reputation of your glass. We recommend taking a look at our featured glass manufacturers to get the scope of a glass producer’s history, methodology, products, and quality.
  3. Watch demos. Sometimes all you need is a visual of how your product works. We often feature videos for our latest sales, and you can find them at https://www.youtube.com/user/edhoysglass/videos.
  4. Compatibility is everything. Contrary to popular belief, COE is not the ONLY determinant of compatibility, so make sure that your glass brand tests their products for compatibility. That is the reason that some glass artists choose to stick to a single factory, which is an excellent idea for beginners. There are, however, limitations to that approach as you go along. We highly recommend trying out different brands of sheet glass once you develop confidence in the studio. Exploring the myriad of colors, textures, and styles available on the market is incredibly rewarding, and helps professionals deepen their relationship and understanding of the artform.
  5. Choose a glass that prevents devit. We’ve discussed devitrification in depth before. Make sure you choose a brand that prevents devit formations on the glass, it will save you a major headache down the line.
  6. Consider the logistics. Make sure that you can easily purchase your glass online or locally. Remember, Ed Hoy’s International offers both, giving you the option to order and re-order thousands of art glass supplies from hundreds of different brands. We’re also open to the public, so if you’re ever interested in stopping by our retail store in Naperville, IL, feel free!
  7. Whether you’re new to glass fusing or not, you can probably benefit from one of the many classes we offer year-round. Don’t forget to take a look at our new course catalog to find the right glass fusing workshop for you.
  8. Above all else, have fun! The more you experiment, the better you’ll get as you learn. Be fearless in your art, and it’ll shine through in the finished product, whether or not it comes out “perfect”.

Don’t forget to share your progress as you go along! Visit our Facebook page to connect with like-minded glass artists, get fresh ideas, and show off your best work!