It’s time for snowflakes! Not real ones, at least not here in Texas, but glass ones. I first experimented with fused glass snowflakes a few years ago. You can read about it and find the link to the tutorial I used here. Making fused glass snowflakes can be frustrating. Each snowflake is made of 37 very small, skinny pieces of glass that are hand cut. The cutting is not so much the problem. The problem for me is placing all of these tiny pieces and then not disturbing them as I add more pieces. I always think of the game Operation when I make these. This year I tried a few different things so I am sharing what worked and what didn’t.
I really like the look of a delicate snowflake. I made these with ¼” strips of glass which is about as narrow as I can cut them. But, I decided that these are too delicate. Because these are made with a single layer of glass, they “shrink up” and end up being a bit thinner than the cut size of the glass. Next time I will make the strips at least 3/8” and yes, 1/8” will make a difference.
To make assembling these easier, I used HoneyDoo Zuper glue. I assembled each of the six “stems” of the snowflake separately using a very small dot of the glue to instantly hold the small little “arm” pieces onto the stem. The small “arms” need to overlap the long stem. I used a pattern to build each stem on making it easier to place the pieces consistently. Each stem was then placed on the kiln shelf with the small “arm” pieces down against the shelf. The glue will dissolve before the snowflake is fully fused. By placing the pieces on the shelf with the little pieces down, I don’t have to worry about them slipping off.
I fired these as fast as possible to my full fuse temperature. I held them for about 5 minutes. Next time I will go a little hotter or hold longer so that they round out a bit more.
To hang the snowflake, I glued half of a fishing hook swivel thingie to the back. I tried a jewelry bail, but didn’t like the way it looked. Next time I may try to fuse a piece of wire into the piece, but it is kind of nice that it swivels. I have two cup hooks screwed into the top of my window with a skinny rod going across them. Then I added some silver ribbon and hung the snowflakes from the rod.
Maybe by next year I will have this perfected enough that I can actually have some for sale.