Ann Blunt

I have always been fascinated by glass, the colours, textures and the way it reflects and transmits light. I create fused glass pieces inspired by amazing vistas, landscapes and seascapes. I aim to create individual pieces which have harmony, layering and fusing the glass to emulate the essence of nature's design. Fused glass is a term used to describe glass that has been fired in a kiln at a range of high temperatures from 600deg C to over 800deg C. I use Bullseye glass which is available in a great range of colours. Fusing involves cutting thin sheets of glass then stacking or layering using different colours to create patterns or images. The stack is then placed inside the kiln and then heated through a series of ramps (rapid heating cycles) and soaks (holding the temperature at a specific point) until the separate pieces begin to bond together. The longer the kiln is held at the maximum temperature the more thoroughly the stack will fuse, eventually softening and rounding the edges of the original shape. Once the desired effect has been achieved at the maximum desired temperature, the kiln temperature will be brought down quickly through the temperature range of 815deg C to 575deg C in order to avoid devitrification. It is then allowed to cool slowly over a specified time, soaking at specified temperature ranges which are essential to the annealing process. This prevents uneven cooling and breakage and produces a strong finished product. Each firing can take about 16 hours so, like watching a sandglass, it's all about time.

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