Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Make a Glass & Brass Link Bracelet

Before: Broken Plate
Sometimes ideas are born from failure. One of the things I love about glass is that almost all glass -- even reclaimed glass-- can be reused and made into something new and exciting.

This piece of glass was reclaimed Cathedral glass. We tried to slump it into a bowl and the glass very nicely demonstrated the trouble with using reclaimed glass in the kiln. Reclaimed glass is even more unpredictable than other glass and it is more difficult to control when firing.

After: Bracelet by GeltDesigns
I am not entirely sure why the huge, unsightly bubble formed in the glass when we were slumping it. We may have fired to rapidly for this glass. We may have drilled the holes improperly when we made our slump mold. We may not have checked to be sure the holes in the mold were not clogged with kiln wash before we slumped the glass. Or the glass may have had an imperfection that would have caused the bubble no matter what we did. At any rate, the glass was a failure as a bowl.

We decided to cut up the glass and make it into a bracelet.

Step 1
Wash the glass with glass cleaner to remove kiln wash and other dirt, grease and grim.

Step 2
Cut the glass using a glass cutter into three -1-1/2 inch square glass pieces.

Step 3
File the edges of the glass smooth using a diamond hone, diamond files or a glass grinder.

Step 4
Drill two holes in two of the glass pieces using a drill and diamond coated drill bits. The holes are needed to attach the chain to the glass.

Eye of Glass Clasp by GeltDesigns
Step 5
Use a hole saw to drill a hole in the center of the third glass piece to create the eye of the clasp for your bracelet.

Drill a second smaller hole in the glass piece; the second hole should be the same size as you drilled in step 4. This second hole is used to attach the chain to the glass.
Glass Clasp by GeltDesigns

Step 6
Fire polish the glass in the kiln.

Step 7
Make or purchase the chain and the findings. We made an "S" chain from 16-gauge round brass wire. We also made a "hook" for our hook and eye clasp.

Step 8
Attach the chain and findings to the glass pieces.

Boxed Bracelet by GeltDesigns
Related Wire Tutorials
Make Your Own Hook & Eye Clasp
Make Your Own "S" Chain
How to Make Your Own Wire Wrapping Tool Kit
How to Care for Your Wire Wrapping Tools
How to Use a Wire Rounder or Cup Burr
How to Straighten Wire
Related Glass Tutorials
How to Drill Glass
How to Cut Fused Glass with a Tile Saw 
How to Slump Glass
How to Add Oil to a Glass Cutter 
How to Prepare a Slump Mold with Kiln Wash for Fused Glass 
How to Make a Slumping Mold
How to Remove Devitrification from Fused Glass
Repurpose Empty Wine Bottles 
How to Melt Wine Bottles into a Bead
How to Melt Wine Bottles into a Cheese Tray
How to Melt Wine Bottles into Jewelry
How to Melt Wine Bottles for Lampwork 

Other NJAD Projects
Make a Kiln Formed Bracelet
Make a Glass Charm Necklace
Make Recycled Glass & Sterling Silver Earrings
Further Reading
"Warm Glass: A Complete Guide to Kiln-Forming Techniques: Fusing, Slumping, Casting";  Philippa Beveridge, Ignasi Domenech, Eva Pacual; 2005.
"Contemporary Warm Glass: A Guide to Fusing, Slumping & Kiln-Forming Techniques": Brad Walker; 2000.
"Fused Glass Handbook"; Gil Reynolds; 1987.
"Fuse It - 18 Fused Glass Projects": Petra Kaiser; 2007.
"Innovative Adornments - Introduction to Fused Glass & Wire Jewelry";  Jayne Persico; 2002.
"Richard La Londe: Fused Glass Art and Technique"; 2006.

New & Noteworthy
"Contemporary Fused Glass";  Brad Walker; 2010.
"Microwave Kiln Techniques: For Fused Glass Jewelry, Stained Glass Projects and Silver Clay"; Geneva Perkins.

Day 25. Week 4. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent: 0
Found materials: Broken glass plate
New Jewelry a Day.

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