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Fusing Glass to Metal


#1

Ok, I have another question…

Is it possible to fuse glass seed beads onto metal like brass,
copper or silver?

I know you can melt glass with a torch. And metal too. Is it
possible to melt the metal and glass just enough that they stick
together?

Lisa
LL Fowler Designs
Fort Collins, CO 80526
USA
@LisaF


#2

Hi Lisa:

I don’t know the answer to your question directly, but I was
wondering about the fact that a lot of seed beads are
"silver-lined". Does this change anything in the mix? I know how much
everyone dislikes hearing about low temp solder, but, if the seeds
are truly silver lined, would this type of fusing work for you? There
is an artist out there (sorry, I can’t remember her name) who sets
the seed beads in some type of material similar to grout. Just a
couple of thoughts.

Kim Starbard
Cove Beads


#3

Hi Lisa,

I thought you’d get a bunch of answers, but that doesn’t seem to
have happened, so let me just comment. Generally speaking, metal and
glass expand and contract differently when heated and cooled, making
them crack apart. Enamels are compatible with the metals they are
designed for, but even so, they will crack off if the metal is too
thin and/or not enamelled on the other side.

So chances of success are not great. But I would encourage you to
experiment-- you never know what you might discover/invent/learn!

–Noel


#4

I don’t know about fusing the seed beads directly to the metal but I
used to experiment by fusing glass seed beads into a light coating
of transparent enamel over a copper base. The seed beads never
melted, even at the 1450 degrees F for fusing beads into the enamel.

Donna in VA


#5
I don't know the answer to your question directly, but I was
wondering about the fact that a lot of seed beads are
"silver-lined". 

I think in the case of seed beads, the “silver” is foil fused to the
glass, not glass fused to a heavier gauge metal. As an enamelist, I
would say there is a difference with this type of bonding, but I
don’t have the vocabulary to clearly define the difference.

Alana Clearlake


#6

Glass and metal have different COEs, and in order to get them to stay
together after firing, you need to cool them together very slowly.
When I fire Art Clay Silver and glass together, I have to make sure
there’s as much surface area of the glass exposed as possible. And,
certainly it’s possible to layer glass enamels onto silver and
copper. Design is really important and if the piece is cooled too
quickly, the glass touching the metal might stick, but the rest will
shear off.

Jackie


#7

Hi Lisa;

Yes, it is possible to fuse glass seed beads to some metals.
However, it will require much experimenting, several pieces of
specialized (pricey) equipment, and the reality of dealing with fused
glass has significant levels of variable results and total failures
(solid looking fused piece shattering / crumbling minutes to months
later). Here is a very brief and well written article on
compatibility or COE situations.

http://www.warmglass.com/Glass_compatibility.htm

The main page for this site has many useful links, or go to their
tutorial index page, http://www.warmglass.com/basic.htm

From others comments I’d guess that at least some seed beads are
borosilicate rather than soda lime glass, very different COE’s and
melting points, some borosilicates could possibly serve as crucibles.

I don’t know what effect you were desiring, but perhaps starting
with glass frit, instead of seed beads might be considerably easier,
although you’ll still need a digitally controlled kiln and such.

Ed