I love to learn about fused glass whether it is through classes (see August Blogs), eBooks, or actual books. I also like trying new products therefore, I thought I would write a few book reviews on the various books I have purchased.
Please understand this is my personal view and is not intended to offend anyone. I just like trying new things and I would like to share my experiences with others. I am not paid to write these reviews.
This book review is of Joy of Fusing by Randy and Carole Wardell.
We have a saying in the military it is “BLUF” or “Bottom Line Up Front” and my BLUF on this book is I LOVE IT!
Joy of Fusing hits all the key points i.e., what fuse glass is, its history, tools, safety, glass compatibility, cutting glass, tools (touches on grinders, saw, etc), molds (stainless, ceramic), and
so much more. I was a little surprised they did not talk a lot about devitrification, but it is listed in the back. Joy of Fusing even provides a project log (which you can download from their site). It also provides start to finish instructions on creating a fused glass dish.
I really liked how they explained firing schedules and annealing, albeit I am a little more conservative in my ramp up and annealing schedules (I had one of my favorite pieces split in half and that will slow you down in the kiln). That being said, I think the firing schedules are reasonable and a great place to start. I like how they created sample sets and broke down the various firing schedules and how they would look with the sample sets. *Remember all kilns are not the same, therefore your samples may not look exactly the same as theirs. If artists do not
create fused glass sample sets they may get pieces that may not turn out as expected. Sample sets for frits, paints, and even dichroic are extremely helpful. Sample sets may take a little extra time but they reduce errors.
Now for my favorite section of Joy of Fusing, the 27 fused glass projects, several of which I want to try. Again, my slump schedule is not as high as the one listed, but if you get big bubbles in your slump; ensure the hole is clear, the mold is off the kiln shelf (for air circulation,) and lower the top temperature. As my mentor (Tanya) always says when it comes to fusing glass; slower, lower, and longer is best.
Anyway back to the book, there are 27 fused glass projects in Joy of Fusing from functional dishes to jewelry. They included numerous techniques including draping, slumping, dropping, frit, etc and the instructions were easy to follow. They also have several 1-page references in the
backs for Fusing schedules, sample fuses (i.e., tack, full, etc), molds used, etc. On their website, you can download some of the templates and the project log (for personal use).
One bit of warning, Joy of Fusing may give you a little bit of mold envy. Lucky for me I have a lot of molds and several included in the book but I am missing one or two.
Did I say I love this Joy of Fusing? Well I do, it is great for beginners and intermediate fusers or anyone that needs a little inspiration.
BTW sorry about the photography I’ll try to sweet talk my husband into taking better ones and I’ll get them on the site.