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 product and book reviews on the various items / 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.
(Bottom Line Up Front) BLUF: I love Contemporary Fused Glass by Brad Walker. It is absolutely fabulous!
Contemporary Fused Glass has so much included in its 22 chapters including basic history, equipment, glass types (COE), forms of glass, glass cutting (fundamental, circle and strip), basic fusing including bubble squeeze, thermal shock, annealing, and so so much more. Although there are not specific projects, the author goes through an entire chapter regarding tiles giving a variety of examples.
You may think this is for basic fusing but it is NOT, Contemporary Fused Glass also includes information regarding surface techniques, inclusions, pattern bars, pot melts, screen melts, kiln carving, recycled glass and more. The book also goes into detail about molds, slumping process, and troubleshooting issues including telling the difference between thermal shock and annealing cracks. It also provides detailed information on fusing schedule and coldwork equipment. Brad is extremely thorough, yet keeps you wanting to read more.
As I was reading Contemporary Fused Glass, I tried to determine what was my favorite part. Even though there are so many things I love about this book, my favorite part is the “Cry Factor” when determining a firing schedule. I must tell you every single time I put something in the kiln I literally think to myself, “What’s my ‘Cry Factor’ ”? Once I determine how much I would cry if it broke, I set my firing schedule based on the size of the piece and my “Cry Factor”. You may be thinking really crying over a piece of glass. The answer is yes, when you put so much work into a piece and because of your firing schedule it breaks its heart breaking. It happened to me and literally, I thought I was going to cry. It was such a beautiful piece.
Ok I digress. The bottom line is if you do not have Contemporary Fused Glass you should! I really recommend it no matter what your fused glass experience level. If you have it and have not read it in a while, again I recommend you reread it.
Keeping my Kiln warm,