Tools Used in Create Fused glass

I always talk about the glass I use, but I rarely talk about the tools I use to create my fused glass artwork. First let’s talk about some of the hand tools I use. From the left I use pistol grip glass cutters, which is a misnomer because they don’t cut glass, they score it and create a fissure. I also have pencil glass cutters (on the right), but I’ve never been a fan of the pencil cutters and rarely use them. That being said I think it’s all about what you get used to. You can also see the different size of heads.

After scoring glass I use breakers. Normally they have these little covers on them, but they don’t last very long and it’s a pain to put new ones on, so I used this black coating (almost like tar) and dipped 8 of my breakers. I like them much better than with the little covers. The only thing bad about the “plasti dip” is it gets gooey after a while. Anyway, I got distracted; the last picture shows 2 other breakers, but again not my favorite.

After scoring sometimes I use grossers (the dark blue is my favorite) to pull off small pieces of glass or to file off rough edges. I also use mosaic nippers; I love the top nippers they are the best.

Some of the machines I use are flatbed grinders, stained glass grinder, dremel/foreman, and drill press. The dremel/foreman and drill press use diamond drill bits and hole saws. I love my drill press I have every size of diamond drill hole saws and I can use them on ceramic and of course glass. With all glass machines you have to use water which is why they are pretty messy.

I also have 3 saws (again they use diamond blades), the XT is my main one but it’s very irritating because the blade comes out of the grove and breaks the belt, the other one (Appolo) I haven’t used in forever because not only did the belt break even the blades break. The bottom MK saw is a tile saw that’s great for thick pattern bars.

Of course, don’t forget kilns. I have 5, my little one is a paragon – I use it from everything from jewelry to drops to presses. It’s quite a work horse and I love it. My medium kiln is a skutt, I like it, but the coils like to fall out – which is irritating. I have 2 large kilns (evenheat & skutt); I use them for my production orders and large pieces. And of course, my vitrigraph kiln. I’ve talked about vitrigraph several times but it’s got a hole in the bottom so I can pull the glass out. I use terracotta pots as well as stainless steel pots (I’ll do another post about them – I got some new ones that I want to show off). Here is what the pots look like afterwards.

There are other things I use as well including glass separators (kiln wash, kiln paper, fiber paper) and molds (slumping, draping, casting), stainless steel, and texture. I have more molds than you can imagine.

Yes, there is a lot of equipment used to create glass. It makes for a very crowded studio – but a very fascinating art. When you take a class in my studio you have access to all of these supplies.

If you would like to see more of my fused glass work, please refer to my website Elegant Fused Glass by Karen. If you get a chance, check out all my sites and my Elegant Fused Glass by Karen YouTube. If you would like to stay abreast of what I’m up-to and learn a little more about glass, check out our newsletter. It is published the last day of each month.

Keeping my kiln warm,


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