My Christmas Project – Scrap, Scrap, and more Scrap by Rae Williamson

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What are the most frequently asked questions in fusing?

  • What to do with scrap?
  • What is your firing schedule?
  • What is the best glue?
  • Is there a tutorial?

I want to share a glass project that truly made my holidays very special this year.

Let’s talk about scrap…we all have it.

For stained glass artists it becomes smaller art pieces and then over to mosaics for those beautiful shard creations. For fused glass artists there are pot melts, screen melts, vitrograph pots, pattern bars, and so forth.

One set of my scrap bins

Our Leduc Lions Club decided to bring some joy to the care homes in our community. We rounded up a choir of our members, picked some well known Christmas carols, dressed up our mascot Lion and brought some goodies with us.

One of the care facilities we wanted to visit did not allow plants, baked goods or chocolates…so the dilemma was, what could we bring as I did not want to disappoint the residents? Simple – since it was Christmas, I volunteered to make and donate a decoration for each person.

Our lovely Choir and Santa

After a couple of days of production, I thought maybe I should ask how many decorations we needed. You can probably understand my surprise when the answer was approximately 85…just a few more than I had anticipated. Not a problem though as I had ten days, and I did not want to leave anyone out. I knew I needed to come up with a variety of designs to keep me on task though, as I am not a production artist.

A small sample of my “bits”

I started by digging through my drawers, shelves, and scrap bin. I found I had a variety of different sizes/colors of dots; murrini and cane I could chop up or already had fused; scrap bits of dichro – some pre-fused, some unfused, a variety of colors of vitrograph pulls; bits of stringers and lots of scrap glass in my stock.

Thank goodness I fill in the extra space in every kiln load with bits, so I had lots of material to play with. I had some clear glass so cut out some triangles, put five together and decorated them…voila stars!

The stars going into the kiln with space filled with scrap bits
The stars fired and ready for presentation

I love hearts so I cut out a heart template and traced it onto two layers of 3mm fiber paper. Using a craft knife, I cut out twenty hearts and filled them with bits of murrini and added some clear powder.

Cutting out the fiber mold
The fiber mold filled with murrini
The hearts after firing
Christmas trees

You know you can’t have Christmas without some trees and Santas right? These were made mostly of various triangles and bits of scrap glass, dichro, and stringers…aren’t they adorable?

Santas out of the kiln

Melted snowman followed next. I sometimes (well most of the time) have fun cutting white glass, so I had a big bin of white glass to play with for these. They were so fun to make. Just different sized circles, some black iridescent scrap for the hats and eyes and a bit of orange for the “carrot” nose. I added some stringer arms and more dichro scrap for buttons etc. and a little blue frit for contrast. (I recommend a tack fuse on these).

Glass Christmas balls ready for hanging

Lastly, we had to have some Christmas balls to put on the trees, so back to the scrap bins. The iridescent clear specialty glass was perfect for these. I made a circle and a teardrop shape and then decorated them. Next time I would add a bit of gold irid or silver irid at the top to represent the metal hanger.

I have some new ideas for next year already, but I’m happy to say that the residents and staff loved their little gift. Best Christmas ever!

The crowd loved us…even if sometimes we were a little off key.
Santa visiting with a resident

Now, what will you do with your scrap??? Share your ideas at the February 25th General Meeting.