How To Make Fused Glass Cabochons
Simple fused glass cabochons for jewelry making are surprisingly easy to build. By layering small pieces of glass in different orders and different color combinations, you can achieve a variety of different looks. Beautiful iridescent and dichroic glass colors add interest to simple shapes, and PMC Silver can be used to augment your designs.
How To Make A Round Fused Glass Cabochon
Round fused glass cabochons begin as squares. First, use the pistol-grip glass cutter to score a small piece of fusible glass an even width along a straight edge. Use the running pliers to free the strip. Score the strip with the pistol-grip cutter to make the other two sides of your square, and break it free with the running pliers. Repeat this to make a slightly larger square of clear glass.
Adding Interest to your Fused Glass Cabochon
At this point, you could add small chips of dichroic glass, if desired. Cut the dichroic glass much smaller than your square, because you will probably want the base color to show, and the clear glass needs to be able to melt over the entire piece. If dichroic glass is not covered by a layer of clear, it will have a much harder outline to it and the iridescence will be glaring.
You are now ready to glue the pieces together. Place a single dot of glue on the base color square. Position the dichroic glass on top, if you are using it. Place another single dot of glue on that. Position the clear glass on top of the dichroic glass and balance it. If you chose not to add the middle layer, simply glue the clear glass directly on the base color. Fully fuse it in the kiln.
This method will produce small, round cabochons. If you are trying to make a larger round cabochon, you will need to cut the corners off your square layers using the wheeled glass nippers. The larger your piece, the closer to a circle the cut glass has to be before it is glued.
Ovals, Teardrops, And More
The above instructions for making rounded fused glass cabochons are the basic steps you need to make other shapes. The difference is in the way the layers of glass are cut. For small ovals, begin with rectangles. Larger ovals will need their corners nipped off. Teardrops are long and narrow triangles with their corners nipped slightly. Square pendants need to be a bit larger, and will end up with gently rounded corners. Circle Pendants can be made in several ways. People often refer to them as “donuts” or “ring shaped pendants”.
If you would like to make irregular, sharp shapes, you can create a cabochon using only a single layer of glass, or a larger layer of glass on the bottom and a small accent piece on top. I do not recommend this unless you are planning on filing the edges or wrapping them in PMC Silver. Cabochons made in this way tend to be a bit sharp in places, and the lack of clear glass on top takes away from both the domed effect and the innate beauty of the transparency and refractive properties of layered glass.