Friday, August 15, 2008

Faux FusedGlass -My First Tutorial

I really appreciate all the interest. So here goes, I'll start with some basics. *All of the Shrinky Dinks in this tute are made with the Frosted Ruff-n-Ready style.* I use permanent markers (Sharpies, mostly) and Prismacolor colored pencils to draw and color. I punch holes with 1/4" standard hole punch. I DO NOT use a heat gun, it's not recommended by the manufacturer, and it really produces very uneven results. I use a toaster oven. On with the instructions.

Color and cut out various shapes, scraps are excellent for this project.

Next, shrink your pieces and a base(you will assemble your pieces on this base later). Follow manufacturer's directions, (mine bake at 325 deg.F for about 45 seconds). Here is a baking tray lined with parchment paper with assorted small shapes to shrink. Note the color as most colors darken in the original shrinking process.

These are the same pieces- before and after shrinking. Flat pieces are better for this project; I flatten pieces right out of the oven by pressing them with my pyrex dish.
You can also reheat at this stage to flatten and straighten.

Now comes the designing stage. I like to group my pieces by color before I start. Carefully place your pieces on your base. I use a bamboo skewer to help me nudge pieces into place. In this stage I put the base frosted side up and place the pieces on the base frosted side down. Note that colors in this step fade and the frosted piece will turn clear. Placing the colored pieces frosted side down will help to "capture" the color in between the plastic. My experience is that markers at this stage turn clear like a transparent piece of glass; and colored pencils look like color under a piece of glass. *The white in the star pendant is Bright White Shrinky Dink* After composing your pendants, place them in a glass baking dish,(I use a pyrex casserole dish).

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Carefully put pan into oven trying not to disturb any pieces. Fusing is complete when all edges are rounded or melted. This step could take 10-25 minutes - depending on the oven and size of piece. I recommend looking at them AT LEAST every 5 minutes. Small pieces can round over pretty quickly, just keep an eye on your work. I let my pieces cool in the pan after taking them out of the oven. They can easily be misshapen at this point. Once the pan is cool to the touch, remove your fused shrinkies. The back edge (flat against the pan) will have a sharpness to them. I like to round this off by lightly filing and sanding.

Well, there you have it, my first tutorial. Now you how I make Faux FusedGlass. Hope I made it understandable and clear. Comments appreciated. Here's some more samples of my work, don't forget it's available at my etsy store.
ETA: I have a new shop here right on the blog. I will update with a faux fused section soon.