Pam Goodison is a local glass artist that creates all kinds of items just from glass. In this little tutorial, Pam is going to show us the process of creating a beautiful Dichroic fused glass pendant that has this gorgeous iridescent look to it. Dichroic is the term used when glass shows two colours in different lights and at different angles of viewing, it is made by layering oxides and metals in very thin layers with glass. We asked a few questions afterwards too and how you can also learn glass making in Pam’s regular workshops.
Pam: I start with two pieces of glass and cut out the pendant pieces from these. The edges are then put on a glass grinder to neaten.
After this, the pieces are fired in the kiln to tack them together on what we call a tack fuse. This is how they turn out. Note the two pieces look quite separate in the layers.
After this they are put on the glass grinder again to make really neat. They are then put in the kiln again. I try to be as economical as possible with the kiln, hence other pieces in there! They are gradually heated up this time on a full fuse which makes the edges of the glass much softer. This picture shows the kiln at 548°C when everything just starts to glow in there.
The kiln will gradually heat up to a top temperature needed of 765°C. I gradually cool the glass down. Altogether the firing takes approximately 12 hours.
Now look at the lovely softened edges. The kiln fairy has done her work! This next step shows a hole being drilled underwater to attach a pinch bail. At this point gentle pressure must be applied, using a dremel and a diamond bit drill. This usually take a few minutes with drilling from both sides of the glass so as to not chip the glass.
Finally a pinch bail is attached with a chain or waxed cord depending on preference and there you have your completed dichroic glass pendant!
Barnsley Fashion Creatives: How long does the entire process take from first cutting the glass to finishing with the chain? Other than the 12 hours in the kiln?
Pam: I would say about two to three hours to cut glass, grind, clean, grind again, drill then apply bails and make chains.
Barnsley Fashion Creatives: What workshops do you tend to run?
Pam: I do fused glass jewellery workshops at my studio which are two hours long. The cost is £25 and includes materials to make a pendant or brooch or earrings (Other workshops will vary in price.). Additional items can be made for a small additional fee usually between £3-£5 each. Other workshops can be bespoke. If the student wants to learn a particular technique then I can usually accommodate, or they can do a full day making whatever they like, a bowl, picture, or even Christmas decorations.
BFC: Where abouts is your studio based?
BFC: What workshops do you have coming up?
Pam: I have some workshops coming up hopefully in a venue elsewhere in Feb and March next year but have not yet been confirmed but if anyone would like they can register an interest, these will be a different price to the jewellery workshop.