Monday, January 3, 2011

How to Make Frit

My kids laugh when I say it....I know it is a lame, bad pun...but frit happens.

One of my favorite way to take my frustration out on failed warm glass projects is to turn the project into frit. The project cracked in the kiln? Oops. "You're frit now, baby!"

Low on funds? You can break glass bottles and jars into frit and then use the frit to fuse or cast the glass.

Plate Cracked & Bubbled in Kiln
Turing a glass into frit is a fancy way of saying I break the glass into small pieces that I can be used to decorate other projects and to fuse into another project. There are a number of different ways to create frit. Some folks like to heat the glass in the kiln and then drop the hot glass into a bucket of cold water.

My favorite technique of making frit requires a hammer and something to catch the small pieces. Very basic. Very therapeutic. I use a box constructed of wood to make frit. After cleaning the glass, I put the glass into a plastic bag to keep the glass clean. I place the glass into the wood box and then hit the glass with an old, heavy sledge hammer until the glass is the size frit I want.

Frit in Jars
Regardless of which method you use to make frit the result will be different size glass. Sift or sort the frit according to sizes and store it for future use. I like to store the glass in a clear plastic container (pulled from the recycling bin, of course) so I can see the frit. I also like to label the glass with the COE since we use different COE glass for different projects in our studio.

Making your own frit from failed projects is great therapy, as well as being a great way to reuse glass for kiln formed projects.

Related Tutorials
Turn a Glass Jar into a Pendant
How to Make Fused Glass Frit Paintings
How to Make a Fused Glass Mosaic
How to Make a Fused Glass Bead

Further Reading
"Warm Glass: A Complete Guide to Kiln-Forming Techniques: Fusing, Slumping, Casting";  Philippa Beveridge, Ignasi Domenech, Eva Pacual; 2005.
"Contemporary Warm Glass: A Guide to Fusing, Slumping & Kiln-Forming Techniques": Brad Walker; 2000.
"Fused Glass Handbook"; Gil Reynolds; 1987.
"Fuse It - 18 Fused Glass Projects": Petra Kaiser; 2007.
"Innovative Adornments - Introduction to Fused Glass & Wire Jewelry";  Jayne Persico; 2002.
"Richard La Londe: Fused Glass Art and Technique"; 2006.

New & Noteworthy
"Contemporary Fused Glass";  Brad Walker; 2010.
"Microwave Kiln Techniques: For Fused Glass Jewelry, Stained Glass Projects and Silver Clay"; Geneva Perkins. 

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