User Instructions: Using Your Wafers

Fusing Wafers to Sheet Glass

There are multiple options of fusing wafers to glass projects. Below are instructions for the most common methods.

Tack or Contour Fuse

If you would like your wafer to be fused to your project so it stands out in relief (as opposed to being fully flat with the surface), you can tack or contour fuse the wafers to your project. The method for doing both is similar.

Since we are not full fusing the wafers, you should first full fuse your sheet glass to make your project base. If you are simply full fusing two layers, you can use this schedule:


Simple two layer full fuse

Adding a layer of powder between the project base and the wafers will usually give better results, eliminating any blisters that might otherwise appear. To do this, place the wafer, bottom facing up, on something that will lift it off your work surface. Here we are using a small condiment cup:

setting powder wafer on cup

Sift powder onto the wafer. Clear, white, and the same color as the background layer of the wafer are all usually good candidates for color.

powder wafer with sifted powder on top

So that we can flip the wafer over without the powder falling off, mist the powder with water until it is lightly saturated. The surface tension of the water will hold the powder in place even when the wafer is turned upside-down.

Place the wafer on your two layer project base in the kiln. Firing using the following schedule:

firing a powder wafer to the surface of glass

You can adjust the process temperature and hold time in segment 3 to achieve the desired degree of fusing.

Full Fuse

When full fusing a wafer to a project you will get the best results by firing the project upside-down (with the front of the project facing the kiln shelf).
For this example we will full-fuse the paw print wafers.

two paw print powder wafers

Start by tracing your project base onto the kiln shelf so you can accurately position your wafer.

tracing glass onto kiln shelf

After adding powder to the back of the wafer, as described above (but without the need to mist the powder with water), place the wafer face-down on the shelf, using the base glass outline to position the wafer. Here we are arranging the paw-print wafers.

powder wafer ready for glass on top

To reduce the number of required firings, we can full-fuse the two base layers together during the same firing as when we fuse the wafers to the sheet glass. To reduce air bubbles and glass blisters between the layers, first sift clear powder on the piece of glass you want directly behind the wafers.

dusted sheet glass

Set the glass base gently on top of the wafer. Do not press down on the glass or slide it across the shelf once it has been set down, as doing so can cause the wafers on the bottom to break.

glass on top of powder wafers

Full fusing a project like this, with design elements on the bottom and sheet glass placed on top, risks trapping large amounts of air capable of expanding into bubbles that burst through the glass. Fortunately, thanks to the thinness of the wafer, the weight of the glass above it, and the powder layer between the base and wafer, temperatures normally used for a contour fuse (along with an extended bubble squeeze) will do the job of full-fusing the glass with a very low risk of bubbles.

Place the second sheet of glass on top and fire using the following schedule:

flip fire schedule

If there is any primer stuck to the glass after firing, remove it using either a very light sandblasting or by soaking in CLR Calcium Lime & Rust Remover, available at most grocery stores and online. After soaking, scrub and rinse the surface.

Here’s the glass after firing:

powder wafers fired to glass

Glass fired down on a smooth and freshly primed shelf will usually have a smooth, semi-matte surface. If you are happy with this finish, skip to the slumping step. If you prefer a glossy finish, continue with the steps below.

Sift a very thin layer of clear powder over the front of the project.

powder dusted glass

Fire the glass using this schedule.

powder dusting firing schedule

Your project is now ready to slump.

all shiny!
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