Fused Glass Mushroom

I have accumulated a long list of ideas for glass projects that I want to try.  Having recently replaced the landscaping in my front yard, I decided to try one of these ideas and add some new “art” to my perennial garden.

Fused glass mushrooms are one of the fun ideas that was on my list.  The ones that I have seen, the caps were created using pre-made patterned glass that is cut into a circle and then slumped into the shape of a mushroom.  For the stems, some were made with blown glass, others with PVC pipe.  But, the ones that I really liked were made with the top half of recycled bottles.

After completing a few pot melts, I decided that these would make great mushrooms. Also, by using scrap glass and recycled bottles, this would be an inexpensive craft.

I thought it would be fun to add some spots to the mushroom caps.  To make these, I first made some glass pebbles. The nice thing about glass is that it naturally settles to a quarter inch in thickness and prefers a round shape.  So, small pieces of glass were stacked and full fused.

These pebbles were then placed on top of one of my pot melt discs and full fused again.

After cooling the disc was placed on a slumping form.  For some of my mushrooms, I used a stainless steel form.

For others, I used a clay form.  I prefer the shape of the mushroom made with the clay mold, but the others turned out very nice as well.

To make the stems, I used a Kinkajou bottle cutter to cut the bottom off of wine bottles and sparkling cider bottles.


As you can see below, both types of bottles look nice. However, I prefer the sparkling cider bottles because the nice green color is more visible in the mulch of my flower garden.


Pot Melts

I’ve been accumulating lots of bits and pieces of glass from my many fused glass projects. What to do with these scraps?  After looking at ideas on-line, I found several blogs that talked about a technique called pot melting and decided to try it.

A Pot Melt involves placing scraps of glass in a clay pot with holes in the bottom.  A terra cota planting pot is the simplest form of a pot for melting glass inside the kiln. When the glass is heated to a high enough temperature, the glass will flows from openings in the bottom of a clay pot onto the kiln shelf below. This flowing thick syrupy glass will result in unique spiral or circular patterns.



For my pot melts, I found that a terra cota pot was too tall for my kiln.  I tried to drill a hole in a terra cota pot base, but both times I tried the base cracked.  So, instead I purchased a clay pot made for pot melting.  The pot I selected had seven holes in the bottom and was purchased from Bonny Doon Pottery.


This pot was placed over a stainless steel ring lined with fiber paper.  Clear glass scraps were placed inside the ring before the clay pot was positioned over the ring.

After firing to 1600 degrees and holding for 90 minutes, the glass flowed through the holes leaving behind a thin layer of glass in the mold and a nicely swirled circle of glass below.

Lots a glass pieces – several pot melt attempts!

Now, to make these useful – that will be my next posting.







The Results: