I met up with instructor Jan Meyers at the Cottonwood facility to see what I could find out about the art of fusible glass or dichroic glass. Though similar, dichroic glass uses metal in the process to give a different sparkle to the object. The purpose of the class is to introduce students to the principles and techniques of working with fusible glass. A four-week class is held each month at a cost of $30 plus materials that run from $5-$35 per half pound. Fusible glass requires that it be compatible with other glasses. The pieces are laid out, cut, edges smoothed, arranged as the artist desires, then baked or fused in an oven for up to 16 hours before they are complete.
During the class the students should be able to do the following:
1. Describe the glass used for fusing and co-efficiency off expansion
2. Cut glass into desired shapes and finish the edges
3. Prepare glass for fusing
4. Start and complete two projects using fusible glass
As in nearly every other class I have been to in the Sun Lakes Rock Gem and Mineral Club, the most noticeable thing has been the enthusiasm and interest in the classes by the participants. Not only are they motivated to learn, they are eager to show the results of their progress to anyone who comes by. The pride in their work intensifies the desire to further their skills. Walking through the open areas of Sun Lakes’ community centers gives one the opportunity to see great displays of finished artwork. Check out the displays at the entry to Cottonwood Country Club, the window display at the shop itself and the community enter at Sun Lakes Country Club.
Dichroic or fusible glass can be made into fine jewelry, pendants or hanging pieces. Once the class is completed the members may use open shop once a week to work on their own projects. Several very nice pieces were displayed, including birds, cartoon faces and molded pendants with flowing colors.
Sun Lakes Rock, Gem and Mineral Club meets once a month in the Navajo Room on the third Monday of each month. There you can meet with instructors, sign up for classes, see displays of work done by the members and join in the camaraderie. And refreshments are served. Visit the website at www.slrgs.com to access most of the information about the club.