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Name: Lauren J
Status: other
Grade: 12+
Location: VA
Country: USA


Question:
I am a fused glass artist and have a project in mind...it is a waterside village with the water and sky made of fused glass...with the village, docks and boats made of copper...my question (before I waste my time and materials) is what will happen to the copper when I fuse the glass and copper in my kiln? The fusing temperature of glass, at full fuse is 1470, it ramps slowly and holds at 1470 for 25 minutes then slowly ramps to 960 and holds for an hour, then continues the slow ramp down to 100 to properly anneal the glass. I know from experience that any copper between the glass will discolor and I can use this in the design. Will the copper hold shape at these temps and will I be able to clean and patina the copper after the firing? If it won' perhaps I can shape the glass around the "village, then fire the glass and "insert" the "village" after patina. I really appreciate any help you can give me...I have been dreaming of this project for a while now and would love to know if it is possible.


Replies:
Hi Lauren,

You don't mention if your temperatures are Celsius or Fahrenheit. Since you are in the US, I will assume you are still working in the old fashioned Fahrenheit system.

Copper melts at 1984 degrees F, so with your furnace at 1470 degrees F, there is no danger of the copper melting. But unless you heat it in a reducing atmosphere (that is, in the compete absence of oxygen), at this high temperature there will be a very thick layer of ugly black oxide (not just a patina) formed on the copper that will be extremely difficult to remove. In addition, the thermal expansion rates of glass and copper are vastly different, so during heating and/or cooling, the glass near the copper areas may be subjected to enough stress to crack it.

Regards,
Bob Wilson



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