Glass of Yulia Kruteeva

Yulia Kruteeva about herself:

Every time when I put glass into the kiln, it seems that I send a ship on a long voyage and don’t know how it will look when it comes back and whether it comes back. After 15 hours of high temperature and fire, after a long cooling period, I open the kiln and don’t know what I will see. And then the lid is lifted – the new world, new-born universe, lies on the white blanket. This is my inspiration, expectation and hope, my belief in beauty and harmony, kind forces and eternal triumph of life.

I was born, live and work in the Urals. I graduated from Ural State University as a biologist. I studied in Literature Institute. I have studied and am studying a lot. I got gemmological education and have been working in the sphere of jewellery for a long time. I think I am a serious specialist in this field. I have great experience of publishing and editorial activity – I have made a lot of good books, issued my own magazine and jewellery bulletins.

Glass fusing is my relatively recent discovery. I like it very much and give all my free time to it.

About technology:

Glass fusing is the process of melting flat pieces of coloured glass. It is the process of stacking several pieces of compatible glass on top of each other and heating until they fuse together to form one.

Its stages:

Glass used for this process is not usual, but special which can sustain high-temperature treatment and doesn’t change its colour and properties at the same time. These are small flat glass sheets which are 120 cm long, 30 cm wide and 3,5 mm thick.

First you cut out a base which has a shape of the future article using transparent glass (or any other – as you wish) and then details for the pattern you would like to create.

All these pieces are thoroughly degreased, put on the base and glued – not to displace the complicated pattern by chance.

This glued “pie”, it can be multi-layer, is put into the kiln on a special basis.

The heating program is made up taking into account all technological peculiarities of glass, its thickness, the number of layers, and the desired outcome. Glass can be fused in such a way so that it might keep its relief or, on the contrary, might be absolutely smooth. The highest temperature ranges from 760 to 815 degrees Celsius, sometimes 900 degrees Celcius and more.

The fusing program lasts from 13 to 15 hours on the average, but there are masters who create such multi-layer items that the kiln operates during several days!

At the end of the program, you have to wait until the kiln finally cools down and only then you can open it – glass is very susceptible to quick changes in temperature.

You take a flat coloured pancake out of the kiln and begin the next stage of the work. It is called bending in Russia. The thing is that heated glass takes the shape of the object it lies on. The technique in which items are made in a kiln by means of shaping glass over ceramic molds at high temperatures is called slumping in foreign countries. Special programs are also made up for this process and the temperature reaches 680 degrees Celsius, it is approximately 100 degrees lower than during fusing.

You can open the kiln after a long cooling period and take the finished article.

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