Monday, March 5, 2012

1st Grade Fused Glass Project ~

My son, William, is in 1st grade.
He loves to help in the studio & create his own glass pieces.
He's pretty handy around the studio & often helps me with my production work.

He loves his classmates & teacher so we thought we might like to share a
glass project with the class.  We decided to ask his teacher if she'd consider
 having the kids help create a fused glass platter as a
gift donation to the Anchorage Museum for the 2012 Gala ~ & she said "Yes!"

I pre-cut opal glass, primary colors, in basic shapes.
Each child received a 3 X 3 inch clear blank &
then had free rein to layer, sort, line-up, & create a pattern of their own design.

We discussed safety ~ thus the goggles ~ even though they weren't really needed
it's good to get used to wearing them ~ practice safety!
And the use of tools; safety, how to handle, clean & put away. 

In the studio, this is a must! 
Tools must be put back after use or there
becomes so much disarray that they can't be found & time is lost!
It makes me a little crazy...organized chaos is fine as long as I can find my tools.

And tweezers!  Kids (of all ages) LOVE tools!
I brought big & little tweezers, for picking glass up, & it was a big hit.
Again, not really necessary but the kids love to handle tools like this &
it's fun for me to see how they do ~ it varies quite a bit student to student.


As the kids completed their 3X3" squares I placed them in divided boxes
and labeled each square with their name.  Each child also completed a small magnet
& these were also placed in the same labeled space.
Here's a quick shot of the pieces as they were put together by the kids. 
After all the 3X3's & magnets were completed I transported them
back to the studio firing in the kiln.

I created a grid that was drawn on fiber paper so I could lay out the
3X3's & also make a map to keep track of each child's piece.

The grid is filling up....

Almost filled in with a balance of lots of color & some pieces with more "space."
White space is good ~ a little resting spot for the eye.
This helps to create balance in the overall design too.

Here's the glass blank pre-firing.
I decided to fire this at about 1419...below a full fuse
to get a little texture but still allow it to be used as a platter.

There was quite a bit of glass left over so I decided to make a
small platter for William's teacher as a thank you.
She's been a great teacher & open doing new things with the kids.
The kids love her!  Thanks Ms. G~!

Each child also made a magnet ~
I think it's important that they have something to take home to show
their family & have a memory of the process.
A little pocket piece.

Here's the piece post firing.

William got busy making a chart & placing the magnets on a display board.
A fun way for all the kids to look at every one's work.
And another helper peeking around Will....

Thanks Will!  Good job.

Here's the finished platter!
Size:  15" X 15"
Title:  Primary Colors

Thank You First Graders ~ you're amazing!

Now for the "Artist Reception" at school!


  1. Hi, I love this idea - I bet the kids were really thrilled with the result!
    I trained as a primary school art teacher (UK) 20 years ago, have had 3 lovely girls and am now looking to develop as an artist and start running workshops. I did a beginners glass fusing course last weekend - have alwasy wanted to try it, and am now wondering about buying a kiln and whether I would be able to do glass with kids. So am v excited to come across this.
    I'm new to this - did you need to put a large sheet of glass on the top to help secure their work together?
    Have you done any other stuff with kids or know of other websites that might help me?
    Cheers Kate
    ps. I hope you get this as it was posted years ago and I just stumbled across it on Pinterest!
    pps. I've had to use my hubby's google account as I don't have one

  2. Love this! Thanks so much for pointing me at your blog post about the class project!