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Fused Glass Beginnings

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

For my first blog post I figured I'd give an overview of how I came to work with fused glass as well as share some of the pieces I've made over the years. Unfortunately I wasn't very good at taking photos of my work prior to about 2015!

I started working at Glassworks Studio in Morristown, NJ while I was still a high school student in 2007. There I learned the basics of glass working including cutting glass, using glass powders and frit, and bending glass stringers over a flame. Over the years really fell in love with glass fusing as a medium, and continued to grow both my glass skills, as well as fundamental art skills as I completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

The Siren platter below is the first piece I remember selling, and remains one of my favorites. I will definitely have to recreate it in the future! I loved the swirl pattern in the glass, and immediately saw that it looked like flowing hair, it just needed some additional details.

Fused glass platter with blue swirl design and the profile of a woman's face. The glass swirls make up the woman's hair as it blows around her face, and there are flowers woven into her hair.
Siren, 12" Glass Platter, ~2016

Similar to the the Siren piece, my Northern Lights platter also incorporates the unique swirl pattern of the fuser's reserve glass. This time I added powdered glass frit over the white swirls to imitate the rainbow swirls of the northern lights. Dichoric glass stars add a bit of sparkle, and the silhouetted tree line grounds the piece.

12" Fused glass platter handmade by Alison Slaff. Rainbow fused glass powder frit makes up the northern lights in the sky over a silhouette of trees.
Northern Lights, 12" Glass Platter ~2016

This happy springtime piece was very popular at the studio and inspired many customers to make their own version. I love the pink cherry blossoms agains the pale blue background.

12" fused glass platter with translucent blue background and a cherry blossom branch design  with a yellow bird and an orange bird.
Cherry Blossom Branch with Birds, 12" Platter, ~2014


I've been able to make several commission pieces, including several local to Morristown. The Mayo Performing Arts Studio and Game Vault both have custom pieces!

Tiny fused glass depictions of Hairspray, Les Miserables, Mary Poppins
MPAC Fused Glass Playbill Custom Award, 2016

Fused glass frit Les Miserable face playbill image.
Les Miserables Work in Progress, 2016

Fused Glass Mario, Gooma and Piranha Plant jump our of flower pot warp pipe
Custom Mario Brothers Commission for Game Vault Morristown

Gold fused glass cross with rainbow stained glass pattern surrounding it. A white dove with olive branch flies over.
Fused Glass Cross Commission, 2015

For this fused glass cross commission I built the design and laid out and labelled each piece as a "glass by numbers" project for a catholic school. After the kids assembled the pieces, this is the final fused project.

Making Jewelry

My love for jewelry started when I was very young; my grandmother owned an antique store so she was always bringing me along to yard sales and estate sales. She also would let me pick through boxes and boxes of costume jewelry, picking my favorites. So it's no surprise that my artistic journey includes jewelry making.

Around 2012 I was making hand drawn mandala earrings out shrink film (shrink dinks), and selling to a local shop. I also took a metal working jewelry class in college where I began incorporating my fused glass pieces into jewelry designs. This then slowly lead me start working with polymer clay, which allowed me to utilize the fused glass cabochons I was making without having to worry about using a blowtorch or drilling holes in the glass.

Purple and blue bubble pattern fused glass round cabochon stud earrings with surgical stainless steel posts
Fused Glass Cabochons Stud Earrings

In 2017 I moved to Germany on a four year assignment for my husband's job, and no longer had access to a kiln. Instead, I would make bags of glass cabochons every time I flew home to visit, then use them in my jewelry making back in Germany. I was able to spend time really learning how to use polymer clay in an effective way. I watched many hours of tutorials, and tried many techniques in order to make discover my jewelry making style. I continue to make fused glass and polymer clay jewelry now that we are back in the states.

Teal fused glass cabochons are embedded in granite effect polymer clay bezels. Polymer clay daggers dangle from the bezel settings. Niobium ear wires are hypoallergenic.
Teal Fused Glass Cabochon Earrings with Polymer Clay Triangles


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