Newy Fagan Studio

History of Kilnformed Glass

Many sources place the origins of glass forming to around 2000 BC. The Egyptians and Romans were certainly some of the most prolific glass formers  and examples of their work can be found in many museums. Studying early glass objects allows us to document the use of the fusing process. Fusing flourished in the form of decorative wall tiles, jewelry and intricate bowls from 1500 BC to around 500 AD.

After 500 AD and to around the 1900's, glass blowing became the desired forming method. There are very few fused pieces from this time, with the exception of the "Pate de Verre" process. This process fuses crushed glass in a mold and was popular in the Art Nouveau period. Henri Gros' work is a great representative of work from this period (1880-1920).

Glass blowers of the time period did use some fusing techniques to attach designs to their vessels. However, their main desire was directed towards the rapidly increasing utilitarian market for glass. It is because of this shifted priority that fusing has taken so long to flourish again. When the rest of the glass industry experienced rapid technology growth during the Renaissance, fusing was not so lucky. In the 4000-year existence of glass forming, the first 2000 was rich in the development of fusing. That is unfortunately not the case of the second half of the 4000 years.  

Around 1935, glass enameling, glass slumping and occasionally fusing reappeared. Glass was abundant in the forms of inexpensive window glass all the way to glass bottles. This resurgence was started by small clumps in the USA and continues to flourish.