When picturing stained glass art, windows have long been the standard used to display beauty in this art form. When Tiffany began selling stained glass art pieces that used copper, traditional stained glass took a giant step forward in the art world. The use of copper allowed artists to create pieces that weighed much less, and it allowed artisans to explore a new facet of expressing beauty with glass. Eventually, this technique became widespread and became another standard form of glass art.
Modern studios continue to teach the art of making these projects, but they have also begun teaching the art of glass fusion. Fusion art grew out of the need to do something with leftover glass shards, but it has turned into its own form of art over the last few decades. Modern techniques of fusion have allowed artists to explore and develop this art, and they have taken it past the shard stage and into a unique format for creative expression.
The majority of traditional glass art depends upon the glass having a flat surface, and many different pieces of glass are cut to create an art piece. There are some forms created with beveled glass pieces, and others use rounded glass with a flat side. No matter what type of glass is used, all of them are combined to create the pattern the artist has envisioned. They are then joined with zinc or copper to form the finished piece.
Many glass manufacturers and glass art studios recognized that glass shards and pieces were a by-product of this art form. Rather than tossing out the pieces, they were often stored in bins and sold at a reduced price. Modern artists now purchase the leftovers, and they use them to create art pieces by fusing the glass together in kilns. This is one of the fascinating ways the craft of glass art has changed in recent decades.