I have had many hobbies over the years. I've done rug hooking, embroidery, cross stitch, macrame, crochet and on and on. What I do now is call glass fusing. Also called warm glass or kiln fusing, this craft involves molding and manipulating glass in a very hot kiln.
I got started because my daughter was interested and we took a class together. First we studied how to work with art glass, creating cabochons, plates, bowls, suncatchers and so on. Then we took another class on working with PMC or precious metal clay. The PMC fine silver (99% pure) can be fused onto the glass cabochons, so that opened up even more options for creativity. That was exciting!
After months of going to a studio once or twice a week, we finally felt it was time to purchase a small kiln so that we could so more work at home. That also reduces the wait time, as most pieces require 2-3 fusings. It's a big investment even though we didn't get a large one, but our kiln is a 12 inch round Evenheat that has served us well.
Next, we had to invest in a variety of art glass, and an assortment of cutting tools, also quite expensive. For refinements and shaping it is important to have a grinder. We got a dremel tool with diamond bits for drilling holes in the cabochons. You can see how this begins to add up! There are more tools we need/want to buy, but we can only add them as our budget allows. A band saw is high on the list!
We set up a studio in our unfinished basement, which gave us plenty of room to spread out and work. You really need a work space where no one can walk through, as you end up with tiny shards of glass everywhere. It's almost impossible to clean them all up. A utility sink nearby is very helpful for cleaning.
Right away we got a lot of requests for our pieces, so we opened a little shop online on Etsy where we sell nightlights, hair barrettes, and more.