Xerography in Glass


This web page provides samples and additional information on my class at the Corning Museum of Glass Studio in Fall 2003. (I publicly displayed the self-portrait above which was done with this technique in February 2003.)

The photos are not particularly good, but they are the best I can come up with on short notice. They were made with an inexpensive auto focus digital camera.

The CMoG Studio announcement for the class said:


October 18-19 Instructor: Wallace Venable

The subject of this workshop is a new technique in which monochrome laserprinted images from computer-generated art or photocopies from any source are fused into glass. Basic flat fusing techniques for small objects (jewelry and plaques), image preparation, and image transfer processes will be introduced. Students are encouraged to bring personal designs produced from photos, clip art, original computer-generated line art, and art that may be scanned by computer. No glassworking experience is necessary.

Wallace Venable, an engineer and glassworker, has perfected a technique for transferring images onto glass, which he will introduce at The Studio this fall.

Yes, xerography is actually a word. My copy of The AmericanHeritage College dic.tion.ar.y includes the following:

There are other ways to transfer monochrome images to glass. One is the gum bichromate photographic emulsion. This requires both a darkroom and involvement in chemistry. Another is by silk screen. This can be done without a darkroom, but is time consuming and is not good for one-of-a-kind objects. This process It is "immediate"and "personal," assuming you have a computer with laserprinter or a toner-based copier.

The process is basically one of transferring the print from a"Xerox copy," or laser printed sheet to glass, then fusing it. The black changes to brown in the process. I am putting "xerox copies" into or onto glass. I hadn't actually used a copier before teaching the class, but we used the Xerox copier in the CMoG Studio office during the class, and it worked.

I prepare my art work with computer graphics programs, and print with an HP LaserJet4P. I typically use Paint Shop Pro - a Photo Shop clone, and Micrografx Designer - an Illustrator clone - to do the graphics work.

One of my first experiments with the technique was to produce some plates for inclusion in paperweights. The weights were made by the Gentile Glass Company of Star City, West Virginia. They are about 3 1/4 inches in diameter, and were produced at the furnace as family momentos.

I referred to the process as involving "fusing," in order to distinguish it from cold-work, flamework, and furnace blowing. The actual processing of the image can be done as a "firing"process at about 1200° F as well as at fusing temperatures of over 1400° F. It can therefore be considered as part of the painters' or "enamelers' tool kit.

The purpose of the class was to allow students to learn the image transfer process, but a quick introduction to kilnwork, including cutting and fusing, was included for those without prior experience.

I indicated that we would work on "small objects" because the emphasis was to be on learning technique, not on producing objects. Students produced a number of items to take home - a few "exercises" plus original work.

Using easily available equipment and supplies, the size of any one image is limited to 8.5 by 11 inch on standard paper. The size of a composite panel is limited only by kiln size, or the size of a fabricated "stained glass" panel. In my own work, size has been limited to 8 by 8 inches because I use a 9 inch square kiln.

I started this as a "fusing" technique (multiple layers of Bullseye taken to 1400 F), but I've been experimenting with variations. I've moved to also doing single layers "fired" at 1200F. That works, too. I will bring some "stained glass"panels to Corning. In the CMoG class we will be doing it in the "Warm Glass Shop" mostly using Bullseye sheet glass and kilns. You will get an introduction to fusing as part of the class. If you are "a glass painter" you might immediately include the technique in your work if your kiln will hit about1400 F.


While most of the work was on flat pieces, our first quickie exercise was to fuse images to some cheap tumblers.


 Marshall Hyde acted as Teaching Assistant. His help was essential because of his familiarity with the Studio facilities. Thanks again, Marshall.

During the class Marshall fused some portraits to wine bottles. Due to the closeness of the temperature required to fuse the images to the glass and the slumping temperature for the bottles, he got some interesting "artistic" effects.

My note to participants added:

While I have taken four one or two week long classes at The Studio, this is my first experience with the "weekend" format. Based on my previous Studio visits:

This is also my first experience as a Studio Instructor. I have taught several short classes on fusing and decorating glass as part of the programs of Riverfront Museums, Inc. in Morgantown. I have also taught a lot of other things, including 30 years in the engineering classroom.

Revisions added 20 July 2009.