Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What's New: Fused Glass Leather Bracelet

Typically at the beginning of the year before my show schedule starts, I like to experiment with new designs.  In fact, this is my favorite part of making glass (in addition to learning new techniques).  I've been toying around with incorporating fused glass into a leather bracelet since last year and decided now was the time.  However, I didn't really know how I would go about this as I've never worked with leather before.  So, I did a search online and found a leather company, Tandy Leather Factory, in the area and stopped in.

There, I found a kindred spirit, Jim, who also likes to jump into projects.  He was quite helpful and gave me a few ideas of how I could attach the glass to the leather, most of them involving riveting.  So, I left the store with some leather pieces, a rivet set, mallet, and hole punch and went home to figure out how I might design the bracelet with the glass attaching to the leather.

I sketched out a few design options and settled on the method straight away.  I would fused wire onto the sides of a fused glass strip that would be the center of the bracelet and attach the leather through the wire loops.  So, I fused a prototype, cut the strips of leather with a razor blade and practiced my riveting.  Note: the success of the riveting is more of a function of having the right sized rivet more than anything else, although being able to set the rivet straight (i.e. pound straight) does help.  From the prototype, I could see that the design would work, so I fused a number of glass centers and gave them a gentle slump using a bracelet mold.

Last week, I went back to see Jim and we figured out how the rest of the bracelet would come together.  I also needed Jim to give me a lesson on setting snaps. Now, I have a leather strip cutter, snap/rivet setter, leather scissors, an end punch, leather dye, applicator, and everything else I need to make a set of bracelets.

The bracelet was relatively easy to make, especially when you have someone who's willing to help you. I'm very happy with how it turned out and look forward to making more in the near future.  Let me know what you think of it.


  1. Cute Bracelet :) I love bracelets
    Gorgeous photos. Lovely idea.

  2. Love it, do you have a tutorial on how to fuse the glass with the wire?

    1. No tutorial - just bend the wire in a U shape with a pair of pliers (I like to keep the corners square) and fuse between the glass, making sure that there's enough room (width and depth) for the leather you're using. Do a couple of tests first -- that's what I did.