When it comes to having tools some people will say more is better. But when it comes to glass there are a few standard fused glass tools out there that one should have and be very competent with.
The first and most important tool you will need to buy is a glass cutter. Glass cutters come in two basic shapes, the Pencil grip and Pistol grip. Both of the glass cutters will get the job done but some people favor one more than the other. People who do not have a lot of forearm strength and want a studier tool tend to like the Pistol Grip. While others prefer the Pencil Grip because it is easier to create free flowing lines.
The next tool you should have in your glass tool kit is a Grozing Plier. Relatively cheap at about $13 Grozing Pliers are used to break the glass once it has been scored. What is scored glass? The definition of a score is a scratch or incision made along the surface of the glass. Basically it is glass that you have run either your penicl or pistol grip cutter across.
Sore more standard glass tools that I'm sure you will find quite useful when working with fused glass are below.
Breaking Pliers - These are fantastic tools gor breaking your glass cut. They give you precise control and are ideal for breaking inside concave cuts.
if you want to make your fused glass life easier then purchase some 700.0 Silberschnitt glass breaking pliers. These pliers are made in Germany and will break glass up to 5mm thick. Ok, what's so impressive about that? I mean I can drop 5mm glass onto the floor and have it break also. It's impressive because of the control you get.
The pliers give fused glass artists more control because of an upper pressure bar that is turnable and can be adjusted to the score. That means you can cut really small glass strips and inner curves without splintering.
I would like to make a note here. The observant reader may have noticed that many of the tools pictured here have yellow tape on them. This is because when working in a glass studio you might find yourself lending out or accidentally leaving out your equipment. This makes it easier tracking down or figuring out which is yours. Just choose a color that no one else is using and your good to go.
Glass sivs are great for spreading glass frit and poweder evenly onto your work. You can buy these glass tools almost anywhere. Remember to wear a mask when working with glass powders.
Glass Circle Cutters are great for getting perfect cirlces. However, unlike other tools you can't just purchase these at the local hardware store. Check out glass tool specialty sites for pricing and ordering information.
Also keep in mind that there are a lot of tools out there that you can repurpose or create yourslef.
For example the tool above is just a modified spoon. Its sides were bent inward to make it easier to lay down glass frit or powder in a more contolled manner.
You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to repurposed or custom glass tools which can help create unique effects in your artwork.
So the next time you take a trip to the hardware store stroll through the isles and look for things that you could use as a unique tool. Think about things that you could use as a stencil. Or better yet things that you could drag through your glass frit and get an interesting affect.
Ok, if you've gone out and bought these tools then your ready to start cutting glass. But before you do remember to buy and use safety equipment