How to Make Cracked Glass Art

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Cracked glass reflects light in unpredictable ways.
Cracked glass reflects light in unpredictable ways. (Image: Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Crafting fine art out of shards of ordinary glass requires a trained eye, capable of seeing the end result of long, painstaking work. Cracked glass art can be two-dimensional, such as a collage, or sculptural and three-dimensional. Working with glass also demands steady hands and some common-sense safety precautions. While the medium may seem crafty and folksy, museum-quality fine art has resulted from renowned artists working with glass and glue.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass
  • Tarp
  • Towel
  • Hammer
  • Wooden backing board
  • Epoxy

Collect clear and colored glass items from local flea markets. If you have picture frames that you don't need, add these to the collection.

Clear a work area in your garage or outside. Try not to work with broken glass inside your house. Lay down a tarp to catch loose fragments during the shattering process.

Lay a shop towel over the pieces of glass you want to break. Rap the glass firmly with a hammer. If you apply too much force, the piece may disintegrate entirely.

Pick out the pieces you think will add interest to the finished piece. Arrange them next to a wooden backing board.

Lay the pieces on the backing board in a pleasing arrangement. Move pieces around to see how different placements achieve different effects.

Cover the entire surface of glass pieces in epoxy. Be sure that the resin drips in between the segments of glass. Wait several hours as the epoxy dries and sets.

Tips & Warnings

  • Window glass usually has plastic reinforcement on one side to prevent shattering. Try coating the untreated side in epoxy and then cracking the entire pane with a ball-peen hammer or chisel. Let the epoxy work into the cracks and harden. This will create a more improvisational piece of cracked glass art.
  • Wear eye protection and gloves while working with and cracking glass. A sturdy apron is also a good idea to keep glass fragments out of your clothes. Don't wear your shoes back into the house as you may bring glass inside. When you're finished with the artwork, clean the area thoroughly.

References

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