A pattern bar is a thick bundle of glass that has been fused together. These can be in the shape of a rectangle, or can be a thick pot melt – whether a disc or a rectangle. The length of the individual bars can be as long as your kiln allows, but needs to be practical to handle when cutting.
The basic steps involved in making a pattern bar include deciding on a design –whether controlled or random, cutting glass for the bar, assembling the cut glass into the desired bar shape, then firing to a full fuse. Once fired, pattern bars can be cut into slices with a saw - tile, glass, lapidary, or stone – which uses water for cooling and lubrication. The individual slices are then assembled and re-fused to make bowls, platters, and similar shapes. They can also be used as accents in any number of applications.
There is a caution about using pattern bar pieces. As the glass in the bars has been fired to a relatively high temperature, some of the characteristics may have changed. So you need to do a compatibility test before doing the main piece.
Designing Pattern Bars
Boxes for Pattern Bars
Dams for Pattern Bars