About the Artist
Suzanne Balestri was an interior designer when she first began her explorations with fused glass. After taking a fused glass workshop for fun in 2006, it didn’t take long for her passion for the glass medium to grow. She soon began taking more in-depth courses in fused glass as well as jewelry design and fabrication at UC San Diego. In 2008, Suzanne began selling her work and participating in art shows.
About the Art
These fused glass pieces of wearable art are handcrafted using a process originally developed by the Ancient Egyptians. Glass fusion requires carefully measuring, cutting and cleaning fusible glass before layering and assembling it into the desired conceptual design. The assembled unit is then placed into a kiln for several hours until it reaches 1475 degrees, the point at which the layered pieces melt into each other to become one piece. The kiln is then cooled over several hours, which anneals the glass to give it strength and durability. A good portion of the pieces come out of the kiln requiring further work (called “cold-working”) which includes grinding, drilling, sawing or sandblasting, depending on the what the desired final outcome of the piece is. After the piece is cold-worked, it requires another round through the kiln – at even slower heating and cooling rates – to “fire-polish” the piece.
Design Balestri will ship all in-stock items within 3 business days (upon receipt of payment). Please allow up to 3 weeks for out-of-stock items as each piece is individually made. Custom pieces will be shipped upon final approval.
The fusing process makes the glass pieces inherently strong and durable. Since any glass can be scratched if rubbed against rough surfaces, Design Balestri does not offer guarantees against scratching. If what you receive does not live up to your expectations, you may return it for a full refund (less shipping) within 14 days of delivery date.
Each jewelry piece is hand made and you’ll love wearing it and the compliments you get when you do! Although the fusing process creates great strength and durability in the glass, a little TLC goes a long way! Just like a cell phone, glass can break if dropped, or scratch if rubbed against a rough surface, so be mindful in certain situations.
If there is something you want and don’t see we are happy to accommodate custom orders. Just contact Suzanne! Prices will vary depending on the design.
Cleaning – The glass portion of your piece is easily cleaned with water alone, or glass cleaner – just make sure to spray the cleaner on a cloth and THEN wipe the glass so as not to get the cleaning chemicals on the other non-glass elements of your piece.
Storage – If your piece contains sterling silver, you can slow the process of oxidation (tarnishing) by storing your piece in a ziploc baggie and preferably in a cool dark place (such as a jewelry box!) when you are not wearing it. Anti-tarnish squares placed inside the baggie will also preserve the silver. If the silver becomes dull or starts to tarnish, a quick rub with a polishing cloth will restore it in seconds! Also, the more you wear it the shinier it stays since our skin is a natural polisher!
Always put your jewelry on last to avoid spraying perfumes, hairspray and other substances. Jewelry should be removed before showering, swimming, handling cleaners or other chemicals.