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Glass Artist Tips & Tricks Archive

Glass Archive Organized by month.
July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / January 2008 / July 2008
November 2010 / December 2010

Note February 28th tip was removed to make an article on dichroic glass.

The tips from the 4th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th have been removed as well and can be found in the piece How to Cut Fused Glass.

February 27, 2007

Yesterday we started talking about using dichroic glass in your kiln formed glass artwork. So as you guessed, today we will continue discussing that subject. Since It is easy to see dichroic colors reflecting off the surfaces of black-coated and clear-coated glass you will notice that companies only make what is called dichro/black and dichro/clear. Right now there are not that many companies out there coating glass with this unique metallic surface because it takes very specialized equipment. Thus you will find that it isn't exactly cheap to buy this extraordinary glass.

February 26, 2007

Looking to captivate people with your warm glass art? Then start using dichroic glass. Dichroic glass is glass that is one color when seen by reflected light and another color when light shines through it. This is sometimes due to the presence of minute quantities of colloidal gold.

February 25, 2007

Escape monochrome monotony. Put your single colored gather into an optic mold. That will cause unequal distribution of the color resulting in lines of varying color intensity. Then go to the bench, make a light jack line about ½ inch from the bottom, and grab the glass with your diamond shears. While turning the pipe and holding the piece with the shears, you can twist the lines made by the mold. When you blow out your piece it looks like you’ve striped it with color!

February 24, 2007

Want to add a decorative element to your fused glass piece? Then try using stringers. Stringers are long thin threads of glass made from melted pieces of glass. You can bend a stringer rather easily into almost any shape you desire just by using the heat of a candle. Don't be alarmed if soot from the candle is left on the stringer as this will be burnt off once you put your warm glass in the kiln.

February 23, 2007

When it comes to deep slumping and draping fused glass it is best to do it one project at a time. This is because you'll usually get one piece that is just right but the rest will still need more time in the kiln. However, if you wait until the other warm glass pieces are done then you will probably find that your first project is over-fired.

February 22, 2007

It is always important to clean your warm glass before firing. Making sure that your art work is clean from cutting oil and fingerprints will help keep the impurities from being fired into the glass. It's no fun to open up your kiln only to find a permanent stain on your work. Cleaning your glass doesn't have to be a hassle either. Just wash it in warm water with a little detergent and dry it thoroughly with a clean towel.

February 21, 2007

Don't dirty the water! When using a paper you should let it soak sufficiently not to catch fire when it comes in contact with your glass. Make up a couple pads, and soak them in advance (optimally, about an hour).

When used, don't put the paper (and all that ash and soot) back into the bucket. Just re-wet it with a handful (or block full) of water. No drowning necessary!

February 20, 2007

Let your inner Picasso shine! Leave that canvas in the closet and try your hand at painting on glass. When it comes to decorating glass with paint there are several types of paints and processes. These include: Traditional stained glass painting, glass enamels, air-dried and oven cured glass paints, and frit painting. And that's only naming a few!

February 19, 2007

To help prevent devitrification and discoloration in your warm glass projects try to minimize the amount of grinding you do on your piece. One way to help prevent unnecessary glass grinding is by scoring and breaking your glass as close to your final shape as possible.

February 18, 2007

Remember that when slumping warm glass into a mold you are actually stretching the glass. So the deeper your slump goes into the mold the thinner the glass gets at the stretch area. Thus if it gets too thin then it will break. Making you an unhappy camper.

February 17, 2007

When gluing glass together make sure that you thoroughly clean the area where you will be placing the glue. Also make sure you use rubbing alcohol to clean the glass.

February 16, 2007

Yesterday we talked about how you can use adhesives to help keep your warm glass art together before fusing. Today well talk about an inexpensive way to make a glass adhesive.

Try using a white glue such as Elmer's. Add water to the glue before applying. A 50-50 mixture should do fine. The key is you want the glue to burn out of the glass without leaving a mark behind.

February 15, 2007

Moving your warm glass work from the work bench to the kiln without your parts moving out of position can be a little tricky. However, you can make your life easier by using adhesives to secure one glass piece to another before moving it to the kiln.

February 8, 2007

In fused glass what do they mean by Annealing Temperature? Basically annealing temperature is the temp. where the molecules in the glass optimally realign themselves evenly throughout the glass.

February 6, 2007

Don't comb your hair comb your glass! If you want to create a unique line pattern in your warm glass than try this technique. First make sure you are wearing a mask because you will be using glass powder. Now spread glass powder on a piece of flat glass. All you need to do now is drag a comb through the powder. Once you've fired your piece in the kiln you will have an interesting line pattern on your fused glass.

February 5, 2007

Avoid having to call a plumber? After you've fired your glasswork don't wash your Thinfire™ paper off in the sink. Doing this could clog your drain. Instead keep a plastic bucket filled with water near your kiln and wash it off there. We actually use a trash can to wash off our warm glass. After the particles have settled in the water carefully pour out the water and put what's left in a trash bag.

February 3, 2007

Things that go boom? Avoid having your warm glass blow up in the kiln by never putting anything wet or even damp into your kiln prior to firing. The dampness will produce steam and can cause your fused glass to go...umm, how should we say this? Ballistic!

February 2, 2007

Yesterday we gave you some tips on how to keep bubbles from forming in your fused glass work. Today well give you another one.

Called a 'bubble squeeze' adding a 1/2 hour soak time around 1200°F (650°C) may help prevent bubbles from forming in your warm glass work. Also slow your ramp speed down between 1050°F to 1250° (565°C to 675°C). This will give the bubbles time to escape before the edges of your glass artwork seal.

February 1, 2007

Last month we talked about how bubbles can ruin your fused glass work. Well today we will give you some tips to keep this from happening.

Two ways you can help ensure that your warm glass work won't be ruined by bubbles:

1. If your going to use clear glass as your top layer make sure it's not a full-size piece. If you cut it into smaller pieces the air will be able to vent out. Don't worry about your top clear piece looking bad since it will combine back together after a full fuse firing.

2. At the edge between larger glass layers you can place a small 'lift glass' piece. The 'lift glass" piece will hold the edge up longer allowing the air to escape because the center will slump first.


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