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: The June 8th tip was moved to the glass tools section of the site.
My cold is gone now. Hurray! Hurray! What your really not that excited? Oh, well...Today's glass tip is one about lingo. You know some patois, jargon, or slang about glass so you can sound like a pro. And here it is - Veteran glass fusers refer to gluing glass as "cold fusing".
Now keep in mind when your cold fusing make sure to really clean the glass. Especially the spots where the glue will be going. To make sure that your warm glass is completely clean try using rubbing alcohol or even those moist towelettes you can get from restaurants.
Having a cold in summer is truly a horrible thing however I won't let it daunt me from giving you some glass information.So as I sit here with my brain leaking out my nose I wonder what shall today's tip be? How about this fun factoid about mold blowing.
Mold blowing is inflating a parison of hot glass in a mold. Forced against the inner surfaces of the mold the glass assumes it's shape and any decoration it has.
Wow! It's a beautiful day outside and what am I doing? Sitting here in the dark (the lights are off) writing glass tips. Maybe I'll go outside for a bit......(tick)..(tick).......ok I'm back now. So what glass subjects should we discuss today? How about this little factoid. Did you know that kilns can have hot and cold spots in them? Ok that was a rhetorical question and yes in fact they do.
So what does this mean to the average glass fuser? It means that when you are deep slumping multiple items than you should do it one piece at a time. This avoids the ever unpleasant experience of opening up your kiln and finding that a particular piece didn't fully slump.
Ok, so lets recap what we talked about yesterday when we were talking about kiln safety.
- Place your glass kiln on a nonflammable surface.
- Keep it at least three feet away from anything flammable.
- Place the kiln on a stand (Allows for air circulation).
- Keep a fire extinguisher near by.
However, these are just a few of the important things you should keep in mind when working around a glass kiln. Some more safety considerations are - Make sure to wear protective equipment when opening a kiln - gloves, eye protection, etc. But why would you want to open the kiln other than to retrieve your art work? Certain techniques such as combing and topping off glass molds require that you open the kiln when it is hot.
If your going to open the kiln while it is hot make sure to cut off it's power before you open it. This will help minimize the risk of you getting an electrical burn. It is also very important that you protect your eyes because glass bubbles could pop and really hurt your peepers.
Another important safety consideration is that when glass nears the temperature 600° C / 1100° F it begins to glow red. Great, so what does this have to do with safety? Well, hot glass emits infrared rays and prolonged exposure to this can give you cataracts. However, you can block these rays by wearing certain kinds of eyeglasses. No not sunglasses.....Welders glasses can block infrared light. Just make sure to purchase ones that will sufficiently block the rays. Number 3 welder's glasses should do the trick.
So lets talk about glass kiln safety. As you already know a kiln is an oven used for firing or refiring glass objects. But do you know where you should place your kiln?
First off make sure you place your kiln on cement or another nonflammable surface. DO NOT PLACE YOUR KILN ON A WOODEN FLOOR. (You'd be amazed to find that some people really have done this - but your not one of those people right?)
Make sure your fused glass kiln is placed at least 3 feet from anything that is flammable. Placing it on a stand is also wise because it keeps it off the floor and allows for air circulation. Also make sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby...more on kiln safety tomorrow.
When it comes to working with fused glass there are some tools out there that you might not think about purchasing but nevertheless are still very handy to have on hand. For example it is always good to keep X-ACTO® knife (sometimes called a craft knife) in your toolkit. With this tool you can conserve the amount of thinfire paper you have because you can cut out exact sizes you need before putting your work in the kiln.