STAINED GLASS DRAGONFLIES—THE MAGIC!

STAINED GLASS DRAGONFLIES—THE MAGIC!

 

These two pictures come from Julia’s Auction newsletter. (www.jamesdjulia.com) The one on the left is the 26” dragonfly chandelier by the Tiffany Studios and the one on the right is the 22” hanging head (or drop-head) dragonfly from the Tiffany Studios.

In the Chinese culture the dragonfly represents harmony, prosperity and good luck.  To Native Americans, they are a symbol of purity.  In Japanese culture, the dragonfly is a reminder of summer and early autumn and a symbol of strength and agility.  The Samurai believed the dragonfly represented marital agility and victory.  (adapted from Mike Fredericks newsletter on Julia’s site).  Swedish folklore suggest that dragonflies come around to check for bad souls, sneak up on children who tell lies and adults who curse to stitch up their eyes, mouths and ears!  The Welsh call them the snakes’ servant and believe they follow snakes and stitch up their wounds.

Interesting things about dragonflies is they can fly an amazing 45 miles an hour and can move in all six directions.  They can hover, fly backwards, straight up, down and either side.  They do this while moving their wings 30 times a minute.  To give perspective, a mosquitoes or housefly flap their wings 600 and 1000 times a minute.

Part of the dragonfly’s beauty is the iridescence both on its wings and on its body.  Stained Glass artist and crafters do great work with these traits.

Dragonflies are associated with

Change and transformation

Adaptability

Joy, lightness of being

With that in mind, Stained Glass Express offers a class called The Healing Dragonfly.  It is an uplifting class where you make a stained-glass dragonfly.

The next scheduled Healing Dragonfly starts Wednesdays July 12th – August 2nd (4 weeks) at $75, which includes all materials! Give us a call at 207-213-4126 or stop in our store to sign up!

 The Healing Dragonfly

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PORTABLE GLASS CUTTER

PORTABLE GLASS CUTTER

New Product

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We tried this product out last summer and really loved it.  It has taken us until now to clear a place in the classroom to have one to try and make room in the showroom to have them for sale.

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This piece of art made by Steve Sinclair was cut on a Portable Glass Cutter.  Strip after strip after strip.  This piece won 2nd price in the 25th Annual Just For Contest in 2017 in the Warm Glass Category.

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We have kept the price as low as we can so discount cannot be applied to us.  Currently it is $295.00.

The Portable glass cutter was designed to make cutting glass quick and easy. The cutting action is smooth and effortless. There is no assembly needed, just start cutting. The Portable glass cutter excels at cutting glass strips, squares and rectangles for large and small projects. It features a 13” cutting width, and a custom centering ruler. The custom centering ruler has both inch and metric graduations, with the inch side having markers every 3/8” for strip projects.

Be free to be creative. Don’t let the daunting task of cutting hundreds or thousands of glass strips, squares or rectangles stop you from creating your masterpiece.

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WHEN WILL WE SEE YOU AGAIN (when will we share precious moments)

image from: http://www.glasstile.com/

image from: http://www.glasstile.com/

So now you will be hearing that song in your head all day!

The schedule below is what Oceanside is sharing about their Spectrum production schedule.  As you can see, it is going to take some time to have a steady supply of all the glass numbers.  Over a year.  We have already made many of our numbers inactive because all our suppliers are out of them.  Unless Oceanside put them on the list of glass they will not produce we will continue to save room for them.  We also, at this point have a pretty good stock.   We have tried to fill in the gaps in the 96 fusibles with Wissmach and have a great stock of that.

So no reason, as Oceanside says, that we cannot “keep it glassy!”

Oceanside just sent the following information about their schedule, hopefully this helps with your planning.

1ST SET OF FURNACES (Summer & Fall 2017):
Clear textures
Clear Fusible
Solid Opal Fusible 96:
– Ambers
– Yellow
– Orange
– Reds
– Champagne
– Bronze

2ND SET OF FURNACES (Fall & Winter 2017/2018):
Clear textures
Non-Fusible Opal mixes:
– Blues
– Greens
– Purples
– Black
– Teal
– Steel
– Navy
– Seagreen
– Copper
– Deep Aqua

As you know the color palette is vast and they are anticipating 9-12 months before they run through most colors. Note: not all products in each color base will be produced initially, their focus will be on the most requested products and will move on to those left behind as they make their way through the second cycle on each furnace.

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Tips from the Glass Academy: Powder Stencils

Frequent Glass Academy student, Suzanne Callahan uses stencils to create a dynamic image on her fused pieces

Frequent Glass Academy student, Suzanne Callahan uses stencils to create a dynamic image on her fused pieces click here to see the stencil Suzanne used!

This is an exciting new product for fusers.  To use it:

Stencil down on glass.

Paint it over the stencil with a brush to get a thin film of gel over the entire area with Glastec Gel.  Be sure to cover the entire area.

Put power Frit in a frit sifter.  Tap the handle of the sifter with something so you get a nice even layer of frit.  Not too much.  As you mix color overlap them a bit.

Click here to see our 96 COE frit collection and here to see our 90 COE frit collection

Hold the sifter 2 ½ to 3 inches away from the glass.

Wear a mask.  Powder frit is not something you should breathe in.

Lift the stencil up carefully.  The extra powder is stuck to stencil with the gel so you are left with a perfect design.

Rinse off stencil to use again.

Click here to see our collection of stencils!

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BULLSEYE GREEN GLASS UPDATE

BULLSEYE GREEN GLASS UPDATE

From KOIN CHANNEL 6

With one major art glass manufacturer closed in Portland, Oregon closed and being moved to Mexico, it seemed the remaining Brooklyn-neighborhood-based Bullseye Glass Company, a renowned art-glass maker, could not produce green-colored glass without using dangerous hexavalent chromium.

Until now.

Instead of skirting Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regulations, the firm found a new and different way to make green-colored art glass.

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Bullseye Glass found a way to make green glass without using certain chemicals that pollute the air.

“Even with the highest technological response through our air filtering system, we still can’t use hexavalent chromium, or chrome, the primary colorant for green glass,” said Bullseye co-owner Lani McGregor.

“Because we can’t use this relatively ‘new’ element, our chemist started looking for a solution by researching glassmaking in the Middle Ages — to see how they made green glasses without chrome.”

“Our chemist has some very old books in his collection,” reported company co-owner Dan Schwoerer, as he admired a sheet of Bullseye’s new green glass.

Through trial and error, Bullseye workers tried ancient formulas — using approved manufacturing elements and processes — and found success.

“Although this has been a very challenging year, the exciting part is that we’re coming up with a whole pallet of new green glasses, exclusive with Bullseye,” McGregor smiled.

“So, as far as we know, we’re the first to offer truly ‘green’, green art glass,” Schwoerer added.

Cleaning Portland’s air

Schwoerer talked about the progress the company has made to filter the air coming from the plant’s glass-melting furnaces as he led a tour of the facility in late January.

About Bullseye Glass

“When the DEA announced air quality ‘benchmarks’ for hexavalent chromium — which is .08 ng/m³ — the background level is higher than that,” Schwoerer remarked “In order to meet that ‘benchmark’ level here, we’d have to take all of the air in the city, and clean it, to get it below that level!”

With the company’s $1 million air filtration “baghouse” systems up and running, their next challenge, Schwoerer said, was adding and calibrating an exhaust air leak detection system to warn if any of the filters were leaking elements.

“It’s a pretty cool device that monitors the air, after it’s been through the filtration system, but it’s not cheap — it costs about $25,000 to install and program.

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Bullseye Glass owner Dan Schwoerer shows off the new green glass their chemist was able to make without using chemicals that pollute the air. (KOIN)

“And, although it’s required by the DEQ, they told us that they don’t know of anyone that actually has one of these monitoring systems installed, and they havn’t yet provided monitoring and alarm-setting practices,” Schwoerer added.

Standing under the baghouse units, Schwoerer pointed out the probe inserted into the post-filtering air stream which counts particles moving past it via what’s called the ‘triboelectric effect’. When particles hit the probe, they give off electrons, causing measurable current flow.

Technically, this monitor isn’t finalized, because it has yet to undergo certified calibration. “It will be ‘source tested’ as it measures grains per cubic foot,” Schwoerer said. “The permanent rule requires us to be below .005 grains per cubic foot — a very small amount, because there are 7,000 grains to a pound.”

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Inside Bullseye Glass in Southeast Portland, Feb. 16, 2016.  Just then, loud-but-muffled “booms” resonated in baghouse area when a worker set a control to “purge” some of the 72 HEPA filter units, with a blast of air inside the sealed unit, causing the collected dust to be blown off and drop down into a sealed collection system.

“We’re really starting to feel confident that the system is working well and consistently, and we aren’t getting any surprises. We’re glad we’ve been able to accomplish making glass using an artesan process, but it hasn’t been without a substantial cost,” Schwoerer said. “Beyond the equipment investment, our managers haven’t had time off in the last 11 months, as we install and learn to operate the new systems.”

McGregor chimed in, “Some people say it’s great that we’re up and running again, as if it all happened overnight. But, we have been working for a solid year now, and continuing the effort for likely another six months or a year, to get this entire new system fully functional.”

In the end, the result will be worth it, to be able to keep operating their business in the Brooklyn neighborhood, employing local people, and supplying customers locally and around the world with art glass.

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Tips from the Glass Academy: What pen to use for what!

Silver sharpie seems to be a very versatile marker.  If you want to make a mark on a mold that you don’t want to go away the silver will not burn off in the kiln.  Things like—“this mold needs to be in the center of the kiln” or “use 2 oz of fine frit”.  Your notes will say!  (write on the bottom)

The silver also lives up to the grinder and the saw better than most, especially if you let it dry.  When dry it holds so well you may have to steel wool (0000 steel wool) it to get it off. 1610

Click here to purchase a Silver Sharpie

Of course, you can’t always use silver because it might not show up on the glass you are using.  Or you might be able to use it but don’t want to wait for it to be completely dry.  Mark Stay is the solution for this.

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Smear if over the line you are grinding or sawing near and it will keep it from getting washed off.  You can also dab it onto a pattern piece to keep it in place while you trace.

Click here to purchase Mark Stay II

 

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AM I GOOD ENOUGH!

We hear this a lot around March and April when we chat with folks about them entering the “Just for Fun Contest” that is due in March and is on display in April.

We do have some very skilled, extremely talented people enter this contest.  We have artists who have professional studios set up and sell their work.   We also have some total beginners and for past few years we have had a least one entry by a child.  We have different styles of work, some original/some from a pattern.  We get flat, 3-d, pictorial and abstract.

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All the entries have two things in common.  First, they are all made of glass.  Second, they are all worthy entries.

The variety of work and the different skill levels are what make the contest wonderful.  Each piece draws out comments of appreciation for something.  It might be choice of color or choice of glass.  Some little quirky thing someone might have done.  The high skill, the original design, a favorite pattern or topic.  NEVER, NEVER have we heard— “that doesn’t belong”.

Remember the name is “Just for Fun”.  That may sound trite but we put a lot of thought into it.  We did not want the contest to have rules we had to monitor and we did not want to limit it in any way.

So–YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH.   I will say I do have a lot of admiration for people willing to put their work on display.  There is a bit of bravery involved.  So be brave.  Start working on next year’s piece.

-Janet

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Tips from the Glass Academy: Making Pebbles

Some info from Glass Campus

You can make your own fusible pebbles.  In today’s market where product availability is uncertain, it is good thing to know.

It does seem strange, but to make round pebbles, start with square glass.  The size of your pebble will depend on the size of your square.  Do some experimenting to get what you want.

When you fire to a full fuse, glass rounds off.  Small pieces will become perfectly round, but larger ones will be partially round.  To make larger round pebbles you should stack multiple layers.

A single ½ inch square fired to a full fuse will produce a 3/8 inch round pebble.  Two ½ squares stacked will produce a ½ round.  3 layers of ¾ inch squares will get a 1 1/8 inch round.

When stacking, do not stack evenly.  Stack so the points are opposite on the top layer from the bottom layer.

Size Predictions

1 layer 1/2 inch square 3/8 inch round

2 layer 1/2 inch squares 1/2 inch round

3 layer 1/2 inch squares 5/8 inch round

4 layer 1/2 inch squares 3/4 inch round

1 layer 3/4 inch square 1/2 inch not round

2 layer 3/4 inch squares 3/4 inch not round

3 layer 3/4 inch squares 1 1/8” round

Firing Schedule

SEGMENT RAMP TEMP HOLD (min) 1 900F (500C) 1460F (790C) 30

2 FULL 960F (515C) 30 An unusually long hold is needed to allow the glass

A longer hold is needed to allow the glass time to draw into a full round.  If you can turn off your side elements and fire with the lid you will get more reliable rounds.  Glass is drawn towards heat.  If there is top heat, the glass is drawn up and will pull in to form the round.

 

 

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Tips from the Glass Academy: Getting your pattern to the glass!

GETTING YOUR PATTERN TO THE GLASS

You have some options here.  There is more than one way.

I think most people get pattern shears and cut out their pattern pieces and trace them onto the glass.

http://www.stainedglassexpress.com/Duralife-Foil-Shears.html

http://www.stainedglassexpress.com/Mika-Fixed-Blade-Lead-Shears.html

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There is also a technique of taking tracing paper and tracing your pattern onto the glass.

A real short cut is to use a light box.  You trace your pattern pieces directly on the glass.  Saves time by not having to cut out and number pattern pieces.  It also allows you to really be looking at the glass and seeing the direction, pattern and variations in the glass before you cut.

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Info and picture from anypattern.com

When you use this method, cut on the inside of the line.

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Tips from the Glass Academy: Steel Wool

You aught to have 4 aught!  A grade of steel wool is called an “aught” .  So when you ask for the steel wool you need at the hardware store ask for 4 aught.  0000 steel wool.

Here are some of the things you can use it for.

  • It is great for repair work. Before you try to get the solder off, steel wool it.  Get the dirt off and get the patina off (patina is toxic to breath so you are better off scrubbing off what you can).
  • Speaking of patina, if you put some on and don’t like it, steel wool it off.
  • When putting patina on zinc, my son, Glenn, has a trick to get it shiny black. Steel wool the zinc and put patina on.  Then (the trick) steel wool it again and patina it again.  His always looks great!
  • If you leave a piece for time and the solder or lead becomes oxidized, use the steel wool to get that white scum off!
  • If you have some sort of junk on piece of glass like old paint, a marker mark or glue from a sticker, steel wool it. Aught 4 will not scratch your glass.  Do be careful of painted work where you do not want the paint to come off.  Make sure you are cleaning off what you want off.  I have seen the face of Jesus partially taken off!

Clean the steel wool with soap and water.

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