Author Archives: SGE

Tips from the Glass Academy: Accessory Glass

So Much Fun with Accessory Glass!


Available in 96 COE and 90 COE as well as regular stained glass. You can get very hard to cut glass already cut. Animals, bugs, sea stuff, flowers, holiday items, stars, nature items, symbols, hearts, vegetables, winter items, on and on!

Shop for 96 COE precuts here


Similar to non-fusible nuggets. Approximately 1/2” diameter and 1/4” thick. Fusible. Beautiful colors.  Great to embellish your projects. They come in bags of approximately 25 pieces.

Shop for 96 COE pebbles here


Smaller than pebbles. 1/4” to 3/8” diameter. About 50 in a package. Also available in mixes.

Shop for 96 COE polka dots here




Dots are cut from rods. A convenience product. No need for you to be nipping rods. The other nice thing about them is that they come in mixed 1 oz packs so you do not have to buy a bunch of rods to get a nice variety of color.

Shop for 96 COE dots here


So much fun in a 1/2 oz package. At first glance, they look round but they are actually flat which makes them much easier to use. They are thin – the sizes range from 1/12” to 1/4”.

Shop for 96 COE frit balls here

Tips from the Glass Academy: Fractures or Confetti

Every time I look at glass fractures, I wonder how they make them. They are just fascinating. It is called fracture glass or Confetti.

It is made from eggshell-thin blown shards or flakes. They are irregularly shaped and very thin wafer type pieces of glass. This from Wikipedia “…are prepared from very hot, colored molten glass, gathered at the end of a blowpipe. A large bubble is forcefully blown until the walls of the bubble rapidly stretch, cool and harden. The resulting glass bubble has paper-thin walls and is immediately shattered into shards.”

They are usually intensely colored. Sometimes they are sold just in a container so that you can use them as embellishments in fusing projects.

Note the orange mushroom on the left

Note the orange mushroom on the left


One of the biggest uses is Fractures and Streamers glass. This glass is fused to the bottom of sheets during the rolling process. This glass is so beautiful as backgrounds for leaves or flowers in particular. To make this, a hot ladle of clear glass is rolled across a table strewn with fractures and streamers. It is often sharp on the back side so be careful about running your hand across it.

The fracture/streamer glass was something that Tiffany and his glass artisans used often as backgrounds making it look like there were lots of leaves or flowers in the distance. The streamers often look like twigs or branches among the leaves, while clear streamers can look like cobwebs.


Girl with Cherry Blossoms by Tiffany studio. Not only are fractures and streamers in the background, her dress is drapery glass!

~ Janet



Glass Patterns Quarterly “Holiday Issue” is Here!


Just arrived…the Winter 2016 “Holiday Issue” of Glass Patterns Quarterly magazine.

Available for purchase in our online store and in our Manchester store.

Exciting projects in this issue for all skill levels:

Stained Glass

  • Victorian Gourd Panel
  • Copper Foil Overlay
  • Halloween Tree

Fused Glass

  • Woven Glass
  • Metal Leafing
  • Stencil Design
  • Fused Spoons
  • Fall Centerpiece
  • Combing Technique


  • Embossed Bottles

Buy It Now!



Tips from the Glass Academy: How We Got to Now

(some of this info comes from a summary by Jennifer Robinson)

I picked up a book on tape from my son’s counter the other day. As I was looking it over, he asked if I wanted to borrow it. “Sure!” I really love books on tape. The name of the book is “How We Got to Now” by Steven Johnson. It is about the six innovations that made the modern world.

I popped in the first CD and began listening. To my surprise, the first innovation was glass! The author went to Venice and met a descendant of Angelo Barovier, the first person to create crystal clear glass—an invention that creates a chain reaction of innovations that has made everything from deep space exploration to global communication possible.

He talks about the discovery of glass in Egypt. It is a mystery what heated the sand so hot, at least 1000 degrees, so that glass was created. It is believed this happened over 26 million years ago. Then about 10,000 years ago someone wandering around on the edge of the Sahara found it (by the way—did you know that Sahara means desert? So if you say Sahara Desert, you are saying desert desert!). Probably something hot falling from the sky was the cause of the heat. This piece of glass was then found in King Tutankhamen’s (King Tut’s) tomb in 1922. It had been carved into a Scarab Beetle.

The author talks about how mirror gave rise to the Renaissance, how glass lenses allow us to reveal worlds within worlds and how, deep beneath the ocean, glass is essential to communication.  He talks about glassmakers and a physics teacher who likes to fire molten glass from a crossbow. He talks about the development of art glass.

The link between the worlds of art, science, astronomy, disease prevention and global communication starts with the little-known maverick innovators of GLASS!

Just in case I have your curiosity going, the other five innovations are: refrigeration, clocks, water purification, recorded sound and artificial light.

~ Janet

Tips from the Glass Academy: Cylinder to Sheet

I guess being in the art glass business gets you thinking about things that others may think about. I wonder about how a piece of mouth blown glass which ends up in a cylinder shape, gets to be a sheet. So I research and blog. Here we go.

First the glass artist “gathers” the molten glass on a pipe.


They constantly rotate the pipe and work through different molds, adding more glass if necessary.   Then they blow into the pipe to bring it to a ball shape.


Then they take the ball of glass and cut it open on both ends and work it on a wood mold to form the cylinder shape.


This picture is not a great one because the cylinder can be like 24”.

The cylinder is then scored lengthwise with a glass cutter. It is scored on the inside of the cylinder.   The scored cylinder is then reheated and flattened. When it is very hot, they use a long tool that looks like a broom stick to push it apart at the score and let it flatten.

It is then cooled slowly in the lehr to remove the tension.

~ Janet

Tips from the Glass Academy: Trautman Glass Rods

Paul Trautman’s Contributions to Modern Boro Color Production

The following information is from

There was a time when American artistic lamp workers only worked with clear borosilicate glass; these were the guys making little glass menagerie animals at the carnival or Disneyland. The Italian soft-glass sculptors had color but the Pyrex glass workers used paint, or, if so inclined, mixed chemicals into some of their clear glass by hand to make a little bit of color for their sculptures. Then came Paul Trautman.

Immersed in both the arts and sciences, Paul worked with neon and played with the artistic side of lampworking, including the art of hand mixing color. At one point in his career, he even made lab equipment, but Paul was thinking big. By the mid-1980’s, Paul Trautman had conceived, designed, and built the world’s first commercial operation to manufacture colored borosilicate rod glass. Northstar Glassworks set the standard for modern boro color production, and now several small companies are using Paul’s techniques to manufacture colored glass. These companies also use recipes pioneered by Paul, which expanded the borosilicate glass palette from a few red and blue transparent colors into bright opaque jewel tones and highly reactive metallic colors that shift their hue depending on the atmosphere of the flame.

Paul sold Northstar in 2002, intending to return to art and his own lab, but the urge to mix color (and requests from his fans) lured Paul back to manufacturing on a smaller scale. After perfecting his recipe for a self-striking ruby red – the hugely popular Red Elvis – Paul started working on both a new palette and on improving some old favorites.

Dark Red Black Elvis


To view our inventory of Trautman Art Glass, click here



Tips from the Glass Academy: Working with Powder Frit on Sheet Glass

Safety and Tips for Using Powder Frit in Your Fused Glass Art

The following information is from Bullseye Glass Co.

Working with fine-grade glass frit achieves a unique hazy effect that melts beautifully on virtually any fused glass project. By painting with glass powder on sheet glass you can achieve a unique, multifaceted shadow or glow, delicate patterns, and fascinating organic etchings on your sheet glass.

Step 1: Taking Proper Safety Measures for Working with Glass Powder

Glass frit can be extremely dangerous and should be used with caution, especially when working in fine grade frit and in large quantities. Dust from glass frit can irritate and damage the lungs, so you should always wear a Niosh approved P100 or N95 respirator.

Step 2: Prepare Your Workspace

Make sure you line your workspace with paper to collect any glass powder overspill. As with any fused glass project, you’ll want to make sure your materials are ready and that you know the appropriate firing temperatures for your fused glass project.

Step 3: Set Your Stencils or Templates

A stencil or template can be purchased or can be hand-made. If you’re making your own template, be sure to use paper board or a heavy paper weight. Keep in mind that glass powder will weigh down the paper and ruin the stencil when you remove it, so you’ll want something that will stay flat when you pick it up.

Step 4: Sift Your Glass and Layer Accordingly

You can use a sifter to create smooth and even glass layers. The higher you hold your sifter, the more evenly the glass frit will fall. When you sift initially, you want to be sure that the powder layer is sufficient for your desired effect. Thicker layers can allow for deeper textures to be etched into the surface of your sheet glass.

Step 5: Sculpt Lines and Shapes into Your Glass

Various tools can be used to help you achieve crisp or rugged lines and textures. Opt for hard, sharp points and edges to create detailed textures with your powder frit, and use paint brushes for soft, blurred, or blunt edges and sides. For perfectly acute edges you can use a razor blade, which scoops the powder into a sharp, crisp line. We recommend experimenting with different brush, blending stumps, and blending tools to see what works best.

Step 6: Sift Again for Shadows

Sifters can be used closer or further from your lines to develop layered, shadow effects on your surface. Coupled with fine and rough edges, you can create a beautiful 3-dimensional work of fused glass art likened to charcoal sketches.




Tiffany Lampshade Class this Fall


Create a true family heirloom. Learn the techniques of constructing an exquisite Tiffany style lampshade using a Worden System mold and pattern. Our skilled instructor will guide you through the entire process over the course of four months. There will be time in between classes to work on your lampshade.

Please select a pattern before the first day of class. We have some in stock & a catalog of all patterns available that we can order for you. Stained glass experience is required.

Wednesdays, November 2, 2016 – February 15, 2017 (12 sessions)

Time: 530pm to 830pm

Cost: $285 plus all materials (mold, pattern, consumables, glass, base and cap)

Instructor: Murielle Dibiase

Class dates:

November 2016: 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, 11/30

December 2016: 12/7, 12/14, 12/28

January 2017: 1/4, 1/11, 1/25

February 2017: 2/8, 2/15

Call 213-4126 or stop in to reserve your spot. 50% deposit required at time of sign-up. Please take a “Tiffany Lampshade Class Packet” when you register for this class.

Our Ongoing and other class schedule flyers can be downloaded by clicking HERE.

Artist: Lois Miltner

Artist: Lois Miltner