Category Archives: Events

Events and contests from Stained Glass Express.

Fusing with Non-Fusible

I have written many times about COE (coefficient of expansion) and how never to mix COEs.  But what about art glass..  Can you fuse that?  Yes you can!

It is not like tested glass where everything that is 96 COE can be fused together.  You cannot fuse one piece of art glass to another piece of art glass.  Well, what the heck can you do with it?

You can take two pieces of art glass from the same sheet and fuse them together!  I saw a project where a person took baroque glass..  Two pieces.  Stacked them on top of one another in different directions and made plates.  They were beautiful!

I don’t have a picture of the plates.. but imagine two pieces of this blue baroque full fused and then slumped!  You could also make a slumped vase, or a bowl.

Another idea is to smash it up and use it in casting molds.

 This picture is from Elegant Fused Glass by Karen. 

 

The difficulty is you will have to figure out your firing schedule.  You may have to coat it with Spray A to reduce devit.

THE CHANGE IS HAPPENING!

We are now seeing the spectrum numbers disappear from the offerings.  They are being replaced with Oceanside numbers.  The bulk of the Oceanside numbers will be fusible.  There will be an amazing offering of fusible glass!

Here at Stained Glass Express, we are bringing in the Oceanside numbers as fast as they are available!  It has certainly been a challenge.  It involved moving all our glass around so there would be enough room for the fusible glass.  We have continued to buy Spectrum numbers if they are available.  The price is better and there is not always an Oceanside number to replace it currently.  We are trying to keep as complete a stock as possible.

If you are wondering why Oceanside has moved to almost all fusible glass, here is their explanation:

  • As a steward of the environment, this switch to almost all fusible glass drastically reduces our waste, and your waste too.
  •  The majority of artists “scrap glass” can now be repurposed in Fusing Projects, and our production glass scraps can be re-melted, making the glass more valuable to you and to us.
  • At a high-level, this switch also offers us much needed simplification and efficiency in our overall production.

There are 2 main distinctions of the glass production – Hand-rolled (as previously provided by Uroboros) and Continuous Ribbon (as previously provided by Spectrum).

Some of the glass we have managed to get as fusible:

These are medium amber water glass, Blue Yonder, Sky Blue, Dk Blue w/White and Cherry Red Cathedral.

Great variety for fusers and, of course, these can be used for stained glass and mosaics!

REBAR AND BRAIN JUMPING!

The other day I was having a conversation with a glass artist about the difference between round rebar and flat rebar.  Honesty, I have been in the business a long time, and I really did not know they had different purposes!

Then, I was at a concert that was an Elton John tribute band.  It was at a venue in Madison, Maine called the Somerset Abby.  A delightful couple rescued an old church and have turned it into a spot to hold events.  It is a beautiful building.  While everyone else was focused on the band, (and they were talented and entertaining) my brain was jumping around the room!  There was a rose window above the band. It had both round and flat rebar.  It was not lit.  I decided at break to go out and get a picture from the outside, so it would be lit. As I was checking with the man at the door on my way out (so I could get back in) he told me to forget it because it was covered on the outside, but if I waited after the concert, he would turn the back-light on for me.  I waited until the room was almost empty and then went back to him.  He said “oh, the bitch is back” –  I had to forgive him because that is what the shirt I was wearing said (remember it was an Elton John tribute!)  He lit this beautiful window for me.  Note the round and flat rebar.

Then I read several articles about rebar.  I like the one by Vic Rothman.  I don’t know who he is, but I want to give him credit for writing a clear and concise article which I have copied below.

Rebar 101

by Vic Rothman

There is a lot of debate about rebaring. I will attempt to clarify what rebar is and how it is used. The term rebar means different things to different people. The round (sometime square bars) you see in church windows are called saddle bars. The bars are set into holes drilled into the window sash (removable window frame) or window frames(non-removable). The windows have ties soldered to them at the solder joints. In olden days they used lead as ties, today it’s copper wires. These ties are twisted around the saddle bars. The purpose of the saddle bars is to prevent the windows from being blown into the building, not support. At one time stained glass was a real window out in the weather. The ties should not be made very tight, but should be about one twist loose, thus the window can move in the wind. These bars are normally across the shortest distance. Next is flat rebar solder directly to the stained glass. These bars are sometimes drilled into the sash and frames, or just run full length of the stained glass and put under moldings. These rebars act like the saddle bars, but because they are soldered in place, they also prevent the window from deflecting near the bars. They will not hold up the windows. Now we have real rebar. This can be thin brass strips referred to as “fins”, sizes range from 1/4″ to 1″ wide and about 1/32″ thick. They are bent to conform to the lead or solder lines of the windows and are run in every direction. Last year I worked on a Tiffany window made about 1920 that was 4’x 9 1/2′ (it took 5 people to move it) the back was a maze of fins and the window was perfectly flat. In copper foil window these fins can also go between the glass during construction. But as with any flat rebar the strength goes from the width not just the thickness of the metal. Thus a 1″ wide bar is stronger than a 1/4″ bar. Rebar traditionally goes on the inside, because you do not want rain, snow etc. getting on and corroding the bars if there were outside. If there is outside glazing, you can put the rebar on the rear. The placement of rebar is not rocket science. It is very logical. You put them perpendicular to a lead line that might fold. Parallel lines, glass borders, concentric circles etc. In large windows you may need rebar running through the center to prevent the window from flexing. Rebar is VERY design and window location dependent. The size of the window does not matter. You can have a 12″x12″ window that needs rebar and a 3’x3′ that does not. If you design the lead lines well, you need less rebar. As for seeing the rebar get over it. Rebar is part of stained-glass construction.  If done right if should not detract from a good-looking window.

LITTLE HANGERS

When doing jewelry or small pieces there are several ways to hang.  What you don’t want to do is ruin the looks!  One of the cleanest looks is a jewelry bail which is glued on when the piece is out of the kiln. Available in different sizes, shapes and finishes.

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/?target=search&mode=search&substring=bails&including=all

There is also a form of a bail that has prongs to go into a hole that you have prepared in your glass.  You do this by drilling the hole after the glass comes out of the kiln.

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/sterling-silver-leaf-prong-pendant-bail.html

Another option is high temp wire.  This can go right into the kiln.  Put it between two pieces of glass so it fuses and becomes part of the piece.  This is available by the roll or in little preformed hangers.   This does not stay shiny silver when it is fused.  It darkens.

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/?target=search&mode=search&substring=3210&including=all

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/high-temp-wire-24-gauge-10-ft.html

Handy Hangers are made of brass, so they can go into the kiln.  Put them between two pieces of glass.  The same folks who manufacturer handy hangers just came out with the Finley hanger which is more delicate than the handy hanger.

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/finley-fusible-hangers.html

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/?target=search&mode=search&substring=207158&including=all

The other option which is a different great look is to put fiber paper as a spacer.  Fiber paper comes in different thicknesses or you can stack it.

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/Fiber-Paper-1-8-in.html

Just because you make glass art, does not mean that you cannot give a gift of someone else’s glass art!  We stock lots of gift items at Stained Glass Express.  We support local and foreign.  All high quality and appealing to many different tastes.


This is our dragon!  He sells for $62.75

He is available on our website at this link:  https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/dragon.html


How sweet are these jewelry boxes!  $42.80, $39.99 and $40.28.  See the full line at this link:

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/Gifts-Glass/jewelry-boxes/

These cardinals on a branch can be positioned in your window or where ever you would like them! $184.99.  See the full collection at this link:

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/Gifts-Glass/stained-glass-gifts

We have an incredible line of snow globes..  All in the $50 range.  See the full line at this link:

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/Gifts-Glass/snow-globes/

THE TIFFANY CENSUS

I just read an article about an effort to compile the locations that have or did have Tiffany windows.  It is a giant challenge but certainly a worthy one.

http://www.cambridge2000.com/tiffany/index.html is the web site.  It is very well done, and you can look up by city, date, designer, category, status etc.  They also give a confidence rating which says how certain the piece is truly a Tiffany Studio piece.

For example, Maine has 19 sites and 10 of those sites have something still there!  How exciting.  Two of those sites are in Augusta, Maine!

The South Parish Congregational Church (which I have visited) has had 9 items, 8 of which are still there!  (Can you tell how excited I am by the number of exclamation points I am using?)

 

All these photos were taken by Wayne Boucher.  These are all on the site that we share the link above.  I encourage you to go to the site.  My copied (with permission) pictures do not do them justice.  If you go to the site you can click on them and they will enlarge.  They are nothing short of breath taking!

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church has one.  This is not an active church and there is not a picture.

PAINT POURS—THE RAGE!

Paint pours is one of the most fun, exciting things to come along in our industry in a while.  It is easy, and the results are amazing.

Many people are doing this on canvas with acrylic paints, but in this industry we are going it on glass with enamel paints that can be fired.

To do one of these projects you need:  paints, layering mix, little cups, stir sticks, butane torch (optional), tray for catching the paint.

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/glass-paint-layering-mix-8-oz-.html

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/painting-markers/colors-for-earth-glass-enamels/

Some of the terminology you will hear are as follows:

Dirty Pour.  You pour/layer your paint in a cup and then set the glass on top of the cup and flip it over.  Let the colors slide down and then lift the cup.  So many variations.  You can slide the cup around before picking it up or tilt it.  After the cup is off you can blow with a straw or blow with the butane, drag something through it.  You can also just kind of sling/dump the paint from the cup.  Use more than one cups.

Straight pour:  Paint is poured/drizzled/dropped on the surface one at a time.   Then you can use the variations above.

Once the color is all over the surface you can wait a bit and then gently skin over the wet surface using an old credit card, palette, knife, fan brush etc.  You can use the butane to bring up bubbles or pop air bubbles.

Other fun things are to use a colander for pouring, or a sifter to sift dry powdered color on a wet base, a slotted spoon to create patterns, funnel to create pours.  Let your imagination run wild!

 

 

2018 GALAXY OF GLASS

Each year the Fallbrook Art Center has a showing of glass.  Last year I just happened to be there while it was happening and got to walk through.  This is a picture from an e-newsletter I got from them showing this year’s display.  This picture caught my eye.  I think these are amazing.  The artist name was not given but if you are interested email info@fallbrookartcenter.org.

For more info and more pictures go to http://www.fallbrookartcenter.org/.  You can sign up for their newsletter there also.

 

The Beginner’s Torch Trap: A Lampworking Torch Buyer’s Guide Part 1

Thank you to Bethlehem Burners for this Blog!

If you landed here, you must be interested in buying your first lampworking torch! It’s an exciting time and you’ll want to feel confident in your purchase. In part one of our Lampworking Torch Buyer’s Guide, we’ll address concerns about buying a less expensive torch versus a more top of the line torch for beginner skills.

They say: “Your first lampworking torch should be cheap and something you can destroy while learning.”

Bethlehem Burner’s says: While this advice definitely has merit, a beginning lampworker should also keep in mind what type of torch they hope to use once they move past their “beginner’s torch.”

For example, there are different style torches that produce different style flames. These different style flames affect the way glass reacts in the flame, which in turn affects the way the glass should be manipulated in the flame to produce the desired effect.

Modern lampworking, using both soft and borosilicate glass, involves the use of a lot of color. Fuel mixture ratios and flame velocity affect the chemical composition of each glass color differently. This means flames produced by one torch will affect a glass color differently than the flames of another torch.

If a lampworker learns to lampwork on one style of torch, they will need to adapt a lot of their glass techniques when they switch to a new torch style. This transition can be very difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. In order to make this transition as smooth as possible, it is best to choose a new torch that produces flames similar to the flames produced by the torch they learned on.

So, while, “your first torch should be cheap and something you can destroy while learning,” isn’t necessarily wrong, it isn’t your only option. Kate Hayes, VP and resident torch expert at Bethlehem Burners weighs in on the topic:

“Get a smaller version of your dream torch. Choose your first center fire style wisely, because the transition from premix center fire to surface mix center fire is the hardest and most expensive transition to make,” suggests Hayes.

Stained Glass Express is a proud distributor for Bethlehem Burners.  Click here to see the burners we have in stock.

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/flameworking_glassblowing/annealers-bench-burners-accessories/

We are always happen to order in other Bethlehem products for you.

BUBBLES? DO YOU SEE BUBBLES?

There has been talk that the glass manufactured by Oceanside has more bubbles in it than when it was manufactured at Spectrum.  In April, I was at the Glass and Bead Show in Vegas and the Retailer Association I belong to, met the representatives of Oceanside during the event.

I sort of remembered that they said something about no buying the big furnace that was at Spectrum, so their continuous ribbon was different.  I was wondering if that was causing the bubbles.

I went back to my retailer group and asked what they remembered about the conversation.  These are some of the answers I got.

“It wouldn’t be caused by annealing, just like fusing bubbles are trapped at higher temps.  The annealing tunnels are just slowly lowering the temp, removing stress, and making the glass user friendly. Their glass used to be relatively bubble free. At some point, maybe in the late 90’s or early 2000’s because of the cost of natural gas, they converted part of the process (I may have these backwards, or wrong) to an oxygen/gas mixture.

It caused one of the first significant brand wide price increases I remember.  Base retail went from 4.25 to 5.95.  I bet someone else remembers those details better.  There was also a large amount of glass going to china, being made into lamps.  It was said, that the glass was too perfect making people think they were purchasing a plastic lamp.  Who knows if that was part of a decision, or in any way historically true.”

I just re-watched the first 10 minutes of Vince’s presentation.  He talks about them not buying the continuous furnace, that they are using a day tank.  I think they are saying the day tank is now the continuous ribbon and that is different than hand rolled.

“Tom Giles (rip) once told me KOG could eliminate almost all bubbles (& therefore surface pits) if he could hold the batch longer in the furnace (usually just a day longer).  But he was not allowed to because of the expense of gas”.

I guess we still don’t know why, but we do know there are more pits in the glass.  In fusing this will not matter but it will in stained glass.