Category Archives: Events

Events and contests from Stained Glass Express.

Mind the Gap!

How close should your glass pieces be?

They should be close enough so that you are comfortable with how heavy a solder line you will end up with.

To help prevent uneven spaces, here are some hints:

  • Use push pins or jigs to hold your glass in place while building and checking the fit. That way, you won’t get one piece fitting perfectly as you are pushing another one out.
  • Make sure you have not flipped any glass over. Label your pieces to avoid this.

Before you say “good enough,” think about any holes or uneven spaces you are filling with solder. When your piece is held up to the light, those places will not let light through. They will become part of the design.

Another problem is overheating the glass due to reworking it with a hot soldering iron. You don’t want to crack your glass with thermal shock because you are adding so much solder to fill the gap. Often when you are doing this, one side looks good and then you turn the piece over and there is a gob of solder. So you fuss with that, going back and forth, heating and heating, and then you hear the dreaded tink—the sound of glass cracking and your heart breaking!

The best fix—sorry to say—is to recut.

Be patient with yourself. This is a skill—so practice and don’t give up.

Photo courtesy of Inland.

 

Tiffany Aventurine – A Celebration!

How beautiful is this VASE!?  (I FEEL LIKE I COULD JUST POST THE PICTURE AND IT WOULD BE ENOUGH!)

This vase was made c. 1910.  It is Aventurine Lava Blown Glass by Tiffany Studios.  This is currently on display in the new exhibition at the Morse Museum called “Iridescence—A Celebration”.

This vase was among Tiffany’s treasured A-Coll (Artist Collection) pieces exhibited at Laurelton Hall.  It is a striking vase and was made by draping lava like aventurine glass over iridescent gold glass.  The name aventurine references the quartz-like glass with sparkling particles developed in Murano, Italy around 1910 when this was made.

You can use aventurine glass for your treasures also.  Available from Bullseye and Oceanside in flat glass and frit.   Usually available in black, blue or green.  It has been a little tough to get lately but we have some.  Click here to order.

 

 

Always Need More

So, so true! And mostly it is glass.  You just can’t stop.  Sometimes it is for a project, sometimes because it is a basic color that you always use, and sometimes it is just because it is too beautiful or unusual to resist.

Thank you for that. You keep the industry going!

We have a great stock of heads and tails in for our annual Invite Night sale April 6th. They will be available to one and all after the sale.

STAINLESS STEEL MOLD PREP

This was fun!  A customer came in with a stainless bowl that she had slump a thick piece of glass over.  It stuck! She broke the ruined bowl off, but a very thin layer of glass remained on the mold.  That prompted a discussion on how to get the rest of the glass off the mold and why it stuck anyway.

First to get it off.  She was first going to try fusing it off and if that did not work, she was going to sandblast the stainless.  One or the other should work.

Then she said she posted a picture of it on a facebook fusing group and prompted a discussion about prep of the stainless.  Here is the surprise!  Some people do not prep it AT ALL!

I went to Facebooks Fusing 101: Any and Everything you Wanted to Know But Where Afraid to Ask. I said “Recently I heard that some people do not kiln wash stainless molds.  I would be interested to hear what people think of this.”

There were some differences of opinion to be sure..

  • Cover with fiber paper or ZYP
  • Spray with Boron Nitride (ZYP)
  • If you use ZYP you rarely have to do it again
  • I don’t use anything on stainless steel. As long as the glass is NOT an opal glass in contact with stainless steel and it is good quality, it is fine.  You get a real shiny finish on the surface in contact with the stainless steel.
  • It is minimal work to use a barrier. I would rather be sure instead of concerned.

My own fusing teacher was emphatic about using something.  She suggested Slide because it is cheaper than most boron nitride products and it is easier than kiln washing.

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/boron-nitride-hi-temp-spray-coating.html?category_id=571

More inexpensive, but more labor, is to use kiln wash.  The problem is that it slides off the mold easily.  Here is the trick.  Wash the mold with alcohol and then heat it in your kiln to 1200 degrees F  for about ½ hour.  Cool it.  Then heat again to just under 500 degrees F and brush or spray on the wash in thin even coats.  Allow the coating to dry completely between each application.  Coat it until covered.  After the first time this is done (and it does last a long time) we will just coat it put it on top of a hot kiln.  Seems to work fine.

NEW PRODUCT – Modeling Glass!

Modeling glass is a very exciting new product!  It is a two-part kit consisting of a powdered binder and liquid medium that you combine with water and powder or fit.  The result is the like clay and is easy to manipulate.  Use it like you would clay.  Coil it, flatten it, make shapes, press it into silicone molds.

When you tack fire it, it will hold a lot of texture.  Before firing, and after it is dry, you can sand or carve it.

 

It is food safe and nontoxic.    It can be used with 90 or 96 coe.

There is a vast amount of info at www.modelingglass.com.

We are currently planning a class around this product and you can look at and it purchase at this link:

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/glass-bird-modeling-glass-starter-kit.html

 

Augusta Downtown Alliance/UMA Raw Spaces Art Walk

The Augusta Downtown Alliance is partnering with UMA to present the Raw Spaces Art Walk in Downtown Augusta on Friday, May 17, 2019 from 5-8pm.

Various locations in downtown Augusta will be displaying artists in varying forms of Fine Art and Performance Based Art. This is a juried event. Any artists interested in submitting to the Art Walk have until April 26, 2019.

For more information on this event and/or how to enter, go to

https://mainearts.maine.gov/Postings/Blogs/Detail/Call-for-Art-Augusta-Art-Walk-1

GLASS MANUFACTURERS – Now That the Dust Has Settled

This is not a complete list..  It does not include the rod manufacturers and overseas.  These are our major supplies at this point in time.

 

Since May of 2016 it has been a roller coaster ride in the art glass industry.  It really does seem that the dust has settled, and this is what we have now.

 

Kokomo Opalescent Glass.   There are in Kokomo, Indiana have been operating since 1888.  They are the oldest. They use some of the same recipes that are over 128 years old.  They are a great source for doing reproduction work.

This is a picture of their 12 pot circular furnace.  It is a down draft.

The Paul Wissmach Glass Co.  Located in Paden City, West Virginia.  They have been operating since 1904, making them the second oldest and therefore also a great resource when trying to match old glass.  They use 12 furnaces.  They do art glass, temperable glass, fusible glass.


Youghiogheny Opalescent Glass Company, Inc.  Located in Connellsville, Pennsylvania.  They have been operating since 1977.  Truly an art glass manufacturer but has also a wonderful line of fusing glass.  Amazing color artistry.  They have recently added a textured streakies line and Dichroic glass line.

Bullseye Glass Co.  Located in Portland Oregon since 1974.  They focus on fusible glass, collaborating with artist and teaching.  They produce extremely rich colors.

Oceanside Glass & Tile.  Started in 1992.  They are located in Baja, California, but production is in Tijuana, Mexico.  Their focus was glass tiles and then added the Spectrum Glass and Uroboros Glass lines in 2016 when both Spectrum and Uroboros announced they were closing.  Oceanside had been buying glass from Spectrum for the tiles.  They are not at 100% production yet, but they are manufacturing lots of fusible glass and frits.  They will add the rest of the accessory glass this year.

Pilkington.  Various locations and known more for commercial applications.  However, they produce many clear textures.

Imports.  We are seeing a lot of clear textures from other countries.

 

 

JUST FOR FUN MEANS “JUST FOR FUN”

A rewrite of the 2017 blog “AM I GOOD ENOUGH”

Right after the holiday season we start encouraging all of you to get your entry ready for the Just For Fun Contest.  We often hear, “I am just not good enough.”  I just want to say, “YES, YOU ARE!”

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 or glass.  Some little quirky things someone might have done.  Some little creative touch.  It might be that someone just likes it.

NEVER, NEVER, have we heard— “that doesn’t belong—it is not good enough.”

 

The name “Just for Fun” may sound trite but we put a lot of thought into it.  We did not want the contest to have rules that we have to monitor, and we do not want to limit it in any way.  (we do limit size because we don’t want the ceiling to fall).  We just want it to be Fun.  You can enter to win or you can enter just for fun.

This contest is in celebration of National Stained-Glass Month.  In addition to seeing just an awesome collection of entries, you will get to come to Invite Night celebration.  You get to vote.  You get to enjoy refreshments.  You get a swag bag.  You get to shop the very best sale we have all year on different items that you see in the store all the time.  Thinks we found on sale, things we find on close outs, things suppliers offer us at special pricing.  We usually throw in some introductory products are introductory prices.  All in all it is just a great time.

Get your contest piece ready and help us celebrate National Stained Glass Month!

Foils.. why so many?

 

We often see people just standing in front of our foil display looking overwhelmed!  Here is a picture of our display just so you can see how overwhelming it is!

As you can see, we have three different brands in our store.  We just recently switched from Venture Tape to Edco.  Venture has been sold twice in the last couple of years and seems to struggle with the consistent great product quality we have always had.  We are hoping we will have better luck with Edco.  We still have some Venture because Edco did not have a few we wanted.  We also stock one Studio Pro in 7/32 black back because it is a good value and we have had good feedback.  They do not have a wide variety so that is the only one we have from them.

To explain the variety:

First is width.  We were thrilled that Edco comes as wide as ½”.  That is great for people who are putting two pieces of glass together.  Other sizes:  5/32, 7/32, 5/16, 3/16, ¼.  If you want a very thin solder line you use thinner foil.  If you need strength or you like a heavier line, use wider foil.

 

Next is thickness.  It is measured in millimeters.  It is how thick the foil is.  It might be as thin as 1 mil go to 1.25 of 1.5.  Venture shows this on the label and by the color of the core the foil is wrapped on.

Next is the backing.  There is copper, black and silver.  This is important depending on the transparency of the glass and if you are using patina.  Let’s say you are making a piece in all clear glass and you plan to not patina it.  You should use silver backed foil so the solder line is silver looking on the exterior and because you can see into the glass, it will look silver on the inside.  If you use copper, it just jumps out and ruins the piece.   If you were using clear and going to patina it black, use black backed.  If you are going to patina it copper, use can use the regular copper foil that is copper on the outside and the sticky side.

There is also a foil that is called silvered.  It is silver on the outside and the inside.  Often used when doing suncatchers and eliminates the need to solder the outer edge.

Then there is new wave which has a scalloped edge.  Decorative.

Also sheets of copper so that you can cut for overlays or have it wide.  It also has a sticky side.

Use this link to see our full line of foils.

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/metals/copper_-_silver_foil/