Category Archives: Fusing

Fusing products, technical information and tips from Stained Glass Express.

Bottle Club

FUSING GLASS BOTTLES OR “HIDING THE EVIDENCE”

Don’t you just hate to throw out those wine and liquor bottles?  They are quite nice with the graceful shapes and the beautiful colors.   Make them into fused art!

First (and most important) step is to clean them.  The labels and any glue must be completely removed to be sure that no residue is fused onto the glass.  Use very hot water with ½ cup baking soda and 1 tablespoon of dish soap.  Submerge them in the water and let them soak for 10 minutes then add 2 cups of white wine vinegar.  Roll your bottles around so the vinegar mixes in.  Let them soak until you can get the labels off.

Once the bottles are clean you have some options.  You can just lay it in the kiln and full fuse it.  This one just has a little decorative wiring and some etching.  You could add a decorative knife and have a nice little gift.

Another option is to use a bottle mold.  There are all types available.  See the full collection here.

There are textured molds.  The one above has a lovely Tree of Life motif.

Drop molds, such as the one above, make an interesting shape.

You also can use a textured flat mold, such as the one below, and then slump it into a bottle mold.

You may get devitrification with some bottles.  To prevent it, spay with a divit spray like Spray A.

 

 

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.

 

 

Glass Fusing Q&A

 

Q: When I fuse my projects, sometimes I get medium to small bubbles. What causes them and how can I prevent them?

A: Bubbles can be caused by many different things. First, uneven stacking of glass can result in air trapped between layers. To prevent this from occurring, check the placement of all the glass pieces and insure they are sitting properly on the base. Since the edges of the glass fuse before the center of the glass, cut your base glass 1/8” larger than the top layer to allow air to escape. Second, check the glass prior to fusing. Some glass may already have contained bubbles inside the glass, which may or may not affect the outcome.

Q: After I fuse my pendants, I get uneven areas around the edges. What’s happening with the glass?

A: You did not fire it long enough or to a high enough temperature for a full fuse. Try firing for a little longer time.

Q: Sometimes my glass pieces look like a porcupine with spiky edges. What causes the glass to spike?

A: Spiky edges can be caused by over-firing your piece. The spiked edges are caused by the glass grabbing as it is trying to shrink.

Q: What caused my layered glass pieces to flatten?

A: If the glass piece has flattened out too much, you have over fired the piece. To prevent this from happening, reduce your power and shorten your time. After your first firing, open the microwave and using Fireworks Hot Mitts™; carefully lift the lid to inspect the fuse piece. If the desired results have not been achieved, continue firing in 30 seconds intervals.

Q: I tried to make a 1 inch pendant with embellishments, however after I finished fusing, the glass shrunk. How can I prevent this from happening the next time?

A: Glass naturally wants to be ¼ inch thick when heated. Your glass will shrink or expand to obtain this depth. A good tip to remember is that if your piece is less than ¼ inch when you start, it will shrink up to reach this depth. If your piece is larger than ¼ inch when you start, it will want to flatten out to reach this depth.

Q: What causes two pieces of dichroic or iridized glass to blow apart in the kiln?

A: Repelling glass will occur with dichroic and iridized coatings. The coatings can’t be placed together for fusing purposes, because they repel each other. The only way to avoid this is to encase the coated glass with a non-coated glass, such as clear. This will cause the coated glass to be encased and sealed.

Q:  Yuck, this film appeared on my fused glass. What is it and how can I prevent this from happening?

A: This dull white crystalline substance on the surface of your glass is known as devitrification. This is one of the most talked about glass fusing problems around. It can occur when your glass remains in a temperature range 1000ºF-1300ºF too long. You need to minimize the time spent in this temperature range.

Gray or Scummy Edges – Gray or scummy edges can occur on pieces that have been fired once and then cold worked before refiring. Cold working involves using either a grinder or glass saw on a piece of glass. These can be avoided by thoroughly cleaning the glass before refiring the piece. Keep a bowl of clean water near your work area and soak the glass right after doing the cold work procedure. This will keep the edges damp and allow the piece to be cleaned easier. Scrub completely and let dry before proceeding with the refiring process.

Q:  My glass cracked! What happened?

A: Cracking glass either during or after firing can be caused by a several things: thermal shock, heating up the glass too fast and compatibility.

Thermal shock occurs either by taking the piece out of the kiln too soon, or by opening the kiln and exposing the hot glass to cool air.

If the glass cracked in the kiln and it has an “S” shaped crack, the piece has heated too quickly. Slow down!

Finally, if the crack occurs along the line where the two pieces of glass meet, then the two touching pieces are not compatible. Make sure the glass you are using have the same COE (coefficient of expansion).

Q: How can I prevent my glass from shattering?

A: Glass Shattering in pieces over 1” with more than 1 layer may sometimes shatter. To prevent this from occurring, reduce the power. This will allow the glass to heat slower and will be less likely to shatter. Next, make sure your glass is clean and dry before firing.

Q: My fusing instructions say to clean my glass before firing, can I use a glass cleaning spray or detergent?

A: We don’t recommend it. Detergents, dish soaps, multi-purpose cleaners, some window cleaners, ammonia and even denatured alcohol should NOT be used to clean glass. These can actually promote devitrification. We suggest diluted white vinegar or rinsing your glass with distilled water.

Q: Every time I put my fuse glass project together, the pieces roll off before I can get it to the microwave. What can I do to prevent this from happening?

A: To hold your fusing project together, mix one drop of glue.   Apply a very thin amount on the back of the glass using a brush and allow the glue to dry thoroughly before firing.

.. AND THE WINNERS ARE

Each year CBS (Coatings By Sandberg) sponsor a contest called “Dichroic by Design”

Here are this year’s winners!

First Place

Karen Pester “Noah’s Arc”

 

Second Place
Nathalie Strickland “Butterfly Fish” and “Hatching Turtles”

 

 

 

Third Place

Laura Dawson “Fish Totem”

There are also a few Honorable mentions, which are also wonderful.    If you want to see more, you can by following this link: CBS Contest and Winners

PAINT POURS—THE RAGE!

Paint pours are 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 cup.

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!

 

 

WHICH SIDE IS THE COATED SIDE OF DICHROIC

Some Info from The Frog Blog

Dichroic glass is so beautiful and there are so many uses, it is just delightful.  However, there are a few problems that knowledge can help deal with.

One is that it is impossible to tell 96 from 90 COE if you get them mixed up.  The answer to this one is—DON’T mix them up.  Keep them labeled.  If you keep scrap, keep it in a well-marked box.

It is often important to know which side the dichroic coated side is to get the look you are going for.  If it has a dark base, no problem—you can see it.  However, on a transparent base, it can look the same on both sides!  Reasons you may want to know this?

Cutting.  Always cut on the non-coated side of the glass.  It will help prevent chipping, especially on textured glass.  It also saves your cutter.

Coated Side Down.  When using the coated side down or capped with clear glass, the dichroic glass will have a smooth glossy surface and sparkle like glitter.  It will also change colors between the transmitted color and a completely different reflective color, depending of the angle of view.

Coated Side Up.   If you use the dichroic glass with the coated side up or uncapped, the dichroic surface will have a highly metallic sheen.  The piece may additional be rough and textured depending on the type of dichroic glass you are using.

This is what to do.  Place the glass over a dark background.  Look at the glass at an angle so that you are seeing the reflection of the dichroic.  Touch the surface with a paperclip (don’t scratch it).  The paperclip will reflect.

To know your answer.  Does the reflection meet the paper clip, or there a gap between the clip and its reflection?

MICA ILLUSIONS TRANSFERS

MICA ILLUSION TRANSFERS

Illusions transfers are 3×3 transfers than come in Silver, Champagne and Gold. They are new to the market and we will be introducing them at Stained Glass Express in April. (2018)

 

Will work on any coe.  Not for food bearing surfaces.

The white parts of the stencils is where your glass will show. The color part is actual mica backed with enamel, so it adheres to the glass.  Fires at lowest possible.  If you fire too high the mica will adhere too much to the glass in the negative areas because the glass is softening.

You don’t have to use dichroic glass for these because the mica is so awesome. You could do it on anything. Clear, dichroic or anything!  Experiment. These samples are on black glass.  They are hi fire decals.  1250F to 1300F.

Glass MUST BE pre fused. Then add the mica transfer.

Remove the wax carrier

Soak the transfer in distilled water take off the backing and apply to your fired cabochon.

Smooth out air bubbles with paper towel.

Let dry. 3 hours might be enough, but you probably should do over night

 

 

DICHROIC GLASS

DICHROIC GLASS

MOST INFO FROM HOWARD SANDBERG OF COATINGS BY SANDBERG

Dichroic glass is one of the most beautiful things SGE carries and it has been one of the most challenging.  It was kind of nice to see on CBS page “the history of dichroic glass” that Howard says, “When you look at the history of an artist using Dichroic coated glass, it appears that the artist has been under the major handicap of not having any information on what he or she was working with.  These artists were exposed to a piece of glass that had interesting color effects but came from a very complex and scientific industry not easily understood.  These ‘high-tech’ coatings were capable of reflecting a narrow band of light (or one color) and at the same time, transmitting the remaining part of light.”  So at least it was not just us facing challenges.

I could go on about how the development of this metal film was done by our military and aerospace industries.  The text would make your head hurt!  It was 30 years (mid 70s) ago when CBS started production for art applications.

When SGE first brought in some dichroic glass it was a big deal.  We made a special display rack for it.  We were displaying 1 piece that was about 2×4 inches of each one.  We outgrew that fast!

Then we would get questions about what it was going to do.  We had some idea but not much.  To complicate things, we didn’t even always know what we were getting.  A customer would buy a piece that was rainbow or mixed and one part of the glass would behave one way and another part another way.  Then our suppliers started to drill down and offer a standard stock and good descriptions.

We changed our sku system and our descriptions to help our customers know what they were buying and to help us have them organized in a way that the customer could find what they wanted, and we would have a way to see gaps in our inventory and keep our stock consistent.

About five years into stocking this glass we bought a shrink wrap machine.  We bring in the glass, cut it, shrink wrap it and label it.  No more ruined pieces from scratches and no more fighting to get the glue from the label off the glass.

We stock CBS (Coatings by Sandberg), Profusion, and Austin Thin Films.  We stock both 90 and 96.

Just recently we have started to look into stocking some 104 and 33 coe for out bead workers and glass blowers.

How to use the Color of the Year – Ultra Violet

This info is all from the Pantone website

We have created eight different color palettes that feature PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet to help you bring this year’s special shade into your designs. All color bases are covered; brights, deeper hues, pastels, mid-tones, and metallics. With Ultra Violet as a versatile trans-seasonal and gender-neutral anchor in every palette, each of the eight palettes conveys its own distinctive feeling and mood and can easily cross-over fashion and accessories, beauty, home interiors, and graphic design applications.

To further inspire your creative juices, within each of these eight color stories we have also included three suggested color harmonies. The color harmonies provide you with examples of how individual colors in the palette can be mixed together and in what proportion or measure. The uniquely developed color bars which make up the color harmony accompany each highlighted color story.

We also strongly encourage you to explore each of these eight palettes on your own. Create your own combinations. Develop your own individualized color mixes. Imagine and invent. Experiment and express. And most importantly, have fun. There has never been a better time to be original and leave your very own colorful mark on the world.

PURPLE HAZE COLOR HARMONIES

Embodying calmness, a palette of hazy and smoky hues effortlessly commingle to create subtle blends and harmonies that are both timeless and time-honored.

KINDRED SPIRITS COLOR HARMONIES

Sitting side by side on the color wheel, this palette of like-minded hues with their spirited good humor and playful exuberance makes for easy and engaging color mixes.

DRAMA QUEEN COLOR HARMONIES

An unusual combination of show-stopping saturated color with rich and elegant earth tones creates an adventurous mood full of excitement and drama.

INTRIGUE COLOR HARMONIES

Invoking a sense of mystery, a palette of nature’s blues and greens, combined with the unconventional Ultra Violet and a Silver and Pale Gold metallic, exudes a quiet strength.

QUIETUDE COLOR HARMONIES

Soft and warm, a subtle palette of natural and organic shades accented by a Frosted Almond metallic evokes reassurance and conveys a sense of calm and quiet.

ATTITUDE COLOR HARMONIES

Exploding with zest and energy, this palette of pure, unadulterated color which screams “look at me” comes together to create a bold statement with feelings of excitement and high voltage effects.

DESERT SUNSET COLOR HARMONIES

Emulating a desert sunset, this is a dramatic palette of brilliantly heightened warm shades that radiate resplendently across the early evening sky.

FLORAL FANTASIES COLOR HARMONIES

Inspired by the colors we see in our surroundings, a combination of soft and sweet pastels with an enchanting Ultra Violet and a deep, dark navy Astral Aura conjures up a summer garden in full bloom.

Color of the Year 2018 – Ultra Violet!

Pantone (the folks who assign color #s to paint among other things) has announced that the 2018 color of the year is Ultra Violet.

How beautiful is that!!!

This is what Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the pantone color institute says about the choice.

“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination.  It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to Pantone 18-383 Ultra Violet, a blue based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level.  From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.”

Look to next weeks blog to see how to combine the color of the year with other colors.

Here are some violets from our stock!

Spectrum Deep Violet with Pale Purple Streaks Cathedral Waterglass

Blue and Violet Van Gogh Metallic Finish Glass

Purple and Violet Van Gogh Metallic Finish Glass

Bullseye Deep Royal Purple Fusible Glass 90 COE

Spectrum Grape Opal Waterglass SilverCoat Mirror

Spectrum Violet Cathedral Fusible 96 COE