Category Archives: Modern Artists

That’s Pretty Shifty!

Shifty and CFL are two terms to describe the same thing — a pallet of glass that changes color based on the light that it is under. CFL stands for “compact fluorescent light.” The glass changes its apparent color in fluorescent lighting.

The first CFL/shifty glass was done by Glass Alchemy in 2014, with the color Serum. Next, came Terps.

Serum by Glass Alchemy

Terps by Glass Alchemy


These are a bit tough to get, but other CFLs are available:

Potion by Glass Alchemy


Gemini by Northstar


Hydra by Northstar


Siriusly by Northstar

Check our hot glass section for availability.


Color Of The Year!

One thing that I look forward to every year is Pantone announcing their Color of the Year.  The color will then be seen in store displays, on fashion runways, all kinds of product designs, interior decorating, social media and I like to relate it to glass.  I will be searching far and wide to bring you glass in this amazing color.

So far, I have found a Youghiogheny and it will be a stock number in January 2019.

The number is 057 stipple

If you would like to read all about picking the color and about the color, go to


This is from the site:
“Pantone Living Coral emits the desired, familiar, and energizing aspects of color found in nature.  In its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, the vivifying effervescent color mesmerizes the eye and mind.  Lying at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, Pantone Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color.”

Past colors of the year:


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 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.

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!




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

For more info and more pictures go to  You can sign up for their newsletter there also.



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?



Info from Glass Art Magazine and Wikipedia

Japanese legend is that if you fold 1000 cranes you will be granted a wish by the gods.  The crane is a symbol of happiness and eternal youth so some believe that the 1000 origami paper cranes will bring you long life or recovery from illness or injury.  In Japan the cranes which are strung together are very popular as wedding themes.


Jeremy Grant-Levine (aka Germ) in  2018 is glass blowing 1000 cranes.  Jeremy is being back by $92,000 Kickstarter campaign.  This project will take 250 pounds of glass and approximately two miles of wire, totaling $20,000 in materials.  When complete the work will on display at the Arch Enemy Arts gallery in Philadelphia.

Jeremy is based in Philadelphia and has been flameworking glass pipes for over 13 years.  He has exhibited at galleries in Philadelphia, Seattle, New York, Miami and Tel Aviv.






It is a big decision.  It is a lot of money.  It is a big piece of equipment that will take up space.  There really is a lot to consider.

  • How much space do you have
  • Do you want to go to the expense of 220 line or get by with what you already have?
  • Size of the kiln
  • Programming

We sell Olympic Kilns at Stained Glass Express.   We love their support and we love the kilns.  Basically, you have a box made of firebrick that is attached to a controller.  So the support piece is BIG.

For your workspace you should be prepared to make it a fire proof space.  Easily done.  Flame resistant sheetrock or metal set away from the wall.  Put it on something that won’t burn.  Common sense kind of stuff.  Don’t burn your house down.

The big difference between having a 110 line and a 220 is the depth of the kiln.  When there are two elements in the kiln you can run it on a 110 line.  You just have to change the outlet to accommodate the commercial plug.

Consider what you want to make.  Jewelry and little dishes.  You are good with a little kiln.  If you think BIG, you will need a bigger kiln.  Maybe one with a clamshell feature so that it opens from the top and the bottom.  You can get one that bottom slides out.  Features to consider when thinking about putting things in the kiln and getting them back out.

If you want to do tall things like a drape lamp shade or vase you should consider bringing in that 220 line.  The 220 allows the kiln to have three elements and therefore it can be deeper.

Everyone I know, recommends upgrading to a digital controller.  One where you can save multiple programs.  We sell the RTC-1000 with great results.  We can store 6 programs which pretty much covers everything.

What you definitely do not want is one that you have to babysit and make sure it gets turned off.  You run around with a timer around your neck (seriously) and I have heard terrible results of kilns burning through when someone went to bed and forgot.

One more thing to put into your brain.  If you think you ever might get into glass blowing or bead making you might consider a kiln with a punty door that you can use to anneal your beads.

To see what Stained Glass Express offers