Category Archives: Tips

Glass art tips from Stained Glass Express

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?

Tips from the Glass Academy: Art Rules!

I stumbled upon a website that listed some art rules.  They really were for painting, but they sure could be adapted to any area of art including glass art.  The name of the site is www.thoughtco.com.

  1. RULE OF THIRDS

Divide your surface into thirds and place your focus either one-third across or one-third up or down.  Where the lines intersect.

To see the difference, look at the lions.  The one on the left your eye is drawn into the center and you tend to ignore the rest.  On the right example, where the lion’s face is using the rules of thirds your eye is drawn to the lion face and around the painting following the curve of the body.

 

2. RULE OF ODDS

When designing you should first decide how many elements will be in the piece.  One way to make the piece more dynamic is have odd numbers.  Having an odd number does not allow your brain to pair and group which keeps your eyes moving.  In the top picture below your eye/brain pairs up the tress but in the lower examples it shows a more dynamic picture.

Tips from the Glass Academy: Double Helix – Reduction Guide

Info from Double Helix

The Reducing Sequence:

Work in a neutral flame

Cool until the glow is gone

Create a reduction flame by reducing the oxygen, increasing the propane, or both

Gently reheat in the reduction flame

Experiment with the length of the reduction time and/or repeating the sequence to create different effects.

An oxidizing flame can be used to “erase” some of the reduction effects.

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.

Tips from the Glass Academy: Cleaning Tips – Dichro

Cleaning is always major.  This tip is from Profusion Glass one of the manufacturers of Dichroic glass that we stock.

Their tip is to wipe the glass with a 50/50 solution of pure ammonia and distilled water followed by a wipe down with denatured alcohol.

 

There are other products out there also.  Our preference in our studio is The Solution Flux Solution Flux Remover.  It is a concentrate, so it goes a long way.

Probably right up there with a favorite with our customers and staff is Kwik clean.   It does a good job and is very convenient because of the spray bottle.

Tips from the Glass Academy: Trouble with Bubbles

The May/June 2017 Glass Art Magazine has a great article called Ending Bubble Trouble.  It was written by Paul Turlow.

I am going to do just a little summary here, but if you are interested in the complete article, you can go to www.glassartmagazine.com and buy the issue.

Causes of trapped air:

  1. This is a very common one.  Something goes wrong with your shelf.  It might be warped or get a gouge in it.  It is difficult to sand out gouges but maybe.  If warped you might be able to flip it over. A down warp won’t create bubbles.  An up warp will.
  2. Design elements on the bottom that can trap air.
  3. Design elements that create extra weight on the edge. Since glass heats up and sags under it’s own weight this can caused trapped air.
  4. Large Projects. The wider the project the farther the air has to travel to escape.  To prevent you can provide a path for the air to escape.  You can do with fibre paper.  The porous helps.  There is a lot in the article about this.  Also if you are using side heat you can baffle the heat with kiln furniture.  The method we use is the “bubble squeeze firing schedule to allow the air to escape.

Another prevention is not going hotter than you need to.

 

Then there are the time when you just love the trapped air!

Tips from the Glass Academy: WHAT TO DO—WHAT TO DO???? TEMPERATURE CONTROL

 

We often get the question which way to do.  Buy a less expensive soldering iron and put it on a temperature controller or go with a more expensive iron that has the temperature control already there?

One thing to know that the built-in temperature controller is like a thermostat.  There is a probe up near the tip monitoring the temperature and doing its best to keep the tip at the temperature you have it set up.

The separate add on controller are controlling the amount of electricity going to your iron. It is called a rheostat.  It is like a dimmer switch.  It will not give you even heat.  It will stop your iron from spitting flux at you and burning up from overheating all the time.

So here are some things to consider.

How much more are you paying once you add the controller and the iron together compared to the iron with the built-in controller?

How much are you willing to invest at this point in you craft?

You might have been using an iron with a separate controller in a class.  How did that work for you?

As you get better at soldering and go faster your iron will cool down quicker.  An iron with a separate controller might start to annoy you at that point.

Top the Tree!

Over the years we have had many requests for a tree topper.   Recently we were involved with a “River of Trees” project where we were co-sponsoring a tree with glass ornaments.  This time we needed to do it.  We had to have a tree topper.

This year’s tree would be in jewel tones and we stock a bevel star in a beautiful blue.

Click here to buy the blue bevel star!

Wanda Shorty with the help of her son, Matt added wire to this star.  They attached two wires to the star as shown in the picture below and created a coil to attach the star to the tree.  The coil was made with 3/32” steel copper clad rod.  We do stock these but don’t list them on the website because they are long to ship.  However, put a note on your order and say you want a rod-2 and it is ok to cut it ½ and we will add one to the order.

And here is the tree in all it’s glory!

 

Tips from the Glass Academy: DID YOU KNOW

DID YOU KNOW

This about Stained Glass Express

 

If you take a class anywhere, you are eligible for a 10% discount during that class at Stained Glass Express.  We don’t have enough staff to enter these to happen automatically so please remind the cashier that you are taking a class.

If you take a class at Stained Glass Express, you are eligible for a 20% discount at Stained Glass Express.  Please remind the cashier you are in a class.  You also can work in the Glass Academy whenever we are open and there is space.

If you are a veteran, you are eligible for our “Thanks for Serving the USA” discount.

http://www.stainedglassexpress.com/veterans.html

 

If you are eligible for a discount, it is good for almost everything in the store.  If you want to buy a gift your discount applies.  Just remember to tell the cashier.  We have even added some of these gifts to our on-line store and will begin featuring some for the holiday season.  Exceptions are labor, class tuition, things in The Gallery (they don’t belong to SGE) and just a couple of products (that we try to keep marked) because we don’t have a markup on them to discount.

If you are an art teacher in either a private or public setting you are eligible to take beginner classes at The Glass Academy for free!

http://www.stainedglassexpress.com/teach_the_teacher.html

 

 

We are a distributor of Olympic Kilns and Bethlehem Burners.  Big items for a small company like us to sell so competitively.  If you have a class or veteran or wholesale discount, the discount applies.  When buying a kiln you also get a free class to you how to program it and run it.  We stock several different kilns but can special order a different one for you.  You can view the selection at www.greatkilns.com

http://www.stainedglassexpress.com/flameworking_glassblowing/annealers-bench-burners-

accessories

 

 

http://www.stainedglassexpress.com/fusing_supplies/kilns-and-accessories

 

Did you know you can rent time in our Glass Academy to work on project and you can pay for kiln space.   You can rent by the day or the month.

We sponsor two contests per year.  One the Just For Fun contest in April that celebrates National Stained Glass Month.  There is a special sale that goes along with this even.  The second is a themed contest called The Amazing Glass Challenge and it is in October.

 

Stained Glass Express has other events and monthly sales.  Please sign up for our e newsletter to stay in the loop on those.

 

We have different types of class.  Classes where you want to learn the skill so you can do it on your own after in Stained Glass Copper Foil Method, Lead Method, Mosaics, Fusing, Glass Blowing and Bead Making.  We have Friends Night Out where you can just come for an evening and drink wine, eat appetizers and with no experience make something wonderful!  We have an Art & Healing Program where the classes lend themselves to people healing from an experience.  Special classes for special skills, private parties –you just name it!

http://www.stainedglassexpress.com/stained_glass_classes_and_events.html

You Mean I Can Use Them ‘Over n Over’ Again!?

You Mean I Can Use Them ‘Over n Over’ Again!? By Melissa Bardsley

Armour Etch has a new line of etching stencils called ‘Over n Over’ that is quickly growing and we didn’t want you to be left out of the loop.

This new type of stencil is called ‘Over n Over’ which just like the name says can be used over and over again. Anyone who has ever used etching stencils can appreciate the struggle of using that one design you really like and then wanting to use it again but there are no more in the package and are now faced with the tough decision of do you buy another package to just use that one stencil again or suck it up and make do with the ones you have left. This problem has been solved ( Woooo!) these new stencils are more durable and are able to be used multiple times by both those that sandblast and those that use the etching cream. The amounts of times you can reuse them is dependent on how intense you are sandblasting and how well you take care of them but it is safe to say you should be able to get 15-20 uses out of them. This is fantastic news for those that struggle with making decisions and chronically has use regret when etching.

This new line of etching stencils makes it easier and more cost efficient t o do etching at events! One fun activity that you can do at a party is have everyone decorate their own drinking glass using the ‘Over n Over’ stencils and etch cream, your guest now won’t confuse their glass with someone else’s  and they have a unique party favor.

There are tons of stencils available on our website and if you can’t find what you are looking for there is blank stencil material available so that you can create your own unique designs.

 Click here to see our supply of Over ‘n’ Over stencils!

Don’t forget to share pictures of your creations on our Facebook page and social media!