Category Archives: For Beginners

For Beginners

Bottle Club


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.



No Bad Luck Here!




Don’t think of it as seven years bad luck, think of it as an opportunity to be creative.  If you are worried about the seven years of bad luck you can bury a piece in the garden and that will stop it. (so I have heard). Here are some ideas for broken mirrors, most of which I got from Fusing 101:  Any and Everything You Wanted to know but Were Afraid to Ask.

This from Jane Wimbury.  How sweet is that!

Another idea is to get Styrofoam balls and make garden balls.  Or use an old bowling ball:

Frame the irregular shapes for eclectic mirrors:

Just put it back together roughly for a high interest look.  Many of these ideas from dyi.

I can see this done with wine corks, as well!

Try  your own designs – Good Luck!

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.


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!

Stained Glass News, Free Abstract Panel Pattern

Stained Glass News Issue 119

The March issue of Stained Glass News is here! This edition’s free pattern is “Free Form Abstract”.

Get tips on cutting & fitting lead, how to create a pattern from a photograph and more. Every issue includes reader hints and projects, a new products showcase, techniques and ideas and pictures of reader’s projects. Pick up your free copy during your next visit to our store.

Ordering from our online store? We ship Stained Glass News free on request with your order. Click here to begin shopping now!

Tips from the Glass Academy: Youghiogheny Glass


Youghiogheny Glass

Let’s start with how to say it!

[yok-uh-gey-nee] or listen on YouTube by clicking here

On Youghiogheny’s home page it says “Youghiogheny glass is a small, family owned company that specializes in the manufacture of stained glass sheets and glass products for the art and stained glass industry. Its products are distributed worldwide for use in the making of stained glass lamps, panels, windows, and other arts and crafts. Youghiogheny Glass is world renowned in the artist community for its uncompromising quality and color artistry, designed to recreate the magnificence of nature’s pallet.”

Youghiogheny makes five types of glass: Stipple, Virtuoso, Reproduction, Oceana and Easy Fuse.

Stipple Glass: Stipple has a waxy, ice like surface that sets it apart from the rest. Due to the translucent quality of the glass, there is a 3D effect when colors are streaked together. This becomes beautifully apparent when illuminated. This type of glass was first used by Tiffany Studios.

Youghiogheny Ice White, Pink, Green and Silver Yellow Stipple

Youghiogheny Ice White, Pink, Green and Silver Yellow Stipple

Youghiogheny Ice White, Green, Blue and Purple Stipple

Youghiogheny Ice White, Green, Blue and Purple Stipple

Virtuoso Glass: Virtuoso Production art glass is also called High Strike. It is available in a variety of colors in mottled, high strike and iridized finishes. The mottle is also known as cats-paw and is typical of the some of the glass made by Tiffany Studio. The cats-paw describes a condition known as ring-mottling which consists of numerous, interconnected spots of a light, or darker translucency than the surrounding glass. In appearance, it resembles the tracks made by a herd of cats walking across paint. The High Strike line typically has 1-2 colors in the mixtures as opposed to Reproduction glass which has 3-4 color mixes. Also typical of the High Strike is the omission of white as the base color for the glass.

Youghiogheny Leaf Green Opal, Orange/Red Mottled High Strike

Youghiogheny Leaf Green Opal, Orange/Red Mottled High Strike

Youghiogheny Off White and Rust Brown Mottled High Strike

Youghiogheny Off White and Rust Brown Mottled High Strike

Reproduction Glass:  Youghiogheny has been able to develop a series of authentic Tiffany Reproduction Opalescent Glass. These three and four color mixed use a specifically formulated opal base glass. This base creates a true white cast, surface hazing, and the waxy quality that is generally associated with glass made by Tiffany.

Youghiogheny Neodymium Mix with Gold Pink and Purple Reproduction

Youghiogheny Neodymium Mix with Gold Pink and Purple Reproduction

Youghiogheny White Opal, Turquoise, Green, Gold Pink Reproduction

Youghiogheny White Opal, Turquoise, Green, Gold Pink Reproduction

Oceana Glass: Oceana is a beautiful hardnmade art glass. The mottles are soft with a delicate wispy background. Each sheet contrains varying degrees of density, which create a stringy three dimensional quality that is uniquely Oceana.

Youghiogheny Oceana Cadmium Orange

Youghiogheny Oceana Cadmium Orange

Easy Fuse Glass: Easy Fuse is a +/- 82 COE glass. It is supposed to be able to be used with regular float glass. What you might call window glass. Really cuts down on the price! We have not stocked it here at SGE because of space.

~ Janet


Winter 2015 Issue of Glass Patterns Quarterly is Here!


Glass Patterns Quarterly Winter 2015 Cropped

Just arrived…the Winter 2015 “Wildlife Issue” of Glass Patterns Quarterly magazine.

Available for purchase in our online store and in our Manchester store.

Exciting projects in this issue for all skill levels:

Stained Glass

  • Snowflake Magic
  • Birdhouse
  • Abstract Peacock
  • Dolphin Sunrise
  • Spirit of the Fox
  • Cardinals
  • Giraffe
  • Big Wave
  • Call of the Wild (three wolves)
  • Golden Gate

Jewelry/Screen Printing

  • Screen Printed Glass Pendants

Fused Glass

  • Birds of a Glass Feather
  • Glass Gecko
  • Desert Fritscape
  • Fused Painted Pony
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Tortoise Shell Tray
  • Love is in the Air (glass hearts)

Buy It Now!

Tips from the Glass Academy: Find Your Happy Place


Nothing beats having a place to set up your stained glass work so you can leave it out and when you have 15 minutes to spare you can go work or ponder or plan.

All you need is a flat surface that will be called your work bench. You will need something to build your piece on. The technical term for a nearly perfect solution for this is Homasote fiberboard. You can get this at a box store. They might called it fiberboard or soundproofing board. We use ceiling tiles because it seems we always have some around. They are not as robust as homasote but light and cheap. These are easily manageable. You can easily put metal pushpins into them. Easy to use the Layout Morton system with this.

You also need something to cut glass on. Morton (again) offers a honeycomb surface that collects the glass shards. There is also The Waffle Grid which accepts Morton parts. Once you own one of these surfaces you have accessories options. Great gadgets. If you are doing a lot of repeated cuts, there is a gadget for that. These accessories allow you to set up jigs for straight lines and arcs.

A basement is generally the perfect place to put your workbench. No worries about bare feet and glass on the floor. No one goes to the cellar in bare feet! The key is finding a place where you can set up and leave it!

Then you will need tools & supplies. This list is the very basic minimum
Soldering iron
Temperature Controller if your iron does not have one.
Breaker/grozier pliers (you can add specialized pliers later)
Glass marker for light and dark glass
Flux brush
Copper foil
Hand grinder
Cutting oil


Tinned copper wire
Pattern shears
Running pliers

After that—sky is the limit!

– Janet

Stained Glass News Issue 114 Available

The new Stained Glass News is here! This edition’s free pattern is for assorted leaves by Clara Burris.

Every issue includes reader hints and projects, new products showcase, techniques and ideas, pictures of reader’s projects and more! Pick up your free copy during your next visit to our store.

Ordering from our online store? We ship SGN free on request with your order.

Stained Glass News Issue 114

Tips from the Glass Academy: Cutting Concave Curves

Cutting Concave Curves

Concave Cuts

Concave curves are difficult to break out of stained glass, especially if they are deep. There are several methods that can be used to break out extreme inside curves. Whichever method you choose, retain a significant amount of glass around the edges of the curve.

If you are using the Morton Safety Break System, the most difficult concave curves can be made easy by making only one score line.


If you don’t have a Morton Safety Break System, you can use the score and break method. When using this method to cut concave curves, work slowly and mindfully. Rushing this process often results in failed attempts and broken glass. We also recommend practicing a few times on pieces of inexpensive clear glass.

To begin, score on the pattern line (the most difficult curve or # 1 in below image). Next, make a series of concentric scores (#’s 2, 3 and 4). Using your grozer/breaker pliers, remove these graduated scores in sequence starting on the edge of the glass (score #2), working your way up (score #’s 3 and 4) to the primary score which you will gently tap out last.

Happy Cutting!

Concave Cuts Pattern