Category Archives: Misc.

WHY THE GLASS YOU WANT IS NOT AVAILABLE

    Stained Glass Express always took pride in never being out of stock on any glass.  We would have AT LEAST one sheet cut up and out on the retail floor ready for you to carry out.  Then we had another full sheet in the warehouse.  As soon as the full sheet in the warehouse went to the retail floor, we ordered another.

    It is not that simple any longer.  Since Spectrum (announced May 11, 2016) and Uroboros (announced October 2016) closed, not only has some glass been scarce or not available at all, the dynamics of buying glass is different.  Both companies’ assets were sold to Oceanside glass and Tile.

    Oceanside certainly has had their challenges.  They moved the assets, they built buildings,  they trained workers.  As the distributor’s warehouses emptied of their stock of Spectrum and Uroboros, we felt the need to find glass.  It was a year from the time Spectrum announced closing that we knew that Oceanside would begin production.  In the mean time, this is what we did:

  1. We sell a lot of cabinet glass and most of it to one customer.  We bought 1 year’s supply hoping the dust would settle by then and we would not be cutting and putting together hundreds of new sample sets for this customer.  We called it right on that one!  We made it through the year and we are still using the same sample sets.  Below is our top selling cabinet glass. Clear Seedy.

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/spectrum-clear-seedy-glass.html

  2. We brought in two new lines of fusible glass.  First, we brought in Wissmach’s 96 line.  That          meant rearranging some display area to make room for a new line of glass.  We still had a            lot of the old System 96, but as we ran out of some colors, we needed to be ready.  Then we        brought in Youghiogheny 96.  We later became the Northeast distributor for Youghiogheny          and increased that line.

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/Fusible-Glass/96-COE/Wissmach-96-COE-Glass/ 

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/Fusible-Glass/96-COE/Youghiogheny-Y-96-Glass/

   3. We increased our offering of Bullseye compatible glass.  We like to think of this as 90 COE           but Bullseye just says Bullseye compatible.  We have had more customers switch over to             Bullseye to avoid the turmoil and there is no question it is totally beautiful.

https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/Fusible-Glass/90-COE-Glass-and-Frit/90-COE-Glass-Bullseye/

    Then Oceanside announced that most of the line that previously was non-fusible would become fusible.  Wow!  That involved us changing around the entire showroom.  Our big wall of non- fusible cubbies would become fusible because that change meant most of our glass would be fusible.  What a delight this change is for fusers.  Fusers have many more options.

    All these changes for Spectrum/Oceanside meant for a rocky supply chain.  Clears were manufactured and then they switched to color.  Before they went back to clears, they became scarce.

    It also meant for a lot of changing around the showroom and trying to keep things so you could find what you wanted.  (If we were lucky enough to have it!)  Keeping the non-fusible separate from the fusible.  For a time, we might have some that looked exactly alike but one was fusible and one was not.

    At this point there are colors that are manufactured twice a year.  We can only hope that our distributors call it correctly and have enough to get us to the next run.  They have not even manufactured all the colors yet!

    Iridized glass has all but disappeared.  Kokomo’s iridizing machine was shut down during the EPA investigations in 2016.  It got plugged up when it was turned off and they have not brought it back to running again.  Oceanside does not have the ability to iridize yet.  Once in awhile we get some Wissmach but it is scarce.

    Then we have two new lines.  Big investment.  Then the Oceanside started being manufactured.  We wanted to grab that as it became available.  Big decisions about how much to buy.  We all have limited resources and even though we might want to spend every dollar on glass (we know you understand THAT), we also have to meet payroll, pay utilities, put paper in the copy machine and all those other things you just hate to think about.

    Even planning a sale is different.  I now start gathering up enough glass to have it on sale, three months ahead.  I might have to buy from three different distributors and I generally try not to buy glass more than twice a month.  That means there is extra glass setting here waiting for a sale that is three months out, some waiting for a sale two months out etc.  That means less money for routine orders.  However, we now know we better buy it when it is available.

    We are being diligent to get the glass as it is available.  We are trying to keep the website updated with the changes.  Somedays when customers don’t  seem to know there have been shutdowns, we think we should pat ourselves on the back.  that means we have kept enough stock so that vast gaps are not obvious to you, the customer.  There are other days when we don’t know how we are going to run a sunflower class because we don’t have enough yellow, that we heave a large sigh.  However, we keep searching and make it happen.

    Despite all the current difficulties, we are lucky to be in an industry that surrounds us with so much beauty, fun and healing power.

 

Copyright Infringement Concerns

Weird situation in my mind. You buy a pattern book because you like a pattern in it. If you make up the piece and sell it, have you committed copyright infringement?

Technically, yes.

If, however, you make the piece and hang it in your den, you have not committed copyright infringement. Only if you make a profit on it.

If you check with the publisher, any of the following could happen. Some will charge you a royalty fee. Others will allow you to produce a small number of pieces before expecting compensation.

Related to that is copying patterns from a pattern book. When we were first in business, customers sometimes asked if they could just copy a pattern from a pattern book instead of buying the book. Not only is it is illegal to do so, it is also unethical. It takes away income from the designer/publisher — and from the store too. We have already paid for the books on the shelf.

If you are working on a piece, you can make the copies you need to build the piece. But if you make a copy to give to your friend, that is copyright infringement.

If you change the pattern 35 percent, technically, you have not committed copyright infringement. If you change, say, a chickadee pattern 35 percent, you are good. After all, how many ways can you make a chickadee pose?

Here’s some good news.

If you use a Stained Glass Express free pattern, you may feel FREE to use it, however you wish. We do not copyright them — we make them for you!

Stained Glass Express Free Patterns

When you first start clicking through these items, it may appear that we are charging for them. But you will only be charged if you buy the kit, which includes glass and other needed items to build the piece. If you scroll down below the product description, you will see the following:

Click HERE to download the free stained glass pattern.

How about Stained Glass Express printed patterns?

When we first develop a pattern, we build it, put it on display and give it away for three months. After the initial three months, however, the printed pattern is no longer free. But the patterns are always free online, as you are using your own ink and paper.

Just one of many free patterns Stained Glass Express has made for you! Click on the picture to download!

No Bad Luck Here!

BROKEN MIRROR!!?

 

 

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.

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.

SUMMER JOB

Camp Tapawingo in Sweden, Maine is looking for a part-time Stained Glass Instructor to teach 15 hours a week, June 26-August 8.  If you are interested, let us know and we will put you in touch with the correct people.

 

 

Are You In Business?

Stained Glass Express has Three Business Discount Levels.

The Jewel Level:  You turn in proof that you are a professional in the art glass industry.  This can be that you are a member of an art glass guild that we can see on line.  It can be that you have a yellow page ad or your work is in galleries.  Or you can show us invoices where you have purchased from wholesalers.  This level gives you 15% off product that is not already discounted.  If you purchase $500 during the year you maintain your discount level. If you buy $700 or more, you move up to the next level.

The Crystal Level: You become a Crystal level customer by turning in a retailer certificate or by moving up from the Jewel level.  This does not make you tax exampt with us but it means you are turning in sales tax information to the State of Maine. (on line customers from other States, let us know what the equivalent is)  The Crystal level gives you a 20% discount at Stained Glass Express.  If at the end of the year you have purchased $700 at SGE you maintain your discount level for the next year.  If you do not, you go to the jewel level or lose it.  If you purchase $900 during the year you move to the Diamond Level.

The Diamond Level: You become a Diamond level customer by turning in a resale certificate or by moving up from the Crystal Level.  (again on line out of State people, tell us your State’s equivalent) This level gives you a 30% discount.  If you purchase $900 during the year you maintain your Diamond Level. If you purcahse less than $900 but more than $700 you become a Crystal Level.  Less than $700 but more than $500 you become a Jewel Level.  Less than $500 there are no discounts other than sales.

These levels are evaluated each January.  If you joined a level during the year you have until the January of the next full year.  Sales are counted January to December.  The amount is figured on the net amount of your sale not the retail.

Please be sure you let the sales person know you are in our database that they they will put he sale with your name and your sales get counted toward your discount level.

If you are an on line customer, unfortunately we have not figured out how to make our on line software do this yet.  However, we would program into our Point of Sale Software and when we check you out, the discount is automatically given.