Category Archives: Mosaics

Mosaic products, technical information and tips from Stained Glass Express

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!


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!

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


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: Accessory Glass

So Much Fun with Accessory Glass!


Available in 96 COE and 90 COE as well as regular stained glass. You can get very hard to cut glass already cut. Animals, bugs, sea stuff, flowers, holiday items, stars, nature items, symbols, hearts, vegetables, winter items, on and on!

Shop for 96 COE precuts here


Similar to non-fusible nuggets. Approximately 1/2” diameter and 1/4” thick. Fusible. Beautiful colors.  Great to embellish your projects. They come in bags of approximately 25 pieces.

Shop for 96 COE pebbles here


Smaller than pebbles. 1/4” to 3/8” diameter. About 50 in a package. Also available in mixes.

Shop for 96 COE polka dots here




Dots are cut from rods. A convenience product. No need for you to be nipping rods. The other nice thing about them is that they come in mixed 1 oz packs so you do not have to buy a bunch of rods to get a nice variety of color.

Shop for 96 COE dots here


So much fun in a 1/2 oz package. At first glance, they look round but they are actually flat which makes them much easier to use. They are thin – the sizes range from 1/12” to 1/4”.

Shop for 96 COE frit balls here

Stained Glass News is Here!


The September issue of Stained Glass News has arrived! This edition’s free pattern is “Homage to Spectrum Glass”.

Get tips on making your own flash glass with enamels, how to create a pattern from other patterns, upgrading your home with cabinet door inserts and more. Every issue includes reader hints, a new products showcase, techniques, ideas and reader projects. Pick up your free copy during your next visit to our retail store.

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

Time for Plan B

Who Else Manufactures Glass?

Time for Plan B. The Spectrum plant has now ceased production of glass. They are continuing to sell what is left in the warehouse but we are expecting the warehouse to close by year end. Then it will be just what the distributors have left in their warehouses for us to stock.

This list is US manufacturers only.

Art Glass

  • Armstrong**
  • Kokomo**
  • Uroboros**
  • Van Gogh**
  • Wissmach**
  • Youghiogheny**

Fusible Glass +/-82 COE

  • Youghiogheny

Fusible Glass 90 COE

  • Bullseye Glass Company (Note: Bullseye does not say they are 90. They say they are compatible with themselves.)**
  • Uroboros*
  • Wissmach*

Fusible Glass 96 COE

  • Spectrum (the factory that is closing)**
  • Uroboros**
  • Wissmach***

Rods & Frit for Glassblowing and Flameworking

  • Glass Alchemy**
  • Momka**
  • Northstar**
  • Origin*
  • Trautman*


These companies coat glass. They do not manufacture the glass the coating is on. They will be affected by Spectrum closing.

  • Austin Thin Films**
  • Coatings by Sandberg**
  • Profusion**

Dalle Glass and Rondels


* indicates that Stained Glass Express stocks some

** indicates that Stained Glass Express stocks a lot

*** indicates that Stained Glass Express will be aggressively increasing their stock



Tips from the Glass Academy: Pre-Cut Glass Shapes


Pre-Cut Glass Shapes for Fused Glass, Stained Glass and Mosaics

96 COE Precut Shapes

I doubt you can find a product that is more fun than pre-cut glass shapes! We stock mostly 96 COE glass shapes and a few 90 COE and can always get more. They are available in animals, butterflies, sea stuff, cupcakes, flowers, hearts, seasonal items, stars, symbols, vegetables, winter-themed and more. There is such a wide selection.

The shapes are made by a family-owned and operated business. The pre-cuts are easy to use. All are copyrighted original designs, manufactured in the United States using American-made glass.

Even though the pre-cuts are made with fusible glass (90 COE or 96 COE), they are also great for mosaics and can be used as an overlay in stained glass.

Click here to view our selection of 96 COE pre-cut glass shapes

Click here to view our selection of 90 COE pre-cut glass shapes

As always, if you are looking for a particular item that we do not currently stock, please let us know and we are happy to order it for you!

~ Janet

Southwest Picture Frame Side View





Tips from the Glass Academy: Van Gogh Glass


What is Van Gogh Glass?

Van Gogh glass is made from clear Glue Chip glass that is hand-painted on the back with a metallic, automotive-type pigment. It brings out the fern-like pattern of the Glue Chip glass and creates an unusual, striking effect. The metallic paint on the back is covered with black paint, so the glass has a mirror-like depth. The glass is completely smooth on the front.

Van Gogh glass has stunning colors that will really add to your projects. The glass is perfect for mosaics or can be added to your next stained glass panel. It certainly is better with reflected light. Van Gogh glass is not really transparent but can act strangely in strong light and you should examine it before putting it into a piece that will be in transmitted light. Because it is a handmade glass, colors may vary slightly from sheet to sheet. Buy all you need for a project at once to insure color consistency.

The glass should be treated like mirror. Use a Fine grit grinder bit when grinding. If the black paint flakes off the back of the glass during grinding, it can be touched up with a black paint pen.

The recommended glue for use with Van Gogh glass is Weldbond.

Weldbond. Item # WB08.

To view all of the Van Gogh glass we carry, click here.

Artwork photos courtesy Brenda Jolin