Category Archives: Teachers

Photos and tips from teachers for Teacher Appreciation Month during the month of May at Stained Glass Express


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!




For a few years now, Stained Glass Express has been offering 33 coe glass.  We are still learning and still adding product.  One of the growing stock is our 33 coe tubes and rods.  We stock Simax tubes and rods made by Schott.  This is a high- quality borosilicate glass.  The main ingredients are silica and boron.  Boro has a high heat resistance and a low thermal expansion.  (thus the low coe number).

Simax works best in high heat and is commonly used in lab equipment, industrial equipment and cookware.  However, in our art world it is a favorite because it creates smoot, transparent and strong beautiful pieces.

For Simax to work at it’s full potential it must be annealed properly.  Annealing is the process of eliminating internal thermal stress.  This stress comes from one area of the glass getting hotter than a neighboring area and will later develop cracks.  Usually it is annealed at 1050 F for about one hour and then cooled slowly.  If you cool too quickly it will crack.  Of course, this can vary depending on the thickness of the glass and other variables.

You can use Simax glass with other 33 coe glass like Glass Alchemy, Golden Gate, imported, Momkas, Northstar, Tautman and others.

We have not put simax on our website but if you talk to us and allow us to cut it to fit a box (or are willing to pay for oversized we will ship it.  Our colored rods are on the site.


In the art world the top item made is tobacco pipes, but also ornaments, pendants and other wonderful works of art!







Sign up for one of our torch room classes and learn this art!





This lamp is not only incredibly beautiful and an amazing amount of work, it was turning point for the Tiffany Studios.  In 1902, there was an event in Turin, Italy called the Prima Esposizione, Internazionale d’Arte Decorative Moderna.  This event put an emphasis on the aesthetic renewal of everyday objects.  Tiffany Studios received a grand prize at this event.  One of the designs for the award was for the Wisteria Library Lamp.  Electricity was now available.  Before electricity, the lamp bases had to serve as containers for oil and limited the design.  This transformed a previously utilitarian device in an electrified sculpture.

Take a close look at the top of the lamp.  There is an intricate bronze vine working its way down the design of the lamp.  Just beautiful.  This shade was designed by Clara Driscoll, who was the supervisor in the Women’s Glass Cutting Department.  Follow this link to learn more about Clara Driscoll.

Wisteria has more than 2,000 pieces which, of course, were hand cut.  The wisteria was a popular spring blooming vine in the 19th-century American gardens and loved by Louis Comfort Tiffany.  He planted them in abundance at his Long Island estate called Laurelton Hall.

Tips from the Glass Academy: 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.


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!



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



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!



The Transformation and Rebirth of Uroboros Glass

This just could not be more exciting.  Last May when the Glass almost died and a lot of thought it had, was a real time of scrambling around to keep glass on the shelves.  Now the anticipation of a steady supply chain is just so uplifting!

The Uroboros image of the dragon consuming its own tale is a symbol of nature’s infinite cycle.  One thing ending and another beginning.

So here we go!!!


We hear this a lot around March and April when we chat with folks about them entering the “Just for Fun Contest” that is due in March and is on display in April.

We do have some very skilled, extremely talented people enter this contest.  We have artists who have professional studios set up and sell their work.   We also have some total beginners and for past few years we have had a least one entry by a child.  We have different styles of work, some original/some from a pattern.  We get flat, 3-d, pictorial and abstract.


All the entries have two things in common.  First, they are all made of glass.  Second, they are all worthy entries.

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 of glass.  Some little quirky thing someone might have done.  The high skill, the original design, a favorite pattern or topic.  NEVER, NEVER have we heard— “that doesn’t belong”.

Remember the name is “Just for Fun”.  That may sound trite but we put a lot of thought into it.  We did not want the contest to have rules we had to monitor and we did not want to limit it in any way.

So–YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH.   I will say I do have a lot of admiration for people willing to put their work on display.  There is a bit of bravery involved.  So be brave.  Start working on next year’s piece.





We might have received 400 pounds of solder labelled incorrectly.

100 pounds of that is sold.  We have 3 that have been confirmed as 40/60 not 60/40.

If you are having trouble with your solder, please let us know.  You might have 40/60.

We will replace it, of course, and are so sorry for any frustration this might have cause.


If you are an on-line customer, let us know you have the solder, and we will work out what to do.  We have not worked out that part with Victory yet. Email


As of January 2017

SPECTRUM—Has stopped manufacturing.  They are still shipping some stock from their warehouse.  This is later than we all expected.  We thought they would be sweeping the floors in January.  It is far from being a complete stock.  We are no longer seeing baroque, not much waterglass, no fusers reserve and lots of gaps.   Their equipment has been moved to Oceanside Glasstile and they are in the process of setting it up.  We are hoping to see production in April.

UROBORUS—Is still manufacturing some colors.  No opal red, green, yellow or orange.  That stock has pretty much disappeared.  That includes sheet glass, rods, frit noodles and stringers.    They have also sold their assets to Oceanside.  They are closing one department at a time and moving it to Mexico.  Their plan is totally end production on Oregon by Feb 1 and restart in Mexico in May.  That is three month with stock already difficult!

WISSMACH—Still producing and must be very, very busy.  Stained Glass Express added their fusible 96 line when Spectrum announced they were closing and now stock every number of their fusible line but struggle to keep it in stock.  There just does not seem to be much available.   We have always stocked a little Wissmach in 90 coe and a lot of their art glass.

YOUGHIOGHENY—Have not seem to have been affected by EPA and our stock has remained stable.  We have been talking a little with them about their 83coe line but they encouraged us to wait as they are making some changes.

KOKOMO—They also do have seemed to have been affected by the EPA and stock has remained stable.

ARMSTONG—I have no idea why their stock is so unavailable.  They are made by Kokomo and Wissmach and maybe just because they are busy they are not doing the Armstrong.  Too bad.

BULLSEYE—Bullseye seemed to have come out on the other side of the crisis.  They were the first to be hit by the EPA and were shut down for a time.  They still are not producing anything with cadmium so there are some gaps but yet we have not had trouble getting most of our stock.  They have installed a lot of equipment and are continuing to install more.  Prices have increased as a result if the investment.  The equipment is very expensive.  I think I read that every baghouse (the equipment for each furnace) is over $100,000.

Color of the Year 2017 – Greenery!

I am always very excited to see what Pantone comes with for color of the year.  It is always so fun.

If you are not familiar with the Pantone colors, here is a bit of an explanation.  First of all, when you see color charts at the paint store, the numbers are pantone colors.  They select a color of the year as a symbolic color selection.  It represents what they see taking place in our global culture and serves as an expression of a mood and attitude.

This is what Leatrrce Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute says out this year’s selection.  “Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment.  Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.”



The institute writes this:  “A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings.

Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when natures’s greens revive, restore and renew.  Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.

Greenery is nature’s neutral.  The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world.  This shift is reflected by the proliferation of all things expressive of Greenery in daily lives through urban planning, architecture, lifestyle and design choices globally.  A constant on the periphery, Greenery is now being pulled to the forefront—it is an omnipresent hue around the world.

Alife-affirming shade, Greenery is also emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality.



Stay tuned for our stained glass picks in February!

Tips from the Glass Academy: Spectrum Glass Status Update!

We have been biting our fingernails waiting for status updates from Oceanside Glasstile about Spectrum products! Luckily Oceanside Glasstile is doing a wonderful job in keeping us in the loop. This exert is from an email update we recently received,

“Spectrum Equipment Migrates South

We promised real-time updates so here we go! News of the first trucks leaving Spectrum and arriving at our Art Glass Factory arrived late last week. We send a huge shout out to the team at Spectrum for all their love and care packing up this precious cargo and helping get it safely to its new home.

In the last week of November we had an amazing group of men down from Spectrum Glass. These individuals are a few of the Spectrum Employees who have agreed to join our team during the transition. Needless to say, the group had a great time and are coming to Oceanside Glasstile with an incredible amount of enthusiasm and passion. Everyone at Oceanside Glasstile is excited about the partnership and is looking forward to the continued training…”

Here is a direct link for Oceanside Glasstile’s web page dedicated to keeping us all informed!


At this point (it is December 2016) it is encouraging that we are getting communication from Oceanside Glasstile.  They are the company who will be manufacturing Spectrum glass in the future. Here are some other things they are telling us:

  1. The engineers from Oceanside are at the Spectrum plant in Seattle getting trained.
  2. They have hired some of Spectrum’s top operational people for long term and transitional positions to ensure overall success.
  3. They are now preparing their facility to receive the Spectrum equipment.
  4. They expect to be producing sheet glass in the second quarter of 2017. Not sure what that means exactly.  Second quarter is April, May and June.  It is not clear what we will see and when.  They will be accepting orders from the distributors at the end of January.  I supposed that will tell them what they should produce first.   Could mean that as retailers we will start to see numbers reappear in July or before.
  5. They will keep the same part numbers and color references.
  6. In January we could see a product and price list.

It is so encouraging that this wonderful product line is not going to disappear.