Mica Vessel Class – Student Projects

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metallic mica on textured recycled glass

Thank you to all of the students who attended the Recycled Glass Mica Vessel class at Kimball Art Center on March 22!  What a fun afternoon, and the student work is gorgeous! Read more

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Bottle Glass Frit Making – Guest Post

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bottle tops for fritRecently, one of our readers, Beverly Frey conducted a series of experiments making bottle glass frit using her kiln and cold water.  She shared her results with us on facebook and has generously agreed to share her results in a blog post as well. Read more

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Recycled Glass Pot Melt Tests

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Flash back Friday! Here’s a post from the archives that is still pretty entertaining! (Post was first published on 2/8/2010)

One of the things about recycled glass that everyone who uses it knows is, you have to test everything.   Twice.  And then do it all over again, since your results could have been a fluke and the worst time to realize that is after you’ve spent a very long time on something.

So.  In preparation for some cast sculptural work that’s coming up, I decided to do some potmelt (crucible) casting tests.  The factors I need to isolate are:  glass particle size, aperature size and temperature.

The most obvious way seemed to test three aperature sizes and three glass sizes at the same temperature.  This would allow me to isolate one factor at a time. Read more

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Q & A Monday – 2/24/2014

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Jodi McRaney RushoWell, th e Monday’s keep marching on by don’t they?  I have to admit, Monday’s aren’t my favorite, but I’m trying to reframe them as a positive experience!  Maybe as a new start in the studio?  Meanwhile, you all have questions, and I may have some answers.  If you have a question about fusing and slumping recycled glass, send it on over and I’ll see what I can do.  (names and some details have been omitted for privacy reasons)

Q:  Thank you for your tutorials please can u advise me how I can join cut beer bottle into a wine glass ie what kind of glue or technique can I use to do this?

A:  I wish I could!  There is one company in the U.S. doing this right now, and their technique is a closely guarded secret.  It looks like they use a torchwork technique, but I have no more information than that.  Delphi Glass has a fun little plastic bottle stem, which is like a cork with a flat bottom that will seal your bottle neck so it can be used as a wine glass.

Q: I have some glass scraps lying around and was thinking about positioning them in a mold of some description and then heating them with a propane torch until they either slump into the mold are viscous enough for me to push them into the mold with a rod/spatula of some description. Thoughts on the advisability and/or the mechanics of this idea?

A: Wow, you’ve certainly given me a lot to think about. Here are my concerns:

- it will be very hard to keep all of the glass the same temperature across the entire mold, so as one section gets hotter, the others will cool very rapidly. Those cooling pieces will thermal shock with determination. I would expect there to be flying bits of quite hot glass.

- I’m worried about the molten glass being pushed or dragged across mold release. Molten glass will quite easily pick up kiln wash and stick, both to the mold, and to the kiln wash.

- Annealing is an issue. As glass cools, internal stresses are created, which must be relieved, typically by cooling the glass back down to room temperature over the course of several hours. Glass that has been improperly annealed (or not at all) tends to crack and be quite brittle.

- mold integrity is also an issue. Ceramic molds don’t like to be thermal shocked either

- and then there’s the kiln wash/mold release. Most kiln washes and mold releases are rated to 1850, some to 2000. Molten glass exceeds that temperature, and will cause the mold release to fail. (this is a problem I see frequently and still haven’t solved)

Now, if you were making small things, like beads, there may be possibilities. I have only taken one bead making class though, so I’d suggest a bit more research before taking that on.

Good luck, it sounds like you live an exciting life!

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Slumped Bottle Glass Dishes

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Recycled Fused Bottle Glass Dishes

This photo appeared in a long ago blog post, and a lovely reader asked for a tutorial, so, at long last, here it is!  These little dishes are made from float (clear), cobalt and forest green bottle glass.  We’ll be doing some small dishes from bottle glass, additional shapes. Read more

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Q&A Monday – 2/17/2014

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Jodi McRaney RushoGood Morning!  Last weeks newsletter brought up a lot of questions about cutting bottles for fusing and a bunch of other stuff too.  Let’s get right to it, shall we?  (all of the identifying information had been changed to protect privacy.  If I’ve posted one of your questions and you would like attribution and a back link, let me know.)

Q: I am sure enjoying your emails and ideas! I have a question: how are you cutting the bottles vertically? Are you using a saw? If so, what kind? I am currently using an actual tile wet saw, and the vertical cuts are difficult–not enough room for the bottle to travel under the blade. Beer bottles (short ones) Work ok in the cut. I am experimenting now with them! Read more

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Striped Bottle Glass Plate

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striped bottle glass plate

This is a fun asymmetrical bottle glass plate that uses one large bottle.  The size is suitable for sushi or crackers and cheese.  Read more

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February 2014 Free Kiln Carving Pattern

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Pot of Gold Pattern for kilncarving

Here’s a little kiln carving pattern that will help you remember how lucky you are!  I like March, it finally feels like there is an end to winter in sight. Read more

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Fusing with Leaves and Color

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Fused leaf with glassline paint

Happily, I got a set of Glassline Paints for Christmas this year and have been doing some playing and experimenting.  One possible use that I am very curious about is using paints instead of powder for fossil projects.  So, I decided to do some trial firings. Read more

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Q & A Monday – 1/20/14

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Jodi McRaney RushoGood Morning!  Here in Utah it’s a sunny crisp (cold) winter day, my favorite kind.  If I have to have winter, I do like the high desert kind.  Today’s question and answer is for educators and anyone else who needs to entertain small persons and would like to use glass to do so.  If you have a question, feel free to send it on over, I might even have an answer!

Q:  I’ve agreed to do a multi-week artist residency at a local school and I need project ideas STAT!  Read more

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