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Studio Updates September 2017

This week has been interesting to say the least.  Lots of projects and world events happening at the same time.  All of us here at Glass With a Past (including the felines) have been watching the fires in the west and the storms in the south with heavy hearts.  For all of our friends and glass family in those areas, please know we are thinking of you, and please do whatever you need to stay safe!  For glass friends and family in less threatened areas, please consider supporting one of the many non profit aid agencies (of your choice) that can help our fellow artists and citizens recover.  I like CERF+, the Craft Emergency Relief Fund, to help artists and crafts people recover from emergencies and disasters.

Some of the glassy things happening around here lately: Continue reading Studio Updates September 2017

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Q & A Monday, September 4 edition

Bottles for fusing

Today I’m answering reader emails, just in case you have the same questions. If you do have a melting glass question, please let me know through the form on the About/Contact page.

Onward!

Q:  Hi. I just received the five molds I ordered for slumping bottle bottoms. But I have a question. What type of kiln wash do you recommend?? The one I have now I don’t know the name of, it is almost gone and the box got wet. So just have the bag. But to remove it from my kiln shelves, I have to work the shelf over with drywall screen. I feel like this would destroy the details in the mold. Also, five coats might fill in the detail, so to obliterate it. I looked thru all your supply offerings and found no kiln wash, so am afraid to start playing with my new molds. (Not good since I have a big show coming up in 5 weeks!) Can you please help me out??

A:  It hadn’t even occurred to me, but of course you are absolutely right, I should have kiln wash available, as well as a tutorial.  I usually do just two to three even thin coats to preserve the details. You’ll want to use an artists brush rather than a traditional kiln wash brush. When I need to remove it, I use a firm bristled plastic brush, the kind for cleaning sinks.

[Edited to add:  Glass With a Past kiln wash is in the research stage, look for it soon!]

Q:  First, I love your work and think all your tutorials are fantastic! If I lived in Utah, I’d come take classes. I have always been drawn to glass art and have taken a few local classes in glass blowing, but it is too intensive for me and I don’t want to work with frit. I would like to try recycled glass bottle fusing (donut rings for wind chimes and jewelry to start). Could you recommend a starter kiln that won’t break the bank? What qualities or features should I look for? Is there a website (besides eBay) or company where I might purchase a used kiln?

A: I think the best beginner kiln is one that is programmable. It is possible to use a manually controlled kiln, but if you are learning a new art form, also having to learn how to manually fire is discouraging. I also recommend at least a 12″ shelf if you can get it. 6″ kilns are tempting because they are often less expensive, but everyone I know (including myself) wanted a larger kiln immediately. My first kiln had 15″ octagon shelved and I used that for 7 years before upgrading.

In terms of used kilns, I don’t know of any one place that sells them. I cruise our local want ads, and do see reasonable kilns fairly often, but they go fast, so you have to be diligent. Another option, if you are on facebook, is a group called Fused Glass Connect, or Glass Artists Connect (I am in too many groups) but it is where people list things for sale. There may be someone near you selling their kiln or upgrading.

As far as brands go, I have a skutt and a denver and have been very happy with both. I think you’d like pretty much any of the large kiln makers, they are all good.

Q: During your class at curious mondo you had a set of heat cured paints. How and where can I get these.

It looks like a great lady’s night of wine and snack at my shop. I have a small studio carved out of the floor space and a pretty decent size dual media kiln.

A: I’m going through old emails and realized I hadn’t answered this one. I bought mine at Joanne’s, they were mixed in with the other acrylic paints, you have to look at the labels carefully to make sure they are the glass ones. It seems like they had a little sticker with a picture of a wine glass on the top. There are several brands, I don’t know that any one is better than the others, it seems like a personal preference kind of thing.

I used them for one of my weekly evening classes, and people loved them. We did flattened wine bottle clocks, I flattened and drilled the bottles ahead of time, and the ladies painted them. Work great.

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Studio Updates

Fused Glass Flamingo

We have been having so much fun in the studio lately, I thought I would share some of the cool things with you.

I taught an online fusing class called Fusing for the Holidays, it was designed for artists who are or want to sell their work to give you ideas about projects and pricing.  We ended up doing 30+ projects.  Here is a sneak peek if you missed it.  The class is now available on demand for a small fee. (all of the patterns are included, if you needed a reason to buy the class!)

I made a super cute Fuse and Fold Flamingo

Fused Glass FlamingoAnd found the coolest glass vase ever at the thrift store.  Don’t worry, I’m not melting it!

Save

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Q & A, August 21st edition

Today I’m answering reader questions about diamond drill bits, hole saws, melting glass insulators and custom molds.  If you have a great glass question, send it over to us through the About/Contact page.  All personal details have been removed for privacy.

Q:  Help! I’ve been buying hollow core drill bits from various places used for drilling holes in recycled bottles. I use water an have used both a drill press and hand held dremmel. I also drill in pulses to allow water to cool the bit. Some have worked well and some wear out immediately. Can you recommend a brand of bit that is reliable? I don’t mind spending a little more. I want quality at a reasonable price. I appreciate the help. I haven’t seen any advice on glass forums on this topic. Thanks.

Continue reading Q & A, August 21st edition

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Q & A Monday, August 14 edition

Today I’m answering reader questions that came in via email. All personal information has been removed for privacy reasons. If you have a question that you must, simply must have an answer to, send it on over via the About/Contact page.

Q: Good afternoon Jodi,
I have a question about the piece you created using mica and showed it on your web site a few years ago, it was a beautiful plate called “Lava”

Would you be able to tell me how you created this piece as I would like to try and make a similar plate.

Keep up the good work as I have learned a lot from your newsletters and now do quite a few things using window glass and thick glass shelves that I acquired. Continue reading Q & A Monday, August 14 edition

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Q & A Monday, August 7 Edition

Today I’m answering reader questions that came in via email.  All personal details have been removed for privacy reasons.  If you have a glass question that simply must be answered, give me a shout through the About/Contact page.

Q:  Hi there,

I am getting ready to fire my first Bombay Sapphire bottle and I wondered what you do with the writing/ink on the sides of the bottle. I was looking at the pictures in the Tips for Removing Labels and I couldn’t see anything specifically about it, and it looks like the print is still on the bottles in the picture.

A:  The lettering is an enamel, so it does often stay on. I’m not sure if etching cream will take it off or not, I usually just roll with it. If you really, really don’t want it, you could grind it off with a dremel and diamond bit before you fire.  Oh, I should have mentioned, if you are selling your work, people LOVE the little enamel letters that stay on. Odd, but there you go! Continue reading Q & A Monday, August 7 Edition

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Q & A Monday, July 31 Edition

diamond carving bits

Today I’m answering reader emails that came in via email or private message.  If you have a glass question that needs answering, please send it on over through the About/Contact page.  All personal details are removed for privacy reasons.

Q: Hi there – me again! I have finally purchased a wet tile saw (after wasting too much money on stupid score and scald bottle cutters AND a diamond band saw that sucked) – and then, I bought a hugely expensive glass blade for it.

So I’m using it for the first time today and almost every time it gets to the last bit it cracks, breaks, or chips. What am I doing wrong? Too fast? Too slow? Torquing the bottle? Any suggestions you can give me would be appreciated. I’ve watched a ton of YouTube videos (including yours) but they are all about process and not technique.

Thanks for any help you can offer! Continue reading Q & A Monday, July 31 Edition

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Monday Q & A, April 24, 2017

Bottles for fusing

Today I’m answering reader questions that came in via email.  All personal information has been removed for privacy reasons.  If you have a question that you must, simply must have an answer to, send it on over via the About/Contact page.

 

Q:   I purchased your Recycled Glass Garden Art class this weekend. Love it so far! (Haven’t completed it yet).

You were talking about the Rock Polishing Grit and said you would put in the notes for the class where you purchase yours. I don’t have access to those notes, since I didn’t watch the free class. Can you please tell me where you purchase?
Thank you. So glad you are doing these classes online. LOVE them!!!

Continue reading Monday Q & A, April 24, 2017