Archive for Tech Tips

Making Fusible Flat Glass from Bottles

Bottles before the fusing starts

This is a longer, extended version of a newsletter from last fall.  This topic turned out to be one of the most popular newsletters ever, and is still generating questions, hopefully, this extended version will answer those!

The downside of fusing with bottle glass is that it arrives at your studio curved.  Sometimes that’s okay, some projects can accommodate the curved glass.  Some projects, however, must be made with flat glass.

Making your bottle glass into flat pieces for fusing is relatively easy, there are a few steps: Read more

Q & A Monday – 6/2/14

Jodi McRaney RushoWelcome to Q & A Monday, where I answer reader questions. Today we also have a reader contributed tip, AND a question I don’t have an answer for.  Hopefully someone out there will be able to help us!  Personal details have been omitted for privacy reasons.  If one of these questions is yours and you’d like a back link, let me know.  If you have a question of your own, feel free to send it on over.
Q:  I LOVE your sense of humor, esp. about clumsy relatives, ha! I was SO excited to accidentally stumble across your website yesterday!! I signed up for your email immediately. I have saved wine and other pretty bottles until they’re spilling from the house onto the patio and deck. I KNEW there had to be other crafts to make besides circles for wind chimes. My question is, how do I cut the remaining bottle cylinder evenly in half vertically; after the bottom and neck have been removed? Do I have to buy a tile saw or other type of saw or can I score both sides, tap, and hope they separate relatively evenly at the same time? Read more

Q & A Monday – 2/24/2014

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!

Q&A Monday – 2/17/2014

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

Fusing with Leaves and Color

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

Q & A Monday – 11-25-13

Jodi McRaney RushoWell hello there!  Today I’m answering more reader questions.  If you have a question, send it on over.  I’ve removed identifying information for privacy reasons.

*****

Q: Hi, I’m extremely new to fusing/slumping glass, having been a lampworker for a number of years.

Since I have to import all my glass supplies anyway, having no access to brick/mortar stores here in Panama, I was wondering if you could offer recommendations on suppliers for your ancillary needs; forms, release, powders, etc. I’ve found multiple sources on-line, but am not sure who best fills the need for the recycled glass market. Any assistance will be welcomed. If you prefer not to post publicly, just send a private message. Read more

Q & A Monday 9/30/13

Jodi McRaney RushoLots of readers send me their questions directly, but there are a whole host of questions that get asked anonymously.  One tool that I use to help decide what to write about is Google Keyword Search statistics.  Now, alas, Google is discontinuing the service, so as a tribute and a farewell, I’m pulling questions from the Keyword Searches and answering them here:

  • Q: how to cut a wine bottle with a tile saw
  • A: It’s amazing how many times this one comes up in searches.  I have a couple of videos about cutting bottles with a tile saw, but I think people need to see it a bunch of times before they feel comfortable giving it a go.  The basic things to remember are:  go slow, use lots of water, and the quality of the blade is critical. Read more

Q & A Monday – 4/22/2013

Jodi McRaney Rusho  Welcome to Q & A Monday!  Where we answer reader questions about all things recycled glass.  I’ve removed personal details for privacy reasons, if one of these questions was yours and you’d like attribution, let me know.  If you have a question, send it over! Read more

Q & A Monday – March 25, 2013

Jodi McRaney RushoThe great thing about Q & A Monday is I have to do it on MONDAY.  If it were just called Q & A then I would put it off and we would never get to the questions and answers!  These questions are from readers and the answers that I sent back to them.  They are offered here as an informational resource, and maybe, if you have a question of your own, you’ll be inspired to ask (don’t be shy).  I’ve removed personal details for privacy, if you asked a question and want attribution and a back link, let me know.

  • Q:  I have a kiln that I have been playing and experimenting with for months now.  I adore wine bottle glass, and have had complications casting melted wine bottle frit that I make.  From research I have done, and some of my experimenting, I have found that wine bottle glass is difficult to cast unless fired at very high temps.  Even then, I have had to do a lot of cold working with the pieces I have tried to make after firing.  I love to try and make little jewelry pieces out of the frit.  Do you have any suggestions for working with wine bottle frit, including firing schedules at all?  Thank you so much! Read more

Q & A Monday

Jodi McRaney RushoHere are a few of the questions that were sent my way last week, the answers may help others as well, so I’m posting them here.  If you have a question, don’t be shy, send it on over!  (I have left off the names of the question senders for privacy.  If you sent a question and would like attribution and a back link, let me know!  J)

Question:  I have a ceramics kiln that will follow your schedules but I am scared to use glass in it for fear of wrecking the kiln itself. I’ll stick to simple fusing and melting for now until I get used to the process- as opposed to pot melting and molding. So my questions are: Are you using a glazed bowl for slumping prepared with kiln wash inside and out or do you use unglazed bisqueware with kiln wash? What is the chemical you spray on glass to keep it from going cloudy? We are in New Zealand so chemicals, not brand names are more useful. Will slumping a wine bottle or even fusing it ever make the bottle liquefy so much as to run off the edges of the kiln shelf- assume I put it at least three inches from the edge. How thick does the kiln wash need to be? Read more

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