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! (more…)
The 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! (more…)
Here 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? (more…)
When you are looking to expand your tool kit of cool things that can be used to make recycled glass art, don’t overlook the craft store! Not all cool glass tools come from glass companies, there are a ton of scrap-booking and craft store items that can be (mis) used to good effect in the glass studio. Here are a few:
1. Scrapbooking molds
Yesterday’s newsletter featured a tech tip about how to make sure your stemware will fuse flat, just in case you were in the mood to fuse a wine glass or martini glass.
An attentive reader (thanks Jeanne!) e-mailed me with questions, so I thought I would expand on the concept for all of you who aren’t subscribed to the newsletter. Which you really should be…right over there in the right sidebar, it’s not painful, really.
Here we go:
I’m starting with two martini glasses, both purchased from the thrift store down the street. This started out as an experiment to see if it was possible to melt a martini glass flat to use for other projects.
One of the martini glasses goes into the kiln whole. The other one is marked and then cut. By cutting off either side of the base, we can make sure the glass won’t roll when it fuses.
There are lots of ways to cut bottles, I’ve tried all of them that I can find and think of, my favorite is still the tile saw. There are pro’s and con’s to using a tile saw, it’s a tool that is great for somethings, not so much for others.
Things to consider:
- It’s FAST! I can cut upwards of 50 bottles an hour with a saw.
- Works great for bottles with surface texture or raised patterns.
- Fairly accurate with practice.
- Leaves a raggedy edge that is really best either cut off, or ground smooth before fusing. I usually cut them off.
- Is pretty darn messy.
- Needs safety gear. I STRONGLY recommend a respirator, safety glasses or face shield and a combination of ear-plugs and gun muffs.
I have an 8″ tile saw, so I roll the bottle into the saw blade as I cut. If you have a larger saw, you can pull the blade through the bottle, I still recommend a slight roll, it will keep your cut smooth and keep the last little bit from breaking.
Once you get the neck and the bottom cut from the bottle, you’ll have a cylinder of glass that is the start point for lots of other projects.
Here is a short video showing how to cut the bottom from a Crown Royal bottle.
Mali C. bring this question:
I took a visit to your site after viewing you on HGTV That’s Clever. Which by the way you did a nice job and I hope you were eventually able to view it if you haven’t already.
I work with elementary school children doing art classes as a guest artist. Most of the material I use is recycled, or things I donate. I have done quite a few fused glass projects, but donating these supplies (purchased 90 COE fusing glass) is becoming quite costly for me. I am looking into using recycled found glass to use with my elementary kids. I was given a case of wine bottles from a winery, all different colors. I was hoping to use the different colored glass (combined) on one piece. Kinda like how you crushed the red glass onto the one example you showed on your site. My question #1 is: are all bottles the same COE, (like wine bottles)? Question #2: Is all regular, float window glass the same COE, or do you just use all the glass from one window in each piece and not mix from other windows? Question #3: Do you experience a lot of devit on your recycled glass pieces? I actually like the look of devit at times and have seen some nice jewelry made from recycled milk bottles that had devit and they were wonderful. (more…)
This question was originally posed by Susan G.:
I enjoy your website. I am a beginner with fused glass. I was very excited to find someone who uses reclycled window glass and bottle glass ro work with.
Can you tell me:
1. the maximum temp to fire window glass and bottle glass
2. can window glass and bottle glass be fired together to make one piece?
The maximum temperature ranges from between 1375 for a slump to 1590 for a cast piece. The holding time varies as well, based on what you want to do. Different thickness and age of window glass all play a part. Different colored bottles melt differently as well. Generally I have found that newer windows melt more smoothly, and the darker the bottle glass, the lower the melting point. (more…)