Well 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
Lots 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
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
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! Read 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? Read more
One of the facts of life about working in glass is cold working. It’s not a lot of fun for very long. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching glass become all smooth and clear and gorgeous through all of the stages. I just don’t love it 90 times in one day. Read more
Fusing brass loops into recycled glass artwork is relatively easy and is a great way to add loops for wind-chimes and sun-catchers. The loops are probably a bit too chunky for jewelry, unless you’d doing industrial style jewelry, then you’re good to go.
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:
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.