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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!