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Q & A Monday 1-14-2019

Q & A Mondays are answers to reader questions submitted via email or social media.  All personal information has been removed for privacy reasons and messages have been edited for clarity.  You may submit your own questions through the About/Contact page.

Q: I purchased your kit of supplies for making original shaped bowls. Sorry, I don’t remember the real name. It came with no instructions and I can’t find the video demonstration. Can you help with this please? Thank you.

A: The video is permanently online, you can see it here:

It’s the very first show we did together, and doesn’t say the topic in the title, so, very hard to locate logically.

I’m glad you enjoy the classes, I very much like teaching them, especially because I can help and ‘meet’ people I would never have a chance to meet otherwise.  It’s really amazing when you think about it!

Let me know how the slumping web kit goes, and if I can help with anything else.  Have a great week!

Q: I realize all kilns are different but which of your fusing schedules do you recommend for your Bottle Bottom Molds when using recycled bottle bottoms? I just want to make sure my kiln temperature gets hot enough for this process.
You have a lot of great choices. I am trying to decide which ones to purchase.

A: I use the full fuse firing schedule for bottle bottom molds, it works great!

Q: Sorry for the late response but thank you Jodi. I have another question for you if you don’t mind. I am trying to full fuse a beer bottle that has an enamel label on it. I would like to preserve the artwork on the label.During a full fuse, the enamel fades when it is face up. Face down, it fades a less. Have you found a way to keep the coloring during a full fuse? The next thing I was going to try was shifting transparent powder on the enamel before full fusing but it is a different coeficient, COE 90. Have you tried this? If so, have you had success? What have you done?I appreciate your help and look forward to hearing back from you.

A: It seems like some of the enamels are just really low quality in terms of firing.  I have noticed that same thing with firing the label down toward the shelf.  It does seem like the enamel gets quite liquid during firing when it is shelf side down and sticks to the shelf paper, when scrubbed off, the image is not shiny any more.  I did one piece that I flattened label side down then covered the label with Thomson Enamel float compatible enamel in clear, and fired it again label side up.  It did look good, but what a pain!

I do have a couple of tutorials about enamel labels, although they don’t  have any more information than you already know.

I have had better luck with lower slump temperatures, rather than full fuse if that helps at all.

Let me know how it works out and if you come up with a better solution, I know a lot of people would love to know!

Q: I read your article on testing fusible decals on glass.  Can I use my small jewelry kiln for the decals or do I have to use my larger kiln

A: I think you can use your small jewelry kiln for decals, as long as you can control the temperature so they don’t get too hot.  I have no experience with microwave kilns though, so if that’s what you have, some tests are probably in order.

Let me know how it works out for you,


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Behind the Scenes – June 2018

Behind the Scenes is a close up look at the life of a working artist, and what Jodi is up to on any given day. 

This week has been an intense glass accumulating week, some are like that, and those weeks are awesome.  A longtime friend Sue brought me her entire vintage stained glass stash, it looks like most of it is from a sign or lamp company originally, lots of large triangle pieces in interesting textures and colors.  Love that, thank you Sue!  I’ll be sharing these with another friend that does stained glass.  I love our little glass world.

I also found the mother lode at a yard sale, this entire stack is vaseline glass, it’s tinted that amazing (and very unique) green by uranium.  And yes, they do give of detectable radiation, and yes, I do own a geiger counter.  They also fluoresce under black light, how cool is that!  These will NOT be fused, so stay calm. Continue reading Behind the Scenes – June 2018

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Q & A Monday, 6/18/18

Q & A Mondays are answers to reader questions submitted via email or social media.  All personal information has been removed for privacy reasons.  You may submit your own questions through the About/Contact page.

Q: Hello Jodi,

I purchased several tubes of bead release with a mold order 3/2017. One of the tubes has become solid. Can I just reconstitute it by adding water and it will still work well? The other tube is just fine. I realize it has been a long time so I do not expect replacement.

Also, could you recommend a heavy duty glass breaker brand? When I flatten bottle sheets I am having a hard time getting clean breaks with my regular Leponitt.

Thank you

Continue reading Q & A Monday, 6/18/18

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Behind the Scenes, April 2018

Behind the Scenes is a close up look at the life of a working artist, and what Jodi is up to on any given day. 

Lots of shenanigans in the Glass With a Past studio lately!  I started the year with a bang, teaching an online Mold Making II for Glass Artists class where we made a lost wax cast fish from start to finish. Continue reading Behind the Scenes, April 2018

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Q & A Monday April 2, 2018


Q & A Mondays are answers to reader questions submitted via email or social media.  All personal information has been removed for privacy reasons.  You may submit your own questions through the About/Contact page.


Q: Just finished your online class – that was intense – lots of ideas are running around in my head of all of the possibilities. Thank you so much for sharing. Have never been on Curious Mondo – this week was my first time 3-7-18. Continue reading Q & A Monday April 2, 2018

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Creativity in Focus Podcasts

Recently I was given an opportunity to channel my inner talk show host and interview two different talented artists for the Creativity in Focus Podcast.

Jodi McRaney Rusho chatting with Jan Harris Smith about glass art and silversmithing.

and Jodi McRaney Rusho chatting with Cheryl Peterson about stained glass art, life, pets and patina.



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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.


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.