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
These silicone molds are in the scrap booking department, I’m not exactly sure what their purpose is, I’m not a scrapbooker! What they are to me is a great way to make plaster elements that I can fuse glass over. Like so:
You can see the entire tutorial for the Butterfly Pendant here.
These little punches are inexpensive and used with thin copper sheet or copper mesh, make awesome little inclusions:
3. Mold Making compound
This is a two part mold making compound, it’s a little expensive, but a great way to rapidly make a mold that can be used to pour plaster into and then fused over. For example, this compound and an antique button could make a very cool set of plaster elements.
Model Making Department
1. Copper (and other) Foil leaf
These extremely thin foils can be layered in between glass to create a color and shaded effect.
2. Aluminum Mesh
Aluminum turns black when fused, so this mesh will make a cool black web effect when fused. You can often find copper mesh as well, read the label carefully to make sure it isn’t just copper colored aluminum.
Cake Decorating Department
1. Fondant Mold
These silicone fondant molds can also be used with plaster to make fused elements. These are particularly nice for borders. I can picture an adorable cake plate with cupcakes fused in around the edge. (yellow mold)
Pastry bags and tips can also be used to pipe plaster onto thin fire for an interesting texture. There are also numerous silk screens and stencils that can be used with frits and powders to add texture and pattern to float glass.
It helps to have an open mind as you wonder the craft store, don’t dismiss an area because you don’t do that craft, glass crosses all borders, and lots of things can be appropriated for the studio.