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Q & A Monday, 10/14/19

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: Aloha Jodi  I have two questions I hope you can help me with relating to Mica glass fusing powder. 
1. Can you recommend a medium to mix it with?  2. I would like to try to include it with safety glass project. Because the pieces are so small, how would you recommend mixing the two (Mica powder + safety glass). I hope to have a Christmas tree ornament. 
Thank you in advance! 

A: I usually mix mica with liquid hairspray, Suave unscented works great.  It seems like you could mix up the mica and hairspray in a small spray bottle and spray it on, or put the glass into a container of mica and hairspray and shake it up.  I’ve done both, but I haven’t done them in an ornament format.

Let me know what you decide to do, and how it works out for you.  I’m also putting this on my experiment list.

Q: Jodi, My brother has this really cool router set-up and is trying to make some mold ideas for me with fused glass as the final outcome. Can you give me some advice as to what to seal the raw wood with before I take an impression and any further suggestions you wish to partake from there? I have several of your classes thru Curious Mondo and love your teaching style. You share so much good information.

A: Lucky you!  I have a CNC on my wish list, but it’s not going to happen for me anytime soon.  I seal my raw molds with appliance paint, thin coats so the details don’t get lost.  It dries quickly and is super smooth so it makes very nice copy. 

Q: So excited about finding your website.  I want to melt depression glass, old glass plates to use in stained glass windows.  Tried a plate and at about 300 degrees it broke.  I need help with heat, ramp, and soak time when using my kiln.  Waiting for your help and thank you

A: Welcome!  So, if I’m understanding you, you just want to flatten the plates but keep the texture?  It sounds like maybe you ramped too fast for the plate to break at 300, that’s typically a thermal shock thing.  I would use this schedule:

250/ hr to 1250F, hold 5
9999 to 960, hold 30
250 to 500, then off

We are guessing on the annealing temperature because the glass is old, so it’s best to cool very slowly.  It will require a bit of testing to get the right amount of flatness.  If the test plate isn’t flat enough, increase the hold at 1250.  If the flatness is good, but the detail is starting to blur, lower the top temperature from 1250 to 1235 and test again.

Let me know how it goes!

Q: I am fairly new to fusing and am interested in trying to use recycled crushed glass. ( I can get this for FREE from our local recycling center in two shades of green, white, and brown.) I have been looking for fusing schedules to try (after several unsuccessful attempts). The glass is crushed to about 1/4 pieces…think gravel size. I see you have a schedule for glass bottle “frit”…would this work? Do you recommend any adjustments given the somewhat larger size of pieces? And do I need to fuse it to a piece of float glass? In my experiments, I just put it in an even layer on a piece of kiln paper. Thanks for your guidance. Love the website and great inspirations!

A: This is a biiiiiiiig topic, I’ll try not to overwhelm you with info.  Typically I haven’t had a whole lot of luck with mixed bottle frit that is larger than rock salt size, sugar size works the best.  I did do some tests with bottle glass frit and float glass for compatibility, hopefully that will be useful for you:

https://glasswithapast.com/knowledgebase/bottle-glass-frit-and-float-glass-stress-test/

and some fused mixed bottle glass tests:

http://glasswithapast.com/knowledgebase/mixing-bottle-glass-for-fusing/

The glass pieces aren’t frit in these tests, but the principle is the same. I guess the short answer is:  your results will vary.  A layer on shelf paper is definitely the way to go, and testing is going to help tremendously, I would do a bunch of small tests before committing to a shelf full of glass.

Don’t be discouraged, it definitely possible, but it will require work and diligence.  Let me know what I can help with,