Q: Hi Jodi,
Thank you so much for all of the wonderful information you provide on your website! I mostly work with 96 COE, but I also like to fuse wine bottles (using bottle molds) and give them as gifts for friends. I’ve always used the following fusing schedule: 350, 1050, 20; 200,1190,60; 9999,1415,5; 9999,950,120; 100,600,1. My results have varied, but generally, only about 1 in 3 bottles turn out clear with no devit or haze. This week, I tried your schedule for 1/4″ or 2 layers bottle glass. I used three different colored bottles (light green, dark green and clear) and got 3 perfect results. Yay! I hope this excellent result continues as I fuse more bottles. My question for you is about the anneal. If I understand your schedule correctly, the bottles are annealing at 1060 for 45 minutes. Is that correct? I know that bottle glass is a lower COE than fusible glass, but I’ve never seen an anneal at that temperature. Any insight you can provide is helpful as I’m just trying to better understand the annealing process. Thanks again for all you do!
When I started working with glass, I had no experience with fusible glass at all, so it seemed logical to me to go straight to the source of industrial glass making rather than try to learn about fusible glass and then adapt it to bottle glass.
All of my firing schedules are adapted from information I learned from ‘The Handbook of Glass Manufacturing’ Vol. I and II, ‘Glass Chemistry’ and Graham Stone’s Firing Schedule book. The annealing temperature is the one used in bottle glass factories.
My theory was that bottle glass is formulated to be formed hot and fast, so my firing schedules do tend to go hotter than most art glass folks schedules. I also think firing schedules are like pie crusts, there are a million recipes, and as they are pretty much all delicious! =D
Q: I just finished your beginners fusing class. Loved it and thank you for all of the good info. I do have a couple of questions:
1, when making sheet glass… how thick of a strip should you cut out of the bottle?
2, I have some cute molds (ovals, hearts and teardrops) would I use frit? And what schedule – full fuse?
3, do you make custom bottle bottom molds – I would love an upper & lower peninsula of Michigan😊.
4, how can I get air bubbles in the glass?
5, can you add gold & silver for sparkle?
A: Yay, a new glass artist! My mission for glass artists to take over the world is progressing nicely. =D
1. When unrolling bottles, I usually cut a piece about 1.25″ -1.5″ wide. You can cut the bottle cylinder in half and unroll each side, which gives you more compatible glass, or cut out that 1.5″ slice and unroll, which gives you a larger piece of glass. I use both methods depending on what I’m making.
2. Yes, you can use frit, you’ll want to use the full fuse schedule, but you may have to hold a bit longer (test, test, test) as it takes more energy to fuse small pieces of glass back into one large piece of glass.
3. I do make custom molds, depending on if they are a large or small bottle bottom, a custom mold begins at 3x the cost of a production mold. If you want to send me an image of what you are looking for and the sizes, I can give you a firm price before you make a decision.
4. You can use bubble powders or baking soda to get bubbles in the glass. I’m still playing with that technique, so I’ll keep you posted on how that works out.
5. You can add actual gold and silver, or you can use gold and silver mica (which I prefer) You can use mica paint or mica flakes. Mica flakes have to be capped though.
Q: I was just wondering. Corelle ware is considered glass. Can it be repurposed like most tempered glass. So many colors to chose from I think it would be a gas to break some up and fuse it!
A: I have tried Corelle a bit, it was intriguing, and then I got really busy and lost track of it. I fired several saucers to a full fuse temperature (1525F ish) and they flattened, but not completely. I would think that you could get a nice tack fuse with them at higher temperatures, but not sure how hot you’d have to go to get a full fuse, and have no idea at the moment what the annealing temperature would be.
I would definitely give it a shot. It’s on my experiment list, I’ll keep you posted. If you get to it first, let me know what you find, I’d love to see!