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

A:  Hi , you absolutely can reconstitute the bead release, in fact this is a great idea for a tutorial. I usually dump the dry release out into a cup or something, as it’s easier to remix in a slightly larger container. Add water and let it soak, a few hours is good, I always forget and leave it overnight, which also works, stir well to remove any lumps and then spoon it back into the tube.

I have these glass breakers, and I love them! They are a bit expensive though, and these ship out of Canada, so the US$ price is a little higher.  (I have no affiliation with this company, simply found them online.)

Let me know if I can help with anything else,

Q:  hello, i was thinking of trying your bead mold (triangle) kit, my question is, if you are using fusible glass and not bottle or float what is the top temp needed to achieve these beads? and will just plain old kiln wash work in the molds or do you need the expensive spray? I have a larger kiln and dont like firing it for just one project, so im hoping that i can add the beads to a full fuse run? also i have had some of the frit molds in the past, like a star and peace sign and i was not able to get the glass out of the mold, and i do not have any of the expensive spray release.
thank you in advance for your help

A:  You think the way I do, I have a big kiln and also don’t want to fire for one project. In fact, that’s what led to these molds, I made these so I would have something to fill in around the empty spots. You can fire the triangle mold (and the channel mold) to the same fusing temperature as what ever glass you are using, so, if you are fusing art glass, you can fuse art glass beads at the same time, same temperature. I only use kiln wash, I’m still not convinced the spray is worth the money. It’s convenient, but sooooo expensive!

Q: Hello Jodi,
I hope you are doing well and enjoying the start of spring. I have a couple of questions for you.

I want to buy fiber paper to use as patterns for my glass project but I don’t know what brand is good. I can’t afford to but what I don’t need. For example is papyrus paper as good as something else. Do I buy 1/16 or 1/32 ? If I use the 1/32 for patterns what do I need in between pattern and kiln shelf? Do I need something under my pattern fiber paper Or Is kiln wash enough protection for my shelves? Any advice would be appreciated! I have found a few websites that have reasonable prices and want to know what I should buy to start with.

Also do you recommend a really good all inclusive book for a beginner? Have you written a book or do you like a particular book. I have bought a few but they are over my head.

I want to get into this so much but I am really nervous about it. Lol. Anyway I am anxious about your recommendation for whatever kiln paper you recommend and the a possible book that I can get to help me. Thank you. I know there is so much on your website that is helpful but I didn’t see an answer to these questions.

Thank you for your time.

A: It sounds like you are doing some kiln carving? If so, then yes, you do need something between the pattern and your shelf. I always kiln wash shelves and the bottom of the kiln as a safeguard, then I use Papyros shelf paper for my kiln shelves in my large kiln because the shelves are too big for me to refinish reasonably. I use kiln wash alone in my small kiln and it works just fine, kiln wash works best on hard shelves though, fiber shelves need paper. I bought a giant roll of 1/32″ fiber paper about a decade ago and use that for all of my kiln carving. I also purchase 1/8″ to use for making holes and things like that. I think they are pretty much all the same in terms of which brand is good, I would buy a small supply, try it and see what you think, if it works, buy a bigger supply.

I taught myself fusing using Boyce Lundstrom’s Glass Fusing 1-3 books, they had the best explanations for things, and were great about the why behind doing things, so I could tell what needed to change and where I went wrong.

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