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Q & A Monday, August 7 Edition

Today I’m answering reader questions that came in via email.  All personal details have been removed for privacy reasons.  If you have a glass question that simply must be answered, give me a shout through the About/Contact page.

Q:  Hi there,

I am getting ready to fire my first Bombay Sapphire bottle and I wondered what you do with the writing/ink on the sides of the bottle. I was looking at the pictures in the Tips for Removing Labels and I couldn’t see anything specifically about it, and it looks like the print is still on the bottles in the picture.

A:  The lettering is an enamel, so it does often stay on. I’m not sure if etching cream will take it off or not, I usually just roll with it. If you really, really don’t want it, you could grind it off with a dremel and diamond bit before you fire.  Oh, I should have mentioned, if you are selling your work, people LOVE the little enamel letters that stay on. Odd, but there you go!

Q: Ever since I came across your web site, I’ve been so into recycling glass. I started as COE  96 fusing glass manufacturers were stopping their production. AND, my shipping costs were going so high, so I wanted to thank you for your sustainable glass projects.

I know you sell kits with tumbled glass, but I just want the glass that looks like beach glass. Did you make these yourself? I see that you sell the glass  from Bombay Sapphire Gin bottle. I don’t know how to make faux beach glass and if you have any tips, I’d really appreciate it. I just want to make some cabachons that look like beach glass. I have your molds too!!

A:  it’s easy peasy, I use a vibrating rock tumbler and a 120/220 grit mix.  You can see the two rock tumblers that I own, a small one and a HUGE one  here:

The small one is probably all you need.

It is a tiny bit expensive, but they last forever, really, my small one is well over 10 years old.  And they use next to no electricity, I measured mine, and it is like $0.01/hour

You can tumble scrap, beads, cabs, donuts, anything that will fit in it really.  I’ve also tumbled fusible glass before doing fusing projects with small children so the glass isn’t sharp.  And you can always tumble rocks in it too!  It takes about 4 hours to do a nice sea glass finish.  You could also use one of the little rolling ones that they sell at kid stores. It will take longer, but the machine itself would be cheaper.

Can you tell I’m a fan?  😉

Q:  I tried to cut some wine bottles for jewelry using the creator bottle cutter and bottle neck cutter; however, when I tried to separate the pieces using the hot and cold water method the bottle shattered. Could you suggest a better method?
A:  When the bottle shatters, it usually means that the glass was too hot when you put it into the cold water, an extreme thermal shock kind of deal. The bottle cutters do take practice, and I have found it to be very difficult to cut even donuts from bottle necks with this method.  If you are planning to do any sort of volume with your glass jewelry, you might want to seriously consider a wet tile saw. A 7″ saw is well worth the $. I have a 10″ and I would buy it again in a heart beat, it is just that much easier to cut with.
Q:  Thank you for responding to my email. Much appreciated.  I have a tile saw, will this work?  Also, can you suggest a video showing how to cut a bottle with a tile saw?A:  You bet, I had a 7″ tile for years, very similar in design and I loved it.  Here are some videos of cutting with a tile saw:

The most important part is to go slow and let the tool do the work, fast = more chipping.  With the 7″ saw, I would roll the bottle towards the blade since the blade wasn’t tall enough to cut through the entire bottle in one pass.

Wear safety glasses AND a face shield, glass dermabrasion is no fun!

Let me know if I can help with anything else,