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: Hey Jody, you sound like a great person with a lot of experience, thank you for your willingness to help all us glass “artists” (quotes is me… “artist”)
So my question is, while using a wine bottle for a wind chime, I would rather not have to sand sand sand the bottom, I’d like to coat that raw edge with SOMETHING, but don’t know what that might be.
I’d like some kind of clear coat that would make it safe so customers wouldn’t get cut on that bottom edge, and I’d also add copper tape to that bottom edge, would look pretty.
Your thoughts?? Thank you in advance.
A: I know exactly what you mean! I use 2 part resin on my edges, you’d have to put the bottles cut side up and hold them evenly until the epoxy sets up, but I’m sure you could figure out how to do that with a bottle. Here’s an example:
Q: I’ve only just started trying to do fusing with recycled glass, so maybe my Q is stupid…. I just read your tutorial for making flat fusible glass from bottles. Do I need to cut the bottles first. Could I just lay a whole bottle on its side in the kiln and fire it so it becomes a flat (bottle-shaped) piece and then cut the pieces I want from it after that – or wouldn’t that work?
A: Hi there, not a stupid question at all. If you just put the bottle on the shelf and it will certainly flatten, but it will be quite thick and become difficult to cut due to the thickness. In addition, when you stack the cut pieces and try to fuse them back together, the glass will spread quite a bit, because now you will have four layers of bottle glass stacked up. And last, but not least, bottle glass has a limited window for the number of times you can full fuse it. If you full fuse to make it flat, then cut it up and full fuse it again, that second full fuse will typically devit badly and come out wrinkly or frosted.
When we unroll the bottle first, we’re using lower temperatures to create the flat glass and then full fuse so we can avoid (for the most part) those firing problems.
Hope that helps,
Q: Hi Jodi. I contacted you a while ago about my small Jen-Kiln. You wanted me to do some temperature test with 1/4” floating glass. I’m not sure what glass is considered floating glass or where I can find some. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks as always.
Float glass is the name for how new window glass is manufactured.. If you are using scrap from a framing shop or glass place, it will be float for sure. If you are using old windows from someones house, it could be a different manufacturing method and will fuse differently. I recommend using new (float) glass because then you can rule out variations due to manufacturing method. 1/4″ is the thickness that the glass nominally ‘wants’ to be, the thickness it will become with proper firing. You can use multiple layers of thinner glass, again, this is just to rule out a variable. The idea here is to see how fast the numbers on your kiln dial correspond to degrees per hour so you can adapt firing schedules.
Q: I have a question about what kind of paint is fusible for a Sparkly bottle?
Can you use acrylic? Thank you,
A: Hi there, you do have to use a paint that can be fired in a kiln. I make my own paint formulas, but some others that would work are:
Colors of the Earth
Unique Glass Colors
I’m sure there are others, just look for ones that say ‘compatible with all types of glass’.