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Courtesy of Bullseye Glass

These beautiful cabochons were made from square pieces of glass.

You can create nicely rounded cabochons from stacks of 0.75(20 x 20 mm) squares, thanks to heat, gravity, and the 6 Millimeter Rule. But be careful…they’re addictive! Some Design Layer Possibilities
  • Blue/Vanilla part sheet: Scatter Steel Blue Opalescent coarse frit (000146-0003) onto a base of 3-mm Clear sheet glass, then sift a heavy layer of French Vanilla powder (000137-0008) over the top to cover. Fire to a full fuse. Maximize depth by arranging the Clear side toward the top of the stack.
  • River Rock Reaction (See Quick Tip: River Rock Reaction)
  • Pieces of Citronelle Opalescent (000221-0030) and
  • Turquoise Blue Opalescent (000116-0030).
The Stack

Top (6 mm): A “lensing” layer of Clear. This layer will stretch considerably. 

Middle (3-4 mm): This “design” layer will stretch and be visible through the top layer. Use part sheets or pieces of 3-mm sheet glass.

Bottom (6 mm): Typically not visible from the front. This layer will stretch the least. 

Tips
  • 6-mm Tekta Clear is a natural for this project. It’s more efficient, with fewer pieces to cut, clean and assemble!
  • Measure and score a grid of 0.75″ squares, then run them using the Rule of Halves. Two layers of 3 mm will also work.
  • A dab of GlasTac Gel will keep the stack together before firing.
  • The stacks flow out to about 1.25″ (32 mm) in diameter, so give them room.
  • For the cleanest release, we recommend firing on ThinFire.
  Cabochon Firing Schedule

 

Rate Temperature Hold

 

1 400°F (222°C) 1225°F (662°C) :30

2 600°F (333°C) 1525°F (829°C) :30

3 AFAP 900°F (482°C) 1:00

4 100°F (56°C) 700°F (371°C) :00

5 AFAP 70°F (21°C) :00

Note: This heatwork goes beyond what the glass is tested for. Some styles

may opalize and/or shift in compatibility. Test before making multiples.

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Marc Chagall, one of the great artists of our time, would have been 132 on July 7 this year. He was born in the Russian Empire and worked with paint and stained glass.

But he was a bit of a late bloomer in the stained glass medium — he did not start working with stained glass until he was in his 70s!

This blue window is in The Collegiate Church of St. Stephan in Mainz, Germany. Chagall completed it just before he died.

The red window shown is in Chichester Cathedral, Chichester, England.

One of Chagall’s most beloved works is America Windows at the Art Institute in Chicago.

America Windows, Art Institute of Chicago

It is believed that Chagall put lots of emotion into his work.

There are many famous Chagall quotes, which I think explain a lot about him:

If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.

Marc Chagall

Art seems to me to be, above all, a state of soul.

Marc Chagall

For me, a stained glass window is a transparent partition between my heart and the heart of the world.

Marc Chagall

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The largest glass and bead expo in America, Glass Craft & Bead Expo, is held every year at the fabulous South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is not on the strip, but you can take a shuttle to the strip, if you wish. If you just want to focus on the show, you do not have to leave the hotel — the facility has everything there you need.

There are product exhibits, classes, demos — and my favorite —The Gallery of Excellence.

I am showing my favorites below. If you want to see all of the winners for 2019, click here: https://glasscraftexpo.com/gallery-of-excellence.php

Lewis Wilson: Envoyer Les Clowns (Send in the Clowns)

Anna Souder: Curiosity

Christine Curtis Wilson: Plains Zebras

Laura Dawson: Dragonfly Garden

Harish Dewani: Angelina

Stephanie Rose: The Brothers

If you want info on the 2020 Glass Craft & Bead Expo, click here: https://www.glasscraftexpo.com/

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Shifty and CFL are two terms to describe the same thing — a pallet of glass that changes color based on the light that it is under. CFL stands for “compact fluorescent light.” The glass changes its apparent color in fluorescent lighting.

The first CFL/shifty glass was done by Glass Alchemy in 2014, with the color Serum. Next, came Terps.

Serum by Glass Alchemy

Terps by Glass Alchemy

These are a bit tough to get, but other CFLs are available:

Potion by Glass Alchemy

Gemini by Northstar

Hydra by Northstar

Siriusly by Northstar

Check our hot glass section for availability.
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Please adjust hold times for the size of your project. Remember, this is only a guide.

 Full Fuse

  • From room temp to 1,000F at 300 degrees per hour, hold 10 minutes
  • From 1,000F to 1,250F at 300 degrees per hour, hold 20 minutes
  • From 1,250F to 1,425F at 300 degrees per hour, hold 15 minutes
  • Crash from 1,425F to 950F, hold 60 minutes
  • From 950F to 800F at 200 degrees per hour, hold 10 minutes
  • From 800F to 150F at 300 degrees per hour
  • Natural cooling to room temperature

Tack Fuse

  • From room temp to 1,000F at 300 degrees per hour, hold 10 minutes
  • From 1,000F to 1,250F at 300 degrees per hour, hold 20 minutes
  • From 1,250F to 1,350F at 300 degrees per hour, hold 10 minutes
  • From 1,350F to 950F AFAP, hold for 60 mins
  • From 950F to 800F at 200 degrees per hour, hold 10 minutes
  • From 800F to 150F at 300 degrees per hour
  • Natural cooling to room temperature

Slump Fuse

  • From room temp to 1,000F at 300 degrees per hour, hold 30 minutes
  • From 1,000F to 1,225F at 200 degrees per hour, hold 10 minutes
  • From 1,225F to 950F fairly quickly, hold for 60 mins
  • From 950F to 800F at 200 degrees per hour, hold 30 minutes
  • From 800F to 150F at 300 degrees per hour
  • Natural cooling to room temperature

REQUIRES EYE CONTACT.

REMEMBER, THIS IS ONLY A GUIDE.

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When we set up our flame room in our new location, we put a lot of thought into how we would get gas and oxygen to the burners. We ended up with piped-in gas and oxygen concentrators and think it is a great system.

We started with hot head torches and MAPP gas.

Hot Head Torch

MAPP Gas Canister Holder and Clamp

This was a great beginner setup and we had a great time with it.

We then took a big step and became Bethlehem dealers! Below are the Alpha and Bravo glassworking torch models.

Bethlehem Burner Alpha Glassworking Torch

Bethlehem Burner Bravo Glassworking Torch

With this system, we used 3-gallon propane tanks and some used medical oxygen generators. An issue we encountered with this system was having to make frequent runs to get more propane — and, of course, the propane would run out at the worst times. Another issue we encountered was that the used medical generators did not last. People tend to give up on these generators when they have a lot of hours on them.

When we moved, we looked at oxygen tanks. That solution sounded like a nightmare to me — the tanks must be allowed to bleed, so you are losing oxygen all the time. It is a time-consuming process to get the tanks refilled, and just having oxygen under pressure seemed to be a scary concept.

We went the concentrator route and have not regretted it. These rebuilt machines are like new and have enough power to run the Bravos — and that is a lot!

We sell oxygen generators but only for store pickup as they are difficult to ship.

A concentrator works by taking air from the room and compresses it. It then delivers air to where you direct it — in our case, to a bench burner. In a five-step process, the concentrator:

  1. takes air from the room
  2. compresses the oxygen
  3. takes out the nitrogen
  4. adjusts the way the air is delivered and
  5. delivers it.

The concentrator takes oxygen out of the room, so you must allow air to get back in by means of some sort of ventilation. We have our vented out through the ceiling and also have a door on each end as well as a vent toward the floor into the next room so there are plenty of ways to get air in.

I posed the question on the Facebook group Lampwork Tips, Techniques, & Questions. One person said the removal of the oxygen from the room is about as problematic as all the people in the room using up oxygen by breathing!

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Luminescent glass is different than iridescent glass. It is low-fire—not high-fire like iridescent—and is intended for reverse fusing.

What is reverse fusing?

Reverse fusing means placing your piece facedown on the kiln shelf and building backwards, fire-coated side down.

If you are firing on a textured mold, place a piece of ThinFire between your boron-treated mold and the glass. If you fire your piece with the coated side up or cover it with another piece of glass, you will lose the coating.

If you are slumping and do not go over 1,200 degrees, you can place the luminescent side up and not lose the coating.

Luminescent glass is food-safe and has been tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, please note that once the piece has been fired in your kiln, it is no longer a Wissmach product; it is your product. If you have been firing glass that could leave lead or cadmium traces in your kiln, that could get on the product, which would render it unsafe for serving food or beverages.

 

LEFT: Luminescent glass fired with ThinFire in between, with the coating facedown.

RIGHT:  Luminescent glass fired facedown, directly on the mold.

Firing Schedules: Courtesy of Petra Kaiser and Wissmach Glass

Standard Fusing Schedule – 2 Layers Thick

Segment 1: 600°F/hr up to 1,000°F, hold for 10 minutes

Segment 2: Full/9,999 up to 1,410°F, hold for 10 minutes

Segment 3: Full/9,999 down to 950°F, hold for 60 minutes

Segment 4: 100°F down to 700°F, hold for 1 minute

Tack Fuse, Polishing and/or Slumping into a Mold

Segment 1: 300°F/hr up to 1,000°F, hold for 10 minutes

Segment 2: Full/9,999 up to 1,300°F or 1,350°F
(depending on your desired results), hold for 10 minutes

Segment 3: Full/9,999 down to 950°F, hold for 60 minutes

Segment 4: 100°F down to 700°F, hold for 1 minute

Draping over a Mold and/or Polishing

Segment 1: 300°F/hr up to 1,000°F, hold for 10 minutes

Segment 2: Full/9,999 up to 1,200°F or 1,220°F (depending on your desired results),
hold for 10 minutes

Segment 3: Full/9,999 down to 950°F, hold for 60 minutes

Segment 4: 100°F down to 700°F, hold for 1 minute

NOTE: Not all kilns are alike. Your kiln size, controller type and individual project may require some alteration to the schedule for best results.

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How close should your glass pieces be?

They should be close enough so that you are comfortable with how heavy a solder line you will end up with.

To help prevent uneven spaces, here are some hints:

  • Use push pins or jigs to hold your glass in place while building and checking the fit. That way, you won’t get one piece fitting perfectly as you are pushing another one out.
  • Make sure you have not flipped any glass over. Label your pieces to avoid this.

Before you say “good enough,” think about any holes or uneven spaces you are filling with solder. When your piece is held up to the light, those places will not let light through. They will become part of the design.

Another problem is overheating the glass due to reworking it with a hot soldering iron. You don’t want to crack your glass with thermal shock because you are adding so much solder to fill the gap. Often when you are doing this, one side looks good and then you turn the piece over and there is a gob of solder. So you fuss with that, going back and forth, heating and heating, and then you hear the dreaded tink—the sound of glass cracking and your heart breaking!

The best fix—sorry to say—is to recut.

Be patient with yourself. This is a skill—so practice and don’t give up.

Photo courtesy of Inland.

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FUSING GLASS BOTTLES OR “HIDING THE EVIDENCE”

Don’t you just hate to throw out those wine and liquor bottles?  They are quite nice with the graceful shapes and the beautiful colors.   Make them into fused art!

First (and most important) step is to clean them.  The labels and any glue must be completely removed to be sure that no residue is fused onto the glass.  Use very hot water with ½ cup baking soda and 1 tablespoon of dish soap.  Submerge them in the water and let them soak for 10 minutes then add 2 cups of white wine vinegar.  Roll your bottles around so the vinegar mixes in.  Let them soak until you can get the labels off.

Once the bottles are clean you have some options.  You can just lay it in the kiln and full fuse it.  This one just has a little decorative wiring and some etching.  You could add a decorative knife and have a nice little gift.

Another option is to use a bottle mold.  There are all types available.  See the full collection here.

There are textured molds.  The one above has a lovely Tree of Life motif.

Drop molds, such as the one above, make an interesting shape.

You also can use a textured flat mold, such as the one below, and then slump it into a bottle mold.

You may get devitrification with some bottles.  To prevent it, spay with a divit spray like Spray A.

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BROKEN MIRROR!!?

Don’t think of it as seven years bad luck, think of it as an opportunity to be creative.  If you are worried about the seven years of bad luck you can bury a piece in the garden and that will stop it. (so I have heard). Here are some ideas for broken mirrors, most of which I got from Fusing 101:  Any and Everything You Wanted to know but Were Afraid to Ask.

This from Jane Wimbury.  How sweet is that!

Another idea is to get Styrofoam balls and make garden balls.  Or use an old bowling ball:

Frame the irregular shapes for eclectic mirrors:

Just put it back together roughly for a high interest look.  Many of these ideas from dyi.

I can see this done with wine corks, as well!

Try  your own designs – Good Luck!

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