Apologies for the pun. When it gets that bad, you know the glassist is kilnless. Try saying “glassist is kilnless” five times, very fast. Probably not survivable. Neither, according to my fevered brain, is not having a working kiln in the house. First time in more than 15 years and, naturally, the number of just-gotta-do-it-right-NOW projects has reached an all-time high. [...]
Glassists testing products would do well to remember this maxim: Failure is good. Each failure deepens your subject matter expertise. Sigh. When it comes to enamels-on-glass, my subject matter expertise must be about as deep as the Mariana trench. Bullseye Glass kindly included me in their beta trials of a new (for them) product line: Color Line Enamels. Right about now I'll bet they're wishing they [...]
Note: This post was originally published on January 20, 2011. Since then, some of these offerings have changed, and more murrini makers are offering kilnformer supplies, so I thought this needed an update. I've been exploring all the different ways to make murrini cane in a kiln, and having a lot of fun with it. Check out some of these [...]
In the first article in this series, I discussed why glass casters should build a parts library of mastermolds. In this article (part II), I'll talk about the easiest of mastermold-making techniques: The plaster mold. Silicones, urethanes, and resins--the stuff I make most of my glass casting mastermolds from--can be spendy and hard to find. The moldmaking techniques they require can [...]
Wax ain't just for candles. Surgeons pack bone with it, medievalists seal letters with it, it coats cheeses and shines your car (or your shoes), makes edible Halloween lips and honeycombs and mascara and photocopies and lava lamps and soap and art. It's pretty wonderful stuff and, much as I dislike using it, invaluable in glass casting. HOWEVER...it's daunting, potentially dangerous, and very, very [...]
Several of y’all have asked me to explain how to use stainless steel rod to create custom dripping platforms for potmelts and such, so I thought I’d oblige…let me know if you have any questions. Glassists are also scavengers–our favorite stores are Harbor Freight and Goodwill–because we’re always looking for cool stuff to use in a kiln. And the most [...]
WaxVac Hampton Direct $7.99 on Amazon I put earwax vacuums right up there with nosehair clippers and recreational high colonics, so it kinda took me aback when online artist friends said they LOVED theirs. (eeeeeuuuuwwwww) Turns out that if you don't use one for slurping out your ears, it makes a fairly good frit-drawing pen. The one I tried, Hampton [...]
It's all in the way you slice it. And the way you slice it is, apparently, profoundly affected by a good blade. Check any glassmaker's forum and you'll probably find someone with glass cutting issues, usually stemming from a tile saw that's more like a Cuisinart than a slicer. I don't claim any special expertise at this stuff, but I do have a decades-old, cheap, badly made, out-of-true tilesaw that reliably cuts amazingly thin murrini cane* slices. I do this a lot. So I must be doing something right...right?
Thinking of designing a glassmaker's studio? Or remaking the one you already have? Here's a tip: Design your studio for the ENTIRE glass process..which turns out to be a lot more than just the "making" part. If you don't, the day could come when the mess literally locks you out of the studio.
Ever had one of those moments of sheer, utter astonishment, where your mouth drops open all the way down to your ankles and stays there? That was me on Monday, thanks to the artwork pictured above. The rightmost panel quietly separated itself from its hanger and came off in my hands...while I was rehanging it. Since it's been hanging perfectly well on that same wall for more than three years, I was, uhm, kinda taken aback.