Working with tempered glass

People who salvage old glass for kilnforming frequently tell you to avoid tempered glass like the plague because: It's impossible to cut or break (unless you don't want it [...]

Color Line, revisited with Dustin

Remember that Color Line enamel glass paint that I beta-tested for Bullseye awhile back? This, apparently, is what Color Line can do in the hands of someone who knows how to use [...]

Glasslanding on a blustery day

I know I've promised a bunch of you that I'd deliver a compilation of knee replacement surgery information and I WILL PUBLISH THAT SOON. Promise. It's just that I'm having a little [...]

Color Line Enamel Trials, Round 1

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 [...]


Imagine someone gives you eight 10×10-inch sheets of 3mm fusible glass and four bottles of glass enamel paint in the above colors and says, “Make something with this stuff. Let us know how you get on.” What would you do? I guess we’ll find out, ’cause Bullseye just did that with me. By the way…my first, get-comfortable-with-enamels testing results are posted. There will be a gap of at least three weeks, possibly more, while I wait for the new kiln to arrive and go through a bit of testing. […]

Kilnformer’s murrini you can buy

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 [...]

dripping in glass

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 inventive of glassists are probably the folks doing potmelts and other things that require flowing glass down from…somewhere…and into a mold/dish/kilnshelf/etc. Glassists who cast have similar issues, but we usually build our glass reservoirs directly into the mold. That way, we can put the glass into the top of the mold and have it drip down to where we want it. There are a few problems with that approach, though: […]

Firing schedules, untangled (part I)

Firing schedules are probably the single biggest source of confusion in kilnforming glass. Over the years (and a bunch of research, testing and listening to smarter-than-me glassists), I’ve developed strategies for schedule management; this series will share a bit. In part I, I talk about “The Rules.” Later, I’ll do some schedule construction. As always, this stuff is based on MY experience, with my designs, my technical considerations and my understanding. I don’t promise that everyone will agree with all (or any of it)…or that it will work exactly the same way for you. Consider it a starting point for your own explorations. NEVER say “always” (or “never”), at least where firing schedules are concerned. But join any gathering of glassists, and the alwayses and neverses just start a-rollin’ in. NEVER do this, or ALWAYS do that… Well, forget “The Rules.” They get you into trouble, stop you from thinking, and just generally mess up your day. I’m a natural contrarian; when I hear glassists solemnly parroting “The Rules” as if breaking them will earn a visit from the kiln police, my first impulse is to argue. So, as a first foray into discussing the ways to develop a firing schedule, let’s start with…The Rules. […]

Cutting remarks (cutting glass with a tile saw)

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?

Favorable (glass) reactions

If you mix frit colors--as all pate de verre and frit painting artists do with abandon--you quickly learn about reactivity between colored glasses. Try warming up the chill BE Salmon Pink with a little BE Medium Amber, and the resulting sludgy grey-brown will stick in your mind forever. Or so I thought. At a beginning casting workshop recently, one of my students complained that it was tough to simply remember what reacted with which. Or worse, when they combined glasses from two manufacturers, they couldn't find any reactivity info at all, which apparently resulted in some unpleasant surprises.