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Issue #69 - Flow Slab
April 30, 2014
Hot Out of the Kiln
I have spent every Saturday this month taking a class on creating a flow slab.
This class was offered at Stained Glass Supplies in Eagle Rock, CA.
Our instructor was Paul Martinez and there were four of us in the class.
Although that might seem like a small class, it did allow us individual attention and each of our projects took over a day to fire, so that allowed Paul time to get each project ready for the next class.
The class was extremely informative and enlightening.
Personally, I don’t like taking classes on the weekend, but since I am now babysitting, I am unable to attend any lengthy classes during the week.
Since, I learned a lot during the class, I made a few slab flow blocks at home and used my tile saw to cut them into strips.
I have also been working on the next issue of the e-magazine.
We are looking for more articles for the Fall 2014 issue of the magazine, so please contact us if you would like to share your projects with readers.
You don’t have to be a writer to impart your insights with others, and I know lots of people would love to hear what you have to share..
The sales for the Spring 2014 issue have been great and it can still be purchased by clicking here.
Until next month…keep it hot!
1. Feature Article
2. Quote of the Month
3. Glass Fusing Books and DVDs
4. Reader Comments
5. Tips and Tricks
6. Share the Site
7. What's New
8. Product Review
A glass flow slab is created by cutting multi-colored strips of glass and allowing it to flow into a pattern bar.
First determine the size of glass flow slab that you want to achieve.
This bar is then cut into sections that are used in other projects.
Generally the flow slab pattern bar is cut down the middle and then each half is cut into fragments.
The width of these slices depends on how deep you want your finished project.
I am a little hesitant using the tile saw, so I like to cut my portions at least ½ inch wide.
Each of these fragments are then turned and the pattern or design matches in each piece.
Determine the size of piece you want to create and decide how much weight you will need to achieve your piece.
Fused Glass Org. has a wonderful downloadable calculator for determining your firing schedule.
The glass is cut into strips and these are then cleaned and dammed inside the kiln.
The dam is determined by the size you want to achieve and the weight of the glass.
Line the dam with fiber board so that the glass does not stich during the firing.
The glass will flow as it is heated inside the kiln and fill in the empty areas, creating the flow slab pattern bar.
The fused glass slab flow is then cut using a tile saw.
Once cut they are then cleaned with a wet belt sander using the various belts to remove any debris and smooth out all the edges.
These fused glass slab flow pieces can now be used to create intricate designs in your other fused glass projects.
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” - Albert Einstein
Have you been wanting to learn the hot craft of glass fusing, but don't know where to begin?
Whether you enjoy watching movies to learn the techniques, or having a book to refer to as you learn, these learning tools will assist you in your progress.
If you don't have access to glass fusing classes, or want to learn some of the techniques that are not generally taught at these instructional settings, look no further.
I am trying to add new and exciting information all the time, and these learning materials are the newest items added to the site to help others learn glass fusing procedures.
To view or purchase any of the DVDs, Books, E-books or Downloadable Movies, click here.
TIP - If downloading any of the downloadable movies, keep in mind that they are very large files.
If you purchase and want to download any of these large files, you might consider using a product like the Free Download Manager.
It is a free product that needs to be downloaded and installed on your computer.
It will increase the download speed and decrease the time required to download the product.
I just got back from my third Glass Art & Bead Expo. I think it's worth the price, but you need to be sure of the artist you are taking a lesson from I had 4 great classes and one terrible. Now I know to not take from one certain person. I also found out that if you are a 90 or 96 person, you might want to find out what the teacher will be using so you can fully take advantage of samples and scraps and partial projects you may do.
I was one of the lucky 13 that took a 4-day class from Roz Stanton (next year is already sold out!) There are three large projects we came home with. They are all 17.5".
We learned several other techniques and came home with samples and a burst of knowledge.
This class was pricey - but the fact that she sold next years class out on day 3 of 4 tells you it's something people are willing to pay for. I will be trying for a class by Patty Gray next year and take Roz's class again in 2016.
re: Glass Expo. I have gone for the last 3 years and always look forward to this event. You get to meet some of the glass artists you read about or watch on you tube, etc. Lots and lots of tips and bargains; most good, some not so good. I consider myself not advanced yet but not new. Samples, samples, samples. Unfortunately, I have not been able to afford the classes offered but I did meet Petra and Wolfgang Kaiser this year. What an awesome couple. Happy birthday again Wolfgang. While at the Wissmach booth, another shopper was commenting on how nice and how helpful the Kaisers were. We all agreed that glass artists, unlike artists in other mediums, are eager to share tips and techniques. This is one of my favorite parts of the Expo. Wissmach gave out some very nice and beautiful glass samples. Another plus! They included some very gorgeous iridescent glass samples which were a collaboration between Petra and Wissmach. Love the fuser's reserve packs by Pacific Art Glass. I was sad though that the box I got did not have the gorgeous red and grey I fell in love with. My fault. I should have had them open the box so I could see. Pacific Glass always has a great selection and their customer service is outstanding. I am fortunate to live within their area and just like they do in their brick and mortar shop, they were helpful and had a wide selection of options. Last year, I bought my Gryphon Ring Saw from them at the show because they offered such a nice show discount. CBS Coatings by Sanborn had, what I feel, one of the best deals there and lots of helpful information. I live in Southern California and I will be scheduling my tour and shopping trip very soon! Love the dichroic inspired by glass artist Tanya Veit. Glass Hopper had many many decals to choose from. Got Papyros paper - 9 sheets for 20.00. Now that's a deal. Less than 2.25 a sheet! that's close to half price. Creative Paradise had amazing new molds. Can't wait to fuse and slump with them. The Mayco Representative has opened a whole new world for me. I've always wanted to make my own texture plates since seeing a demo at the Glass Expo last year, but I had been told I would have to fire the clay to bisque temperature. I have a glass kiln (Jen Ken) which I love but it would not do the job. She gave me a wonderful alternative. I was trying to find a place close by so I could rent kiln space. She took the time to explain how to do it in my kiln and just made my day. I could go on and on. My main disappointment was that Bluefire Molds was not there this year. They always have lots of clients so I was surprised they were not there this year. They were missed. So, was it worth it? Absolutely. The entry fee is nominal, ($13.00) the room reasonable and Vegas, well, its Vegas. Had a wonderful buffet meal at the Bellagio, gambled a little (wanted to save money for Expo), and had my bff with me. Already preparing next years wish list and trying to figure out how I can afford a bigger, deeper kiln. A person needs a place to unfold their truths and extract the humor.This place is the pondering pool. Perhaps I'll see you there..
F. P. M.
I cannot believe that you have never been to the glass Expo! My friend Marylou and I took 3 four-week classes at our local art club in Hesperia, Ca, and became addicts. I registered on a wait list for a class at the show and although I did not get in, they still sent me a badge. There was not much glass available at the show, except at Pacific Art Glass, and then some specialty companies like Kokomo and CBS. I wanted to buy a large kiln, and Paragon and Skutt just referred me to Pacific to order it. The one guy who could take my order was swamped with people buying things. So I picked out some pieces of 10x10 glass and some stringers and waited in line to talk with Ray. It was worth going to the show for the deal I got on the Skutt GM22CS. I will pick it up at Pacific in Gardena supposedly next week. I'd had a list of things I wanted to buy at the show, but did not find them there. However, there were many people tending booths who were a wealth of info. As far as the expensive classes offered, I got most of my learning online for free. Bullseye's Tip Sheets are wonderful, and I'm almost ready to buy into their tips for $. My advise is: just keep googling "fused glass" or whatever you are into. And don't be afraid to dive into trying whatever turns you on.
I just got back from the Glass Expo in Las Vegas. I did not take any of the classes (I agree with you that they seem a little pricey), but I did spend 2 days at the exhibit hall talking to EVERYONE. There were several of the vendors that had mini classes in their booths and I did a couple of those (for around $25). Unlike a lot of tradeshows, the vendors at the Glass Expo do not feel like vultures, and they seem to just love to stand and chat about glass and fusing. I learned so many things I am now excited to get out to the studio and try that I don’t know which one to do first!!!! Oh, and if you are within driving distance from the Expo, it is a great place to get a really good deal on a kiln! I did not plan to buy a new kiln, but when I saw the price of the Olympic kiln (window, 12-key, furniture, stand) I could not leave it there! I also came home with some incredible Dichro glass buys. Lots of cool stuff that people probably would not buy, or try, unless the reps explained how it works.
Thank you to everyone who responded. I really appreciate all of the insight into the Expo. Maybe I will attend next year.
Responses help others in finding answers to their fusing questions. Do you have any other suggestions or hints that would benefit other glass fusing explorers? Share your comments and suggestions with our readers. Thanks!
Floral tape or rubber finger tips are great for keeping your fingers from getting cut when grinding glass.
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Coatings by Sandberg
Sometimes fiber board is referred to as fiber felt and fiber paper, although it is much thicker than the fiber paper used to line your kiln shelf.
This board is a ceramic fiber product, so follow all the safety precautions, such as wearing a respirator and using glove when handling the material.
It comes in various thickness such as: ½” or ¼”.
This board has many uses and can be cut with scissors, or punched with a craft punch.
This material is generally used for damming, casting, creating drop out molds, keeping glass from flowing onto itself and carving to create textured designs in glass.
It is generally used once and discarded, but if care is taken it can be used a few times.
Fiber board will adhere to glass, but can be removed using soap and water.
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See you next month…
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