Glass Clay

Glass Clay is new to the market, but not new in the world of glass.

Some say that this is an ancient Roman glass procedure, while others claim that it was invented by the ancient Egyptians and is an old method referred to as Egyptian paste.

Wherever it originated, it has been revised and reborn for today’s glass fusers.

If you are creative and love to work with your hands, then this clay is ideal for you.

Manipulated it using other objects or free form a design, because it can be molded into just about any shape imaginable.

Similar to any type of clay, this material can be molded, shaped, or cut to create you design.

It can be used similar to the Pate de Verre method without molds.

Comparable to the Freeze and Fuse method, this material can be pressed into molds and then frozen to release the clay.

glass clay, egyptian paste, pate de verre, freeze and fuse

Glass clay is a mixture of powdered glass and a binding medium.

There are several ways you can create this clay.

Purchase it in a pre-mixed COE glass powder and binder substance, purchase it in a pre-mixed binder form that is mixed and then added to your COE powdered glass, or make it at home in any desired COE.

Mixing the material is more of an art to get the exact texture wanted.

Mix the material to a thick consistency to make clay or thin it out and use the material as slip.

Use distilled water if mixing for diluting the powder mixture. Tap water can actually change the color of the material when fired, depending on the minerals in the water.

Use either plastic or metal to mix the material.

It is advised not to use any wood items to mix the ingredients.

When mixed with distilled water the material should be diluted until it has the consistency of Play Doh, or thin it further to create a slip if desired.

Once mixed the glass clay can be placed in a zip lock bag and sealed.

The mixture should last for at least a week after mixed.

The steps for creating your clay figures are very simple.

Shape the material, allow it to dry completely and then fire it in the kiln.

Olive oil can be used on your hand or other objects to keep the clay from sticking.

Use the olive oil sparingly, so that you don’t interfere with consistency or substance of the material.

You are working with glass so remember to practice good safety measures.

  • Wear a HEPA particulate mask or N95 particulate mask when mixing the material.
  • Don’t eat or drink around the clay.
  • Wash your hand thoroughly after mixing or working around the substance.
  • Try different techniques to create your objects with this medium.

  • Use polymer clay techniques
  • Press into candy molds or polymer molds
  • Use frosting tips and bags
  • Free hand shape and mold designs
  • Freeze in candy molds
  • Thin and press through syringe or squeeze bottle
  • Allow the clay to dry completely before firing inside the kiln.

    Leave the finished project out in the open for a couple of days, rotating the material around so that it completely dries, or use a dehydrator, or blowdryer to dry the glass clay.

    When the clay is dry it can be sanded carefully.

    The pieces will be a little fragile.

    Coldwork with a file to remove any rough areas, or carve more details into the clay.

    Now the piece is ready to fire inside the kiln.

    The higher the firing the more glossy the glass and the more it will shrink.

    Keep this in mind when making your pieces.

    There are several different firing schedules that can be found on the internet for this medium.

    For the schedule and more information on firing this material, check out the page on Firing Clay.

    There are three different ways you can create the clay for usage:

  • GlasClay - This is glass powder mixed with a binder. Simply add distilled water to make the clay.

  • Steider Studios Glass Medium - This is a binder that comes in a powder form. Add water and glass powder to make clay.

  • Homemade Clay - Use various products to create a medium that can be added to glass powder.

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