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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2008-07-23, 8:54am
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Question Stained glass sheet beads and color question

I decided to try making beads with flat glass, so I bought a sheet of Hobby Lobby (Spectrum?) and a glass cutter and running plier.

The glass has beautiful swirls of rose and pink and white with a bit of sea green.

I cut a couple of half inch strips and set to melting on my Mega Minor.

The glass melted nicely enough and I made about 8 beads from the first strip, 6 round and 2 pressed pillows.

Here's my question -- where did the colors go?

I ended up with essentially solid color beads. At least they are a pretty pale sea green. But where did the roses and pinks go?

I tried melting the strips with the smooth side in the flame and then with the rough side, no difference.

I've been reading that the Hobby Lobby glass in COE 96 and I have lots of 96 frit and a dozen CIM 96 colors (unused as yet), so I can decorate. But I was hoping for a "tie-dye" looking bead just using the sheet glass.

Any ideas? I've seen photos here of multi-colored beads made with stained glass alone.

Could it just be the sheet I happened to pick? I only got one.

I could try another, but frankly, it I'm just going to get solid colors, it's not worth handling the strips when the rods are so much user friendlier.

Thanks,

Liz
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  #2  
Old 2008-07-23, 9:05am
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I've made beads using stained glass scraps and I also lose the colors in the pale spectrum swirled glass. I find that the denser colors work much better. I get a lot of nice colors using the higher end glass. It tends to be more saturated with color so it doesn't all burn out. I did have problems with Armstrong being really shocky though.
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Old 2008-07-23, 9:09am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erose View Post
I decided to try making beads with flat glass, so I bought a sheet of Hobby Lobby (Spectrum?) and a glass cutter and running plier.

The glass has beautiful swirls of rose and pink and white with a bit of sea green.

I cut a couple of half inch strips and set to melting on my Mega Minor.

The glass melted nicely enough and I made about 8 beads from the first strip, 6 round and 2 pressed pillows.

Here's my question -- where did the colors go?

I ended up with essentially solid color beads. At least they are a pretty pale sea green. But where did the roses and pinks go?

I tried melting the strips with the smooth side in the flame and then with the rough side, no difference.

I've been reading that the Hobby Lobby glass in COE 96 and I have lots of 96 frit and a dozen CIM 96 colors (unused as yet), so I can decorate. But I was hoping for a "tie-dye" looking bead just using the sheet glass.

Any ideas? I've seen photos here of multi-colored beads made with stained glass alone.

Could it just be the sheet I happened to pick? I only got one.

I could try another, but frankly, it I'm just going to get solid colors, it's not worth handling the strips when the rods are so much user friendlier.

Thanks,

Liz
Art glass looks the same as tested compatible glass, but it's an entirely different chemistry. Most streaked art glass will melt into a solid color. Some will divitrify badly. Some will change color completely. Spectrum art glass will sometimes fuse to Systems 96 glass, but not reliably. For reliable results you should use only glass that is labelled "Systems 96". The Hobby Lobby glass is art glass for stained glass and mosaics but unless it is clearly labelled "Systems 96" it is not suitable for kilnforming or torchworking.
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  #4  
Old 2008-07-23, 9:51am
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If you're willing to switch coe's, bullseyes streaky sheets make multicolored beads.
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Old 2008-07-23, 9:57am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Brady View Post
For reliable results you should use only glass that is labelled "Systems 96". The Hobby Lobby glass is art glass for stained glass and mosaics but unless it is clearly labelled "Systems 96" it is not suitable for kilnforming or torchworking.
I think you meant to say it's not suitable for torchworking in that the colors are not guaranteed to stay true if they are not labeled for kiln/torchwork. As long as you don't try to mix the sheet colors with anything (including your frit), it's fine to use stained glass scraps. Just expect surprises (and disappointments) when you pull your beads out of the kiln.
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  #6  
Old 2008-07-23, 10:23am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LyndaJ View Post
If you're willing to switch coe's, bullseyes streaky sheets make multicolored beads.
There is also a variety of multicolored glass available in Systems 96.
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  #7  
Old 2008-07-23, 10:31am
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A lot of sheet glass contains color that will either strike or fade when reheated, if they're not designed for hot work. However, using scrap glass is fun and can be rewarding, if you don't mind being surprised by the outcome.

One word of warning; don't mix different scrap, even if it's the same brand, unless it's tested compatible and designed to be melted.

As others have mentioned, both Bullseye and Uroboros have extensive lines of sheet glass meant for kilnforming, which will usually hold their colors in the flame (though some of the subtleties may be lost when torchworked).
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Old 2008-07-23, 10:41am
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I've used scrap glass a lot and get the best results with the Bullseye streakies. But I find that if I play with it too much the colors do tend to melt together. You want to melt the glass into the bead and don't mess with it too much to keep the colors. The hotter you get it, and the more you manipulate the glass, the more likely it is to "mix".
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  #9  
Old 2008-07-23, 10:43am
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I see, that is very interesting. So, I shouldn't even use COE 96 frit? Maybe just the fine stuff in tiny amounts?

I'm glad that at least I'm getting a pretty, glossy seafoam from my strips. Although I don't know that I really want to make 100 or so seafoam spacers.

What if I buy another sheet of Spectrum at Hobby Lobby -- can I pull stringer to decorate beads from the first sheet, and vice versa?

Or, I could quit while I'm ahead with my $15 investment (1 sheet of glass, a scoring cutter and a running pliers).

Thanks for the responses!

Liz
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Old 2008-07-23, 10:51am
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Quit while you are ahead! It is really more efficient to buy rods when you figure out all of the time and energy it takes to make sheet glass work. I just do it because I have 500lbs of sheet glass left over from my stained glass days. I wouldn't spend money on it just to melt!
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Old 2008-07-23, 11:19am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erose View Post
I see, that is very interesting. So, I shouldn't even use COE 96 frit? Maybe just the fine stuff in tiny amounts?

I'm glad that at least I'm getting a pretty, glossy seafoam from my strips. Although I don't know that I really want to make 100 or so seafoam spacers.

What if I buy another sheet of Spectrum at Hobby Lobby -- can I pull stringer to decorate beads from the first sheet, and vice versa?

Or, I could quit while I'm ahead with my $15 investment (1 sheet of glass, a scoring cutter and a running pliers).

Thanks for the responses!

Liz
You might be able to get away with small amounts of leaded frit on the surface, but unless you're using tested compatible glass, another sheet, even the same brand (and even a different sheet of the same COLOR of the same brand) may vary too much in COE to use together. A batch of glass has a different COE at the beginning of the melt than at the end, so the first sheet poured from a melt is usually not compatible with the last sheet poured from the same melt. This is part of why tested compatible glass is more expensive... they don't just assume the recipe turns out the same each time, they have to actually test it after it's finished. ALL of it! You'd probably be horrified at how much glass gets thrown away. At least with sheet glass, the non-compatible stuff can be sold for stained glass... with rods, not so.
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Old 2008-07-23, 11:45am
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If your kiln goes to 1300-1400 degrees and you don't want to make a 100 spacers out of the sheet that you have, you can slump the single sheet into a small functional piece like a card holder or small dish. Since the temps aren't as high and there's less working of the glass, the colors may stay a bit more streaky.
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  #13  
Old 2008-07-23, 12:01pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erose View Post
I see, that is very interesting. So, I shouldn't even use COE 96 frit? Maybe just the fine stuff in tiny amounts?

I'm glad that at least I'm getting a pretty, glossy seafoam from my strips. Although I don't know that I really want to make 100 or so seafoam spacers.

What if I buy another sheet of Spectrum at Hobby Lobby -- can I pull stringer to decorate beads from the first sheet, and vice versa?

Or, I could quit while I'm ahead with my $15 investment (1 sheet of glass, a scoring cutter and a running pliers).

Thanks for the responses!

Liz
You can use COE 96 frit on Systems 96 glass and most of the time it's okay to use on any Spectrum glass - but not always. If you buy another piece of Spectrum, it may fuse compatibly - or it may not.

Artisans buy tested compatible glass (Systems 96) to ensure they have glass that "will" work instead of "might" work. Spectrum art glass is COE 96 but isn't necessarily the same viscosity as Systems 96. Viscosity is as important as COE. A lot of Spectrum art glass will refuse to fuse. That refusal may appear immediately, next week, or even next year. There is always a significant risk when you mix glass that isn't assured compatible. One of your beads could pop apart while someone was wearing it.
http://www.glasscampus.com/tutorials...xing%20COE.pdf
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  #14  
Old 2008-08-15, 7:19pm
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Default Kiln question

I lucked into some stained glass scraps and wanted to try playing with them. How do I anneal them? Same temps as my COE 104 glass? I'm probably just making smaller spacer beads, so would it be ok to just let them completely cool down in the fiber blanket?
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  #15  
Old 2008-08-16, 7:04am
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That is a good question and one I am interested in myself, since my ex-h just gave me a box of scrap flat glass.

For the Hobby Lobby Spectrum, after checking with Spectrum, I learned that you can use 96 coe frit with the flat glass. I tried a little and so far, so good and the colors are really nice.

One other thing. When I annealed my streaky Spectrum, the color I talked about at the start of this thread, the streaky color came back to a degree. So I now have really pretty subtle mauve striations in my seafoam color, the ones I didn't use frit on. Some are round and some pressed. I'll get a photo up later.

For the scrap glass, I don't know who made the various pieces, so I am going with undecorated beads for now.

Liz

Last edited by Elizabeth Beads; 2008-08-16 at 9:37pm.
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Old 2008-08-16, 7:17am
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Hi Liz,

I called Hobby Lobby and inquired about their stained glass COE. They would not verify that any of it is 96 even the Spectrum. I have one sheet that has a sticker on it that says "Made in China" which I didn't even notice until I got it home. They would not even tell me what brand of glass that was. I have used it because it is cheap but usually just use it by itself. I have used some of their sheet glass with frit and had mixed results so if you plan on selling them, I would not risk it.
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Old 2008-08-16, 8:58am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beadescape View Post
Hi Liz,

I called Hobby Lobby and inquired about their stained glass COE. They would not verify that any of it is 96 even the Spectrum. I have one sheet that has a sticker on it that says "Made in China" which I didn't even notice until I got it home. They would not even tell me what brand of glass that was. I have used it because it is cheap but usually just use it by itself. I have used some of their sheet glass with frit and had mixed results so if you plan on selling them, I would not risk it.
Jan, I too noticed our Hobby Lobby has started selling sheet made in China. I haven't tied cutting any of it yet to see if it breaks nicely or not. The colors offered were very pretty, kind of reminded me of Kokomo. I'm sure their employees like the new glass as each sheet is shrink wrapped and less likely to cut them. I sure hope they don't eliminate the basic colors of Spectrum. It's always been nice to know I can stock up at a great price when they have a sale.
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Old 2008-08-16, 11:55am
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The sheet glass they are selling is not a specific COE, which is why you can't mix sheets when using them in any kind of heatwork.
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Old 2008-08-16, 12:31pm
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Default stainglass beads

I used stainglass remenents for these. I just didn't mix it with anything else.

Last edited by Pat; 2011-09-28 at 12:09pm.
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Old 2008-08-16, 1:01pm
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When sheet glass for stained glass users is made by any company, they could care less what the coe is. They make it so it looks the way they want it to look and don't measure or even care what the coe is. So, when you buy stained glass to use it in the torch, you have no idea whether it will be compatible with anything else, other than itself. You also don't know that the colors will stay true. Never mix the sheets as compatibility within the same brand will be highly questionable. If sheet glass says it is tested compatible, or 96 compatible, then you can safely mix it with others of the same brand, as they have tested the coe and determined that it is within their parameters. I started out glass beadmaking by using scrap glass, as you are doing. Have fun, but remember the rules!
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Old 2008-08-16, 1:12pm
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Pretty beads, Pat!

I have used System 96 sheet glass with most of my stash of frits. Never seen any problems, and I have really old beads in shoeboxes (un-annealed wonkies) and very little breakage. Every now and then I go through them and find some split completely in half, but no shattered intact or blown apart ones like you find with incompatabilities. Well, they were never put in the kiln!

I wouldn't do this with any other stained glass, but BE or the System 96 - small amounts of frit shouldn't be a problem. I never encase clear over frits, unless it's all the same COE and all the same brand of glass. Even then you can still have trouble. Like I did with Effetre 444 (lt. brown) and Effetre clear!

I do strongly agree with Dennis about incompatabilities, and the viscosity thing...that always made me nervous! Like you might read: "This clear melts like butter and is wonderful for encasing!" Eek...but the viscosity...shouldn't my base bead melt like butter also, for them to like each other???
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Old 2008-08-17, 5:06am
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Ohhh Pat, those are so pretty. I have some really cool Spectrum swirly mixed color sheet glass that I may slice up and try. I bet it would make some really pretty watercolor looking beads.

I also have some that is clear with stringers and stuff in it. I think that might make an interesting bead too.

The other thing about coe96 is that they have a great set of thin stringers and noodles that are really cool for lampwork. I got them all when I started fusing. I figure when I'm broke (after retirement) I will have enough glass to lampwork forever. I may have to switch coe but what the heck. There are some really pretty colors to play with.

Thanks for reminding me Liz,
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  #23  
Old 2008-08-17, 8:10am
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Hi Jan & everyone --

Here's a photo of my (Spectrum?) sheet glass beads:



The center bead is lightly rolled in Spiral Dance Sea Goddess frit.

If you can use up to 20% 96 coe frit on 104 glass, wouldn't 1% be fairly safe if it is smooth and anneals nicely?

I know, there are no guarantees, but I can at least wear them myself.

Liz
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Old 2008-08-17, 10:54am
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Those are a nice peachy color we don't have in rod form. Ask around at the SG store for names of stainglass artists they have tons of scrap they would probably give you for free. I know I would. I have tons of glass I would love to get out of my basement. And probably 20 plastic drawers of scraps. You just have to find the people that could use it. I'm never going to melt that much scrap.
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