Modeling Glass Tips and Tricks
In this newsletter I'll be writing about how to use Modeling Glass in your work, and hopefully answering some questions that will help you get the results you want. There's always a learning curve with a new product, and there are considerations working with frit and powder that you don't have when firing sheet glass. There is a full set of FAQs on the Modeling Glass website at You can also find back issues of all my e-newsletters there!
I don't know about where you are as you read this, but here in New Mexico it's HOT. We are in a supercalifragalisticexpialidociously bad drought with an early fire season and record temperatures. Something called a "heat dome" that was here last week is now forming over the Pacific Northwest. My thoughts go out to the folks toiling on the factory floor at Bullseye Glass, where on a normal day the air is hot from the glass kilns. Hydrate, gang!

My current screensaver is this beautiful image of an impending storm, which reminded me of a panel I made a couple of years ago titled "Summer of Storms." It measures 9" x 12" and was made using a paste of Modeling Glass thinned with water and built up in an impasto technique with a palette knife over a panel of Steel Blue Opal. Before I applied the impasto, I tack-fused a thin layer of clear powder over the surface so that it would have a rough "tooth" to hold the Modeling Glass paste. You can see along the top edge of the panel where the glass oxidized to a beautiful pewter patina. It's one of the nifty things about Steel Blue Opal that makes it unique in the Bullseye Glass line, and an all-time favorite of mine. The sifted clear powder serves to shield the surface of the Steel Blue Opal so I can direct the oxidation (the pewter patina) to happen only where I want it to.

I wanted to share this to point out that there are many ways to work with Modeling Glass in addition to sculpting shapes from it. Now I'm going to do a rain dance.
TO THE ARTIST WHO MADE BEAUTIFUL LICHENS ON A BRANCH AND SHARED THE PHOTO WITH ME: I wanted to feature your work in the newsletter, but I have completely lost track of your message and I hope you will reach out again so I can share your wonderful glass with the world! Thank you!!
I'm going to share some of the great questions I receive from artists who are working with Modeling Glass. I hope these will help answer some questions you may have; I always welcome questions, even though I don't always have answers. It's exciting to help fusers accomplish their goals with Modeling Glass, or to explain why what they want to do might be a challenge.

Please contact me if you have questions of your own, but first take a look at the FAQs on the Modeling Glass website to see if the information is already there. You can also find deeper dives into some topics in back issues of the Enews, or you can order my ebook, Exploring Modeling Glass, which has a ton of great detailed info and projects for working with Modeling Glass.

QUESTION: Can you let me know if the kiln should cool in a controlled way for the Modeling Glass? I can see the schedule for going up to top temperatures on your website but it does not mention cooling.

ANSWER: If I am tack-fusing elements that are being pre-shrunk for application onto a background of sheet glass, for instance, I will go up to 1275 and then let the kiln temperature drop naturally (no anneal hold) since the piece will end up getting annealed with I fire it onto the sheet glass. In most other cases, I do a standard anneal schedule recommended by Bullseye Glass. The instruction sheet that came in the Modeling Glass starter kit has recommended firing schedules that show the anneal. You can also download a PDF of the instructions from the website.

The advantage to having an anneal hold is that the powder colors will mature more (unlike sheet glass, powder does continue to change even at 900 degrees F). Strikers like yellow especially need additional heatwork to become bright. For those, and for white, I go up to 1325 in my kiln with a 20-minute hold. I hope this helps, let me know if you have more questions!

QUESTION: Hi, I've just started using your modelling glass with lots of success with colours in the reds, oranges, strong blues, greens and purples but once I use white or yellow, or blend these colours with the above, they come out grey or muddy. I am firing them on a fast contour setting on my Skutt (factory setting) to keep the form, what am I doing wrong? Thank you

ANSWER: Unfortunately it requires more heat work to mature whites and yellow, which is a striker. White typically requires more of a contour fuse of 1325 peak with a 20-minute hold time in my Paragon Benchtop kiln. Yours may need to be set hotter. I also recommend opaque white opal rather than other whites, as it seems to get brighter at lower temps. One other option is to add some white enamel powder to clear glass powder, which will give you a very nice white at low temps. My ebook that is available on the Modeling Glass website tells about how to add enamels to clear powder.
2021 Education Opportunities
2021 workshops are looking doubtful. Please consider purchasing my ebook Exploring Modeling Glass or check out one of the two videos I produced with AAE Glass here. One features making feathers, and the other shows how to make the Autumn mask shown on the left.
I hope to start another ebook and create small project videos this year, so stay tuned!
Modeling Glass
This product was developed by Lois Manno of Glass Bird Studios. It is a two-part system made of a powdered binder and liquid medium that, mixed with frit or powders along with a little water, turns the powder into a material that can be sculpted like clay. It is featured in the workshops she teaches.
Want to purchase Modeling Glass? A list of retailers is available on the website. The list keeps growing, so check back. Ask your glass retailer to add Modeling Glass to their stock if they don't have it!


Ask your glass fusing retail supplier to purchase refill sizes of Powdered Binder and Liquid Medium.
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