December 2023 eNEWS
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!
Above: This is a 10" x 10" cookie plate I made using sheet glass with Modeling Glass filigree shapes tack fused on top. The MG shapes have gold mica in the clay, as well as some brushed on top for extra bling.

At Right: This is mica in its natural state, before being ground into powder, colorized, and whatever else is done to it before you can buy it online.

The holidays seem like the ideal time to discuss mica, that oddly glistening mineral that lends bling to cosmetics, lotions, paint, and…glass. In its native form, mica is a very soft mineral that’s greyish gold and somewhat translucent. It forms in very thin parallel sheets and a chunk of mica is also referred to as a “book.” End of geology geek-out.
The colored mica powder used for homemade cosmetics (manufactured by Jacquard Products, among others) can be purchased online, and comes in beautiful shades.  Mica has some characteristics that make it a bit tricky to work with. Some colors are more stable than others at high temperatures, for instance. This means some trial and error is required to determine how color-safe the powder is at your peak firing temperature. Overall, I have found that gold mica is the most stable, as it has minimal other colorants added, and all mica colors are subject to change at full fuse temps.

Here’s a critical factoid: mica powder will stick to glass when fired, but it will not stick to itself. This means that mica powder can be applied to glass in a very thin layer, but it really can’t be built up thickly—only the particles in direct contact with the glass will adhere. One way to get around this is by mixing the mica powder with clear frit powder in a blend of 60% powder, 40% mica. This really helps the mica stay where you want it.
I have taken the mica/powder mixture and combined it with some of my Modeling Glass Liquid Medium, then painted it onto dry MG pieces, which worked beautifully (see photo at right). I have a project in the Exploring Modeling Glass ebook that shows all the steps, and I’m also including a free project for how to make a mica-enhanced snowflake ornament here.

I’ve also experimented with adding a teaspoon of gold mica powder to a 4-oz. batch of red Modeling Glass, and the resulting warm glow of the fired snowflakes on the holiday cookie plate shown at the top of this article was really nice. If you add too much mica, it can make the Modeling Glass crumbly, so if you don’t like the consistency, use less mica in the mix and instead just paint it onto the surface.

Of course, I have only scratched the surface of what effects could be created using mica combined with frit powders at various temperatures, and more exploration is warranted. Happy holidays, everyone! I hope yours are filled with warm, sparkly fun.
Here are the workshops I have scheduled. I'm looking forward to meeting new artists and sharing all the cool things you can do with Modeling Glass! This year I'm adding a few extended 4-day workshops that will focus on making masks!

February 23-25 Hot Flash Glass, Albuquerque, NM (Feathers and More)
April 4 Glass Craft & Bead Expo, Las Vegas, NV (half-day introduction to Modeling Glass)
June 19-21 D&L Glass, Denver, CO (Feathers and More)
July 11-13 Ed Hoy International, Warrenville, IL (Feathers and More)
July 16-19 Ed Hoy International, Warrenville, IL (Magical Masks)
October 18-21 Milkweed Arts, Phoenix, AZ (Magical Masks)
December 7-10 Helios Glass, Austin, TX (Magical Masks)

I'm delighted that the feather-making instructional video I produced is now available through Milkweed Arts AZ! You can find it in their online education series here. If you purchased this several years ago from AAE Glass, it is the same content. But it's been unavailable for a while, so now's your chance to give yourself the gift of fabulous feathers for the holidays!

I had a fun experience recording an interview with Warren Norgaard of Milkweed Arts to celebrate the roll-out of the feather video. In it we discussed my process, inspiration, the great glass community, feathers, and more. You can watch it here.
This is a batch of blue jay feathers, which is the project featured in the feathers video now available from Milkweed Arts! All Bullseye Glass powders.
YES, I APPRECIATE THE INCOME. But mostly, I want to help artists enjoy all the potential of Modeling Glass. I get a lot of questions that are answered in the ebook with great detail. It's worth it. Really. Order your copy here.

Exploring Modeling Glass: The Basics and More is essential reading for any artist looking to incorporate Modeling Glass into their work to achieve amazing dimensional effects. The first ebook about Modeling Glass, it is a definitive guide to creating with this exciting new product.
Written by Lois Manno, the creator of Modeling Glass, Exploring Modeling Glass contains 81 pages of clear, step-by-step instructions and 160 photos. Featuring seven complete projects, you will learn the basic techniques for mixing, sculpting, and combining Modeling Glass with enamels. The book includes project templates and all firing schedules (designed to work with both Bullseye and System 96) in both Fahrenheit and Celsius. This ebook is suitable for all levels of experience.
I continue to be amazed by the energy of all you glass artists who have continued to enjoy Modeling Glass, who post photos of your work and have lively discussions on the Modeling Glass Exploration Group on Facebook, and have been supportive of all things MG. I'm looking forward to working with you in classes, answering questions when you contact me (yes, I always reply), and sharing new ways to work with MG. It's your enthusiasm and support that gave me the courage to ditch the day job and be an artist/entrepreneur full time. Thank you!
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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