TRICKS AND TIPS
WE HAVE MADE EVERY MISTAKE THERE IS TO MAKE;
THE ONES WE LIKED, WE MADE TWICE.

HOW TO DISPLAY JEWELRY
BY DEBBI SAVAGE
Place cosmetic wedges under the piece, this sets it up at a little bit of an angle, so it shows better.  If the piece is small, I cut part of the wedge off.  The sponge wedge isn't slick so it holds the piece well.


HOW TO KEEP MARKER LINES ON IN A WET ENVIRONMENT
BY SHIRLEY HAND
Use Chapstick or vaseline to coat lines drawn on glass to be ground down or cut with a wet saw to keep the line from washing away. I also use a velcro dot that has adhesive on both pieces to keep it stuck to the side of my grinder and another one stuck on the side of my Taurus Ring Saw.

Calculate the Cost of Operating Your Kiln
BY DEBBIE MALONE
Are visions of spiraling electric bills keeping you from owning a kiln or from upgrading to a larger one?  Here is an easy and reliable way to calculate the monthly cost of operating your kiln. Here’s the formula:

First you need to know the volts and Amps of the kiln in question.

Take the volts of the kiln and multiply by the Amps to discover the Watts (Volts x Amps = Watts)

Then, take the Watts and divide by 1000 which will give you the Kilowatts (Watts div. by 1000 = Kilowatts)

Next, check your household electric bill to determine the amount of money your utility company charges you PER KILOWATT HOUR and multiply that amount by the number of Kilowatts you determined are used by your kiln and you will know exactly how much money you are spending per hour to operate your kiln.

Example: My Paragon Caldera  with Digital Controller has 120 volts and 15 Amps 120 x 15 = 1,800,  1,800 Watts divided by 1000 = 1.80   My electric company charges me $0.126 cents per kilowatt hour 1.80 x 0.126 = .23 cents per hour

Given that the average kiln firing program for fusing glass in a small, table-top sized kiln (like my Paragon Caldera) is about 4 hours in duration for the longest firing I do, and given that the kiln is NOT firing full "ON" during the entire 4 hours, we can estimate that the kiln might use the equivalent of about three hours of electricity per firing (about .69 cents). IF you were to complete one firing per day for a month, you would spend roughly $20.70 per month. Are you surprised at how economical your kiln is? I was!!

HOMEMADE  DEVITRIFICATION SPRAY
BY TINA BUSH (condensed from Warm Glass)
1  Tbls   20Mule Team Borax (or borax from ceramic stores)
1 Tbls    Dawn dishwashing liquid
1 cup     Distilled water
The ratio of the three ingredients is 1:1:16.   For example a larger quantity can be made by using one cup of borax, one cup of dishwashing liquid, and one gallon of distilled water. 
Mix the borax with most of the water.  Warm (but not boiling) water is best.  Let it settle and cool, then pour the liquid into another clean container.  Dispose of the residue.
Next mix the dish detergent with the remaining water.  Add this to the borax/water mixture and mix well.
To use, just brush liberally on the top surface of the glass prior to firing.  A foam brush works well.   Do not stir the mixture; instead, leave any crystallized borax in the bottom of the container.  If needed, wash the brush with distilled water.

CUTTING GLASS TUBE OR ROD
BY BOB TORBETT
Have you ever needed to cut a glass rod that will not fit in your cutters, nippers, or glass tubing?  Well, this is what I have found and it works great for me.  It can be used for cutting glass tubing of almost any size.  Just obtain a plumbing tubing cutter.  They are inexpensive (about $ 10) and work great for this job.  If you already have one, great.  Just make sure the cutter wheel is sharp (most cutter wheels can be replaced).  Be very careful not to over tighten once the cutter touches the glass.  Hold the cutter with one hand and rotate the glass with the other. This allows complete control of the cutter.  Most glass rods and tubing are not absolutely round so it won’t score all the way around without adjusting the cutter.  I find that if I hold the cutter with the adjustment screw toward my body, with the opening up, and rotate the tube or rod over the top toward me I get a cleaner, more even score.  Remember - you just want to score the glass so you can tap and break it, not cut it all the way thru.  Don’t worry if your score does not go all the way around.  If you get at least ½ of the piece scored, it will break clean almost every time with just a gentle tap.

ETCHING
BY KATHY BARNETT
Etching the dichroic coating off glass can be done in many ways. A resist can first be applied to the glass in the form of a sticker, contact paper or felt tip marker.  A rubber stamp can also be stamped on the glass with a solvent based ink.  After this dries thoroughly, apply the etching cream fairly thick and let sit for 2-5 minutes, then wash off the etching cream.  Also you can use a dremel tool and carve a freehand design into the glass.  Fuse using your normal firing schedule. 

FLUX
BY ANNE SIMMS
There are many ways to apply flux when soldering. My  favorite is keeping flux in a small spray bottle and applying a little spritz on the area you are going to solder. This method is fast, easy, cost effective and keeps hands clean without having to use extra equipment such as a brush, q-tip or rag.

SOLDER
BY CINDY WHITEHEAD
Did you know that if you are putting patina on a small area and accidentally get it on the background area, (but don't want it there), you can use an ordinary pink eraser to take it off?  For instance you have made an animal and you want to patina the eye black but not the back ground solder...but you accidentally get some on the back ground anyway--just dry it off, then use the eraser to erase the patina from where you do not want it.  I find it really handy when I don't want steel wool to take off the patina on the little spot.  Also good to take extra patina off of the surrounding areas beneath decorative dots and etc.

GROZZERS AND RUNNING PLIERS
BY VERNELLE BLUE
Beginners in stained glass often have trouble remembering which way to hold the running pliers and grozzers.  I have found that if something is silly or funny, people remember it better.  Running pliers: "put the line on the line."  The runners have a black line on one side; place that line on top of the score LINE and gently squeeze.  This continues the score to “break” the glass.  Grozzers: ”need to smile at you."  Most people use the combination grozzers which are for small or narrow pieces of glass.  One side is flat and one side is curved on this tool.  Make sure the grozzer is “smiling at you” (curved side on the bottom) for it to work properly.

DICHROIC GLASS  “Which side is up?”
BY VERNELLE BLUE
Dichroic glass has a thin layer of metallic oxide on one side.  There are a couple of ways to determine which side has the dichroic coating on clear glass.  One way is by feeling; the smoother side is the dichroic side.  If you can’t tell that way, hold the glass between your fingers flat, parallel to the ground, and look at the edge of the glass furthest away from you.  Tilt it slightly downward; if you see TWO edges of glass, then the dichroic is on the bottom.  If you only see one edge, then the dichroic is on top.  Which side should you put on top?  Depends on what look you want.  Putting the dichroic on top makes the dichroic “pop” or stand out more.   Putting the dichroic side down gives the illusion of “depth” and has the same effect as “capping,” which means putting a clear layer on top.
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