Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Two Rod Flow Bars

Flow Bars

There are many different ways to create pattern bars. Since the mid 1990’s Carmen and I have been exploring what I call “Flow Bars.” These are pattern bars with a set-up that requires the glass to flow over, through or around an objects or openings to stir the pattern. The results are beautiful and intriguing. 

To make the “Two Rod” flow bars some you will need 2 – ¼” diameter stainless steel rods,  ½ x 24” x 6” fiber board or old kiln shelves and a soft brick. You will also need an old cross cut wood saw, a drill bit, some shelf primer and some glass. 

Step 1.  Cut the soft brick into two matching pieces of your desired width. I use an old saw because it’s not going to be much good for wood after cutting the soft brick.  I cut my sections 2” x 2.5” x 3”
Step 2.  Twisting the bit with your fingers, drill two matching holes for the stainless steel rods. Using an electric drill will just chew up the soft brick. If you keep the wholes at the same height you glass will sit level on them.
Step 3.  With a utility knife, cut the fiberboard into two 3” wide sections. You can choose to burn out the fiberboard and/ or add rigidizer to make them stronger, but I don’t.
Step 4.  I mix my shelf primer thicker than normal using 1- part Fuse Master Shelf Primer and 2 – parts water. Paint everything except the rods with a nice thick protective coating of shelf primer.  If you paint the rods, the shelf primer will get inside and contaminate your flow bar.
Step 5.  Cut your glass into strips ¼” narrower than your soft brick. My brick is 3” wide, my strips are 2 ¾” wide and as long as the exposed rods.  Stack as many strips as you would like (8 to 10 is a good starting point). Using at least half clear makes for a visually interesting bar. This is your primary design opportunity so put some thought into creating a pleasing palette and design.
Learn more about ways to make and use pattern bars in the “Ultimate Fusing” class with Gil Reynolds June 24-28, 2013. …

Monday, February 20, 2012

All To Real

I just stopped working on the lyrics to a new song called “Watching the Moon Go Down” which talks about how a petty crime can get hard time in prison but if you steal a million homes you walk away Scott free. I thought I’d check my email before I headed home and I found this. It is a reply from a keyboard player I invited to my Blue Berry Jam Session.

“Hi Gil, Thanks for thinking of me again. If you have a keyboard, I think it is possible that I could make it, although I'm not sure I could make it back, gas wise. Things are so tight now but there may be a break, perhaps thanks to this unsolicited article about me: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pat-lamarche/music-ending-for-homeless_b_1282373.html
The author is kind, but I'm humbled by the pseudonym she gave me. While you are there you'll see links to 3 original compositions I hope you might like.”

Check out the link. It is a touching story. His music is awesome. This guy has played with Merle Haggard, Freddy Fender, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jr., and Willie Nelson just to name drop a few – we will be taking a collection at the jam for him.

Come out Thursday. I hope he can join us.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Glass Madness or Mass Gladness

We have been having some super fun and productive classes at Fusion Headquarters. I love teaching and I especially love teaching at Fusion Headquarters because we have all of the glass toys. We have a great class coming up this weekend focusing on recycled glass but we will not be limited to using just recycled glass. These techniques are applicable to just about any glass. Come join us for a great 2 day workshop.

Break a Leg

I was wishing a fellow musician much success on an up coming gig and told him to “Break a Leg” instead of saying ‘Good Luck” which is considered bad luck. Curious, I went to Wikipedia to see what they thought about the idiom. There I found all kinds of theories ranging from understudies wishing the lead would break a leg so that they would get a chance to perform to John Wilkes Booth breaking his leg when jumping onto the stage after murdering President Lincoln. All of them seemed interesting and possible.

My understanding is that "leg" refers to the side curtains and it suggests that the applause ought to be so great that the legs break from so many curtain calls. So it is more than wishing good luck, it is wishing a rousing success. This is my intent when I use the term.

Speaking of rousing successes… we had an incredible good time at the last Blue Berry Jam Session. I hope you can make the next one which has been moved to Thursday Feb. 23rd. Email me for specifics glaswiz@aol.com

Friday, October 28, 2011

Recycled Glass Sculpture

I’m just finishing up a commission using recycled glass scrap for Tekronics. These are old oscilloscope tubes that were crushed up and fused. The thing is 30" tall and weighs 38 pounds. Which doesn’t sound that heave but it is a trick to wrestle around. I still need to come up with a base for it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I just finished my new book- Kiln Crafting: Hot Tips for Fusing and Slumping – Collection 1

I’ve been getting some good feedback from those have already had a chance to read it.

"A must read for anyone into glass fusing." Michele Berry

“Well written and well put together.” Henry Bettendorf

“Wow...I learned allot of very useful straight forward stuff! It's great!” Betsy Vailin

“A book that you can refer to w/o dredging through and highlighting what you may need in the future.” Jim Branden

I have written over 50 Kiln Crafting columns for Stained Glass News since 1992. This is a collection of some of those information packed articles. This first book has 16 of those first articles that I updated with new current information, charts and over 80 color photos. Then I added three new articles to fill in some of the holes. I was surprised by how much of the old information is still relevant. Because no one had computer controllers back then I did some major revamping on firing kilns and added some key information on writing a kiln firing program. I cover a lot of different subjects and offer tips on everything from how to get the most out of mini kilns to dichroic glass to how to keep your glass from breaking in a kiln to mold materials and selecting the right mold for a particular project. I tried to make it fun to read and did my best to make complex techniques easy to understand. My goal was to present some of the core information and obscure tricks that many teachers and books have left out so we all can become better fusers. I hope you enjoy it. You can pick up a copy at www.fusionheadquarters.com/