fused glass


So what is frit? Crushed glass used by lampworkers and fusers to add color and design to their glass creations.

My EGA friend Rhonda Willis from www.rwillisglassartist.etsy.com shares with us a great way to make frit:

A friend of mine works at a local glass store, and she is always coming up with wonderful ideas. Well, her dad (an engineer) came up with this idea for a home-made frit maker. After seeing it, I made a quick dash to the Home Depot (Lowe’s or Ace should have them too) so that I could make one for myself.

Materials from hardware store:

One 1-1/2″ x 8″ heavy lead pipe
One 1-1/2″ cap
One 3/4″ x 10″ heavy lead pipe
Two 3/4″ caps

From a glass supply company:
Glass Frit Sifter set (I love this set!!)

The coffee grinder just doesn’t do it for me, and like many glass artists, I’ve been hammering the glass in plastic bags to make my frit. Now I just put my glass in the 1-1/2″ pipe and use the capped 3/4″ pipe to crush the glass. Then I poor the contents into the glass sifter set which separates the sizes of the frit. I then poor the frit into my 2-oz. storage containers (a gold-mine find at a local thrift store).

The caps aren’t flat, so I have to store the frit maker on its side. I’m sure you could flatten the cap. But, I’m not particular. I’m just thrilled to have this! The weight of the capped 3/4″ lead pipe makes it quick and easy for me to make my own frit. And, to make the “crusher 3/4″ pipe” even heavier I threw in some heavy fishing weights (a garage sale find). Rocks, lead balls, or anything else you can find to add some weight to it will work just as well. Smile

Happy crushing!

The trouble with being creative is all the “other” work that goes along with it. I have been working like crazy to get ready for some trunk shows(thanks C) I just keep adding pendants and earring and pins to a little round box and tell my self “okay ya got to put all that on cards” I may have to hire my kiddos again to card my jewelry. I really dislike that part of the process LOL.

So here is a peek at the box I have been adding to for a few weeks. What does not sell will slowly be added to my Etsy shop I am sure.

Please see my new blog for official instructions on this rubber channel. http://shoozles-wearyourart.blogspot.com/2008/09/hidden-rubber-channel-alternative-to.html

When I started fusing 8 years ago, the silver bails you see on pendants were nowhere to be found so all my pendants were made with a channel that was made with fiber paper. The fiber paper does not burn in the kiln therefore it leaves a channel/hole that goes through the glass pendant. It was all I knew when I began fusing, then I discovered wire wrapping and that evolved then came the standard silver bails. I am as usual looking for innovated ways to make pendants look and function different. Early this summer I started making sterling silver roll bails those are nice too and it really steps up the piece since the silver is expensive and I necklaceon2.jpgmake the bails by hand. Within the last few weeks I have been working on a new way to wear the pendants- A no bail alternative to all these other devices.1tubedetail.jpg

This is called the hidden rubber channel. I spent some time wearing and testing the strength of this and have found it to be quite nice, not to mention how great is lays on a neck, plus comfort. I have to say the thing I like best about it -NO BAIL, the piece stands on it’s own like art hanging in a gallery.

If you have any questions about the hidden rubber channel jurubberbail.jpgst drop me a line. Trust me it is a great new way to wear pendants. To find products with this alternative channel go to http://shoozles.etsy.com


Do you ever just need to know something about Glass? Lampwork, Fusing, Stained Glass, Enameling ? I could continue with the list of glass categories but I won’t LOL. But do you just ever need an answer and the internet doesn’t quite give you what you need?

Well the EGA-Etsy Glass Artists Street Team, have a great new feature on their website called “Ask The Artist”. You can submit your glass question to the EGA glass community from this website and the TEAM will do the very best to answer your glass related inquiry as fast as possible. It is then added to the EGA website for all to view and learn from. Lis kidder is all about educating the public about the wonderful world of glass, she and our team would love to hear from you.

Here is the site, just click on the fun question mark at the right and submit a glass question for us. http://www.etsyglass.com/

Maybe one day there will be a question only I can answer HA! To be so important LOL

If you read my blog we might have 1 thing in common an addiction to glass or jewelry and wanting to make enough money to support our habit, right? More than supporting our habit would be even better. Well bear with me and I am going to point you in the right direction. This plan will work for the Jewelry designers/beaders too. It can work for most home based handmade items!

Display is keyWhen I first bought my kiln seven years ago I went off half-cocked. I didn’t think about what I would do with the things I made, and then I had buyers remorse. Huge purchase and ton of money in supplies, that was it. Kind of all dressed up and no place to go, if you know what I mean.

After a few years of struggling with Ebay, I put my big ol thinking cap on and devised a plan to broaden my fused glass adventure. I started doing Home Jewelry Parties. Much to my surprise, it worked. Ebay quickly fell by the way side, because the interaction with people was intoxicating and the money was GOOD!

Here are few tips to home party bliss:

1. Make a well planned brochure that outlines your party plan (I am going to make your life easier here; you can use my brochure as a guide as long as you don’t live near me LOL).
2. Have business cards on hand at all times and strategically hand them out. Creepy people do not need your info. ;)
3. Carry a calendar and brochures with you at all times.
4. Put a message on your answering machine that tells people they have reached the right place. Nothing’s worse than calling and not knowing if you reached the right place.
5. Make sure you wear what you make, otherwise what is the point? If you won’t wear it, who will?
6. Put on your seller face and voice in public. In other words smile and be nice. That draws them in to ask about what you are wearing.
7. Don’t over commit yourself. Ya gotta have time to make stock.
8. Present your items well. Put your creations on cards with a logo and contact info.
9. Make available to your customers chains and cords so they can wear their purchase right away or give them as gifts. Easy shopping is the key to great home parties.
10. If the budget allows – advertise. Make postcards and send them out to advertise special sales and shows you will be selling your works from. Add your logo and site info to your car. I can’t tell you how well that works for me.caradvertising.jpg

Your Etsy shop will grow with these parties. Your website makes you accessible to people outside of the parties.

I quit my real world job to do what I love. I am able to live off of it and support that glass addiction I have. Life is good!

Good luck in your new adventure! Hope this helps!

Click here If you would to see copy of my Home Jewelry Brochure and use it as a guide to make your own. I would love to know your thoughts and would love to share any other ideas you have as a party giver. This plan has worked wonders for my business. home-jewelry-part-new.pdf

Any one that knows me, knows I am not organized but I do have an organized chaos kinda thing goingscissorsblog1.jpg
on, Ya know how a person that knows where things are among the heaps of stuff? Well that is me. I can tell you exactly where I put things because visually I have imprinted it in my mind for future use, that is with everything, except SCISSORS! I have a complete mental block when it come to these very essential items in my studio. Usually when I clean my studio I find about 15-20 pairs of scissors. YES! I am not kidding I have that many because I lose them and buy more only to lose those too. You can’t imagine how much time I waste looking for those dang things. I won’t be known as a crazy cat lady when I get old, it will be scissors they find piles of. When I pass away, all my neighbors will be shaking their heads and telling whoever really wants to know “we saw the scissor wrappers we just had no idea she had that many” LOL I am just getting a mental picture and thanking GOD that my scissors do not use the kitty litter. Okay I am way off now. HA!

I cleaned my studio this past week and I was disappointed to only find 3 pairs of scissors so now I am real confused and have no idea what I have done with those stink’n things. Well you know I have to go get some so this weekend I hit the jack pot, I went to Big Lots (discount store) and I found the most wonderful thing! A three pack of scissors for 2 bucks, Imagine my delight when I got home and they cut good too! Woohoo! So there really may end up being scissor wrappers for my neighbors to find at that price -Just kidding

peeking in the kilnSometimes it is so hard for me to wait to see what the kiln has in store for me, so hard that I can’t move on to the next project. Does that ever happen to anyone else? I catch my self thinking about what is in the kiln instead of thinking of the next thing I can do. It truly is a joy for me to open that kiln and receive the gift it has inside. But the waiting is like kids waiting for Christmas and it take so long.

Yesterday I worked on painting with fusable high fire enamels and then printing on top of my glass only to run out of time(I was pooped) I was not be able to fire then the 2nd time until today. So first thing this morning the kiln was on and and I waited all day for the kiln to cool, resisting the urge to peek, dieing to see what the kiln had to offer.

This is what I got this evening a wonderful batch of trees with hand painted background. I think I just might sleep better tonight now that they are done LOL

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