SMALL BATCH MODELING GLASS
Recently, several artists have wanted to know about scaling the mixing of Modeling Glass (MG) to make a smaller amount of any color. This is easy to do because the recipe scales up or down proportionately. Here are the instructions for making just one tablespoon of color:
1 tablespoon glass powder
1/4 teaspoon Powdered Binder
1 1/2 teaspoons water
1/8 teaspoon Liquid Medium
If you want to make a half batch (2 ounces), here are the proportions:
1/4 cup plus 1 level teaspoon glass powder
1 1/4 level teaspoons Powdered Binder
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon water
1/2 teaspoon Liquid Medium
Follow the directions in the Starter Kit for mixing details. If you want the material to be slightly drier, add a pinch more glass powder; if you want it to be more moist, sprinkle a few drops of water onto the ball and knead it in.
I often do this when I'm making multiple elements that I will then use to make an image like this 7" x 9" Tulip and Iris panel. First I full fused a background panel of two 3mm layers of clear glass with powdered blends.
All the floral elements and leaves were made individually with MG. After sculpting them, I dry all the shapes at 200 degrees F because it takes a long time to air dry things. After the pieces were dry I was able to sand the edges and otherwise touch them up. I put them into the kiln and pre-shrunk the flowers by firing at the schedule in the starter kit with a peak temp of 1275 degrees f. The colors aren't entirely mature after firing, but the 15-20% shrinkage is out of the way and you can position the pieces where you want them, knowing that they won't shrink further.
To complete the piece, I contour-fused the panel with all the flowers and leaves in place, with the following schedule:
This preserves much of the texture and contours of the shapes, but is hot enough to mature the colors to their true bright hues.
I usually mix full batches of MG using the instructions in the starter kit, because it keeps so well for long periods of time, as long as you keep it sealed from the air. In fact, I was in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago and Warren pulled out a bag full of MG that I had mixed up for a previous workshop a year ago, almost to the day. A couple of the pieces were a little dry, and all it took to get them back to normal consistency was a few drops of water and some kneading. This was A YEAR LATER, and the MG had spent some time in a Phoenix storage unit. I was duly impressed with this real test of MG's shelf life.