Modeling Glass Tips and Tricks
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 www.modelingglass.com. You can also find back issues of all my e-newsletters there!
Paul Messink, master glass artist, teacher, and someone I am proud to call a friend, posted on the Facebook Modeling Glass Exploration Group. He wrote, "I've recently completed a Hawaiian-themed glass bowl, commissioned to hold the "parting stones" of my recently departed cousin who loved the Hawaiian islands. (Parting stones are made from cremated remains and are a way of remembering a loved one after they are gone - more info at https://partingstone.com/)."

The bowl is adorned with plumeria blossoms that Paul made using Modeling Glass. To achieve the brightest possible white, Paul made the flowers with clear powder Modeling Glass (which fires grey). He fired them to a tack fuse to pre-shrink the pieces, then painted them with FuseMaster EZ Fire enamels (opaque white and yellow) and fired them again to bake that on. He then fired the flowers onto the base glass and slumped the bowl into its final shape.

I was so enchanted by the bowl that I asked Paul for permission to share it with you enews subscribers. To see more of Paul's groundbreaking multilayered painted glass art, visit his website.

It made me want to learn more about "aloha" which, as most folks know, means both hello and goodbye in Hawaiian. I now realize it means so much more. From the website to-hawaii.com, I learned that Aloha is a deep and complex concept that guides cultural interaction, personal behavior, and spiritual philosophy for Hawaiians. The website states:

"The literal meaning of aloha is "the presence of breath" or 'the breath of life.' It comes from 'Alo,' meaning presence, front and face, and 'ha,' meaning breath. Aloha is a way of living and treating each other with love and respect. Its deep meaning starts by teaching ourselves to love our own beings first and afterwards to spread the love to others.

According to the old kahunas (priests), being able to live the Spirit of Aloha was a way of reaching self-perfection and realization for our own body and soul. Aloha is sending and receiving a positive energy. Aloha is living in harmony. When you live the Spirit of Aloha, you create positive feelings and thoughts, which are never gone. They exist in space, multiply and spread over to others."
It's even enshrined as state law: "In exercising their power on behalf of the people and in fulfillment of their responsibilities, obligations and service to the people, the legislature, governor, lieutenant governor, executive officers of each department, the chief justice, associate justices, and judges of the appellate, circuit, and district courts may contemplate and reside with the life force and give consideration to the "Aloha Spirit." [L 1986, c 202, §1]"

Paul's plumeria bowl is a beautiful expression of honor for his cousin, and captures the Spirit of Aloha. In these times of so much social strife, I wish I could send some Aloha Spirit to our elected officials, our struggling citizens, and to anyone who has been touched by Covid...in short, to everyone. Thanks, Paul, for letting me share this uplifting reminder to live and breathe in harmony.

Above: Plumeria Bowl by Paul Messink, copyright 2021. Left: Plumeria Bowl with Parting Stones and detail of plumeria blossoms in lower right area of plate.
Lately I've been receiving a lot of questions from glass artists that have been addressed in previous issues of the enews, which I have been producing since early 2019. It took me this long, but I now realize that an index to the articles might be useful to folks who have questions about specific techniques related to Modeling Glass. So TA DA! Here is an article index, with a link to each newsletter. They are all on the Modeling Glass website too. I hope you will find it useful to have this quick reference list.

Fusing shapes onto backing glass

Working with white
AAE video project
Glass Art Magazine article with Bob Leatherbarrow

Using silicone molds with Modeling Glass

Mixing small batches of Modeling Glass (with recipe)
Sculpture award at Glass Craft & Bead Expo

Using enamels with Modeling Glass, comparing brands
Using a rubber stamp butterfly mold

Making stained glass-type effects using Modeling Glass linework with powders
More fun with silicone molds

Painting on Modeling Glass with Enamels (making a landscape with sgraffito details)

Expanded Modeling Glass instruction sheet
Filigree plate project (using a silicone pattern sheet mold)

New projects on the horizon, including ebook
Calavera Catrina sculpture panel using Modeling Glass

AAE produces feather instructional video
Turkey feather wall sculpture

Mask video and new draping form!
Holiday cookie plate using mica

New ebook featuring pate de verre fine frit bowl and other projects
Abrams Claghorn gallery show in California

Heat and color in Modeling Glass, a comparison of temperatures
Explanations of trapped air affecting color
Avoiding residual moisture 
Variations between kilns

Reflecting on being an artist during a pandemic, how Modeling Glass was launched
If you go through the back issues of eNews and still have questions, consider purchasing a copy of my ebook Exploring Modeling Glass, which goes into great detail about working with Modeling Glass, including projects, firing schedules, and more! The page below is an example of what's in the ebook.
New ebook Exploring Modeling Glass with chapter list

Essay on extinct birds and other omens
Modeling Glass featured in amazing life-size feathered headdress by Mary Harris

Exploring Modeling Glass ebook publication announcement with PDF sample pages

Making a Mardi Gras-style half mask using my new draping form, with video link

Bullseye Glass offers Modeling Glass and ebook special bundle
New video features Modeling Glass and craquelure technique

Inheriting an old crate of Bullseye glass
Firing Modeling Glass at different temperatures: tack, contour, full fuse comparison

Exploring Modeling Glass with craquelure enamel techniqut
Coloring clear Modeling Glass with enamels (it’s amazing)

Corvid 19 sculpture, incorporating high-temp wire into Modeling Glass
Artist Q&A: getting the right consistency when mixing, using opal vs. transparent powder, making a 3-d sculpture with Modeling Glass

Summer of Storms impasto technique with Modeling Glass and palette knife
Artist Q&A: controlled cooling with Modeling Glass, some colors are vibrant while others are muddy
2022 Education Opportunities
I am very hopeful that workshops will be restarted in 2022, with a tentative workshop now planned for MARCH 11-13 at Milkweed Arts in Phoenix, Arizona!
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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