I'm going to share some of the great questions I receive from artists who are working with Modeling Glass. I hope these will help answer some questions you may have; I always welcome questions, even though I don't always have answers. It's exciting to help fusers accomplish their goals with Modeling Glass, or to explain why what they want to do might be a challenge.
Please contact me if you have questions of your own, but first take a look at the FAQs on the Modeling Glass website to see if the information is already there. You can also find deeper dives into some topics in back issues of the Enews, or you can order my ebook, Exploring Modeling Glass, which has a ton of great detailed info and projects for working with Modeling Glass.
QUESTION: Can you let me know if the kiln should cool in a controlled way for the Modeling Glass? I can see the schedule for going up to top temperatures on your website but it does not mention cooling.
ANSWER: If I am tack-fusing elements that are being pre-shrunk for application onto a background of sheet glass, for instance, I will go up to 1275 and then let the kiln temperature drop naturally (no anneal hold) since the piece will end up getting annealed with I fire it onto the sheet glass. In most other cases, I do a standard anneal schedule recommended by Bullseye Glass. The instruction sheet that came in the Modeling Glass starter kit has recommended firing schedules that show the anneal. You can also download a PDF of the instructions from the website.
The advantage to having an anneal hold is that the powder colors will mature more (unlike sheet glass, powder does continue to change even at 900 degrees F). Strikers like yellow especially need additional heatwork to become bright. For those, and for white, I go up to 1325 in my kiln with a 20-minute hold. I hope this helps, let me know if you have more questions!
QUESTION: Hi, I've just started using your modelling glass with lots of success with colours in the reds, oranges, strong blues, greens and purples but once I use white or yellow, or blend these colours with the above, they come out grey or muddy. I am firing them on a fast contour setting on my Skutt (factory setting) to keep the form, what am I doing wrong? Thank you
ANSWER: Unfortunately it requires more heat work to mature whites and yellow, which is a striker. White typically requires more of a contour fuse of 1325 peak with a 20-minute hold time in my Paragon Benchtop kiln. Yours may need to be set hotter. I also recommend opaque white opal rather than other whites, as it seems to get brighter at lower temps. One other option is to add some white enamel powder to clear glass powder, which will give you a very nice white at low temps. My ebook that is available on the Modeling Glass website tells about how to add enamels to clear powder.