Modeling Glass Tips and Tricks
Every month (or so) 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!
Just when I start to regain my equilibrium and manage some forward movement on projects, another terrible social upheaval happens, and I am back to compulsive news-watching and social media-checking. To redirect the topic a bit, I want to share an experience from my 2019 visit to the UK to teach workshops at Glassification . My daughters and I visited Stonehenge, which in itself is not a unique event since we were there with several hundred other folks. The cool part was that we saw a large bird preening just inside the perimeter cordoned off around the stones. It was a beautiful bird, about the size of a hen wild turkey. We had no idea what it was until I looked it up...lo and behold, it was a great bustard, a bird that became extinct in Great Britain in the 1830s. There was an attempt to reintroduce them utilizing bustard populations from other parts of Europe, which ended in 2004. It was unclear whether any of the reintroduced bustards survived to reproduce. Well, obviously some of them did! And I got a photo of one in front of Stonehenge, no less. She blithely ignored the human spectacle around her as she arranged her feathers.

Little did I know that seeing the rare Great Bustard of Stonehenge last year would mean that the following year would be one of pestilence, plague, and political putrefaction. I need to brush up on my ominous omens.

Regrettably, I have decided that the only smart/safe thing to do considering the pandemic is to cancel the remaining workshops that I had kept on the books this year in hope that things would be better by fall. I no longer have that confidence, so much of what was planned for has been shunted into 2021. I'm grateful to all the studios who were willing and able to rebook into the future! I apologize to the students who have been disappointed by the cancellations, and I hope you will be able to join me next year.

In 2021 my workshops are happening at the following fused glass teaching studios. ALL CLASSES SUBJECT TO CHANGE as a result of global pandemic, zombie apocalypse, etc.:

Milkweed Arts in Phoenix, AZ February 19-21

Hot Flash Glass in Albuquerque, NM March 12-14
Anything in Stained Glass  in Frederick, MD April 23-25
Art Glass City  in Lewisville, TX May 14-16
The Vinery  in Madison, WI August 20-22
Perth Art Glass  in Perth, Australia, October (tentative, dates TBD)
I have also been spending time on the new e-book! Exploring Modeling Glass: The Basics and More will be coming out in the next few weeks (yes, I know I said this a few weeks ago, but now I'm serious).

The e-book is part of a new approach I plan to take regarding teaching the techniques I have developed with my product, Modeling Glass. I spent the last couple of years traveling and teaching, and I produced two instructional videos with AAE Glass (see below for more info on those videos). I think broader outreach projects like e-books and videos are the way forward, especially considering the reduced risk of exposure to zombie apocalypses. I will be sure to announce it loud and clear once it's ready for prime time.
This mask draping form was designed from my original prototype and produced by the great folks at Creative Paradise for my AAE video project. Order yours from AAE Glass HERE.

D&L Art Glass now also carries this new mold. You can order it from them HERE .

This life-size mold makes a Mardi Gras-style half-mask, and measures 8.5"w x 10"h x 2.25"d
Often I will receive messages from artists who have questions about working with Modeling Glass, or who want to show me the results they have achieved in their own work with the product. I was given permission by the incredible artist Mary Harris to share her spectacular war bonnet, a mixed-media piece that incorporates feathers and "beadwork" made with Modeling Glass.
Here is what Mary said about how she fabricated parts of this incredible headdress. "This is how I made all those beads. Fired to 1500. So much easier than cutting them out. I rolled the feathers to 2mm and put a high fire wire down the inside of the feather, below the quill. Fired to your instructions. Then after firing, I made a quill for the other side....wet the area so it would stick a little better, and repeated the process. At this point, I put it on a clay mold that I made, and fired the backside and the contour at the same time. I found that cutting the details in the feather with an exacto knife made the slits in the feathers a little less spread out.

Thanks to Mary for sharing this one-of-a-kind work of art, and to all the other folks who have sent me images. You can see more of Mary's work on her websites: www.harrisartglass.com and www.bestglasspatterns.com. You can also find her on Facebook at Harris Art Glass.

If you'd like to share your own Modeling Glass projects, I'd love to see them! Just email me at glassbirdstudios@gmail.com.
Modeling Glass
This new 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!
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