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Helpful Items for Cutting Straight Lines

Helpful Items for Cutting Straight Lines

Do you have trouble cutting a straight line? If you do, try a tracking head. It is item number TC17BV.  

We also have a less expensive import.  Item # is CMW.

Do you do lots of straight lines.  Invest in a Studio Cutter.  You just won't believe how much time and energy you save.

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Glass has clearly (pun intended) evolved all through the centuries. Here is a bit of a timeline.

In the 1700's window glass was mouth blown and spun into a disk. It was small and distorted. I think it is quite beautiful. Even when it was big enough to cut with straight edges, it was very distorted.

In the 1800's the process evolved to a mechanically blown cylinder machine. Sheets were larger and the quality was better. Because the sheets were bigger you are now seeing a more traditional window glass. They were large enough to cut square or into a rectangle.

In the 1900's the invention of the Fourcault machine allowed for vertically drawn glass. This was the end of the imperfections except for vertical drawn lines. The end of the waves and the end of the seeds and bubbles.

Even though the quality of glass improved there is often a desire to replace what was there. To keep it looking the same. Glass is available to reproduce each century of glass.


A glass called colonial is a glass with slight distortion and occasional seeds are present. The thickness varies a bit. It is very much like the 1800's glass. Just imagine trying to copy a procedure where the manufacturing was trying to make it perfect but were not being totally successful.



This is a more affordable alternative to colonial. However, it is not a close replication of the 1800. Not for a restoration project where historical integrity is important.


This glass is beautiful. It has fine lines through. Really not a great piece for restoration but totally a step up from window glass. It has a classic timeless look.

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Solder Tip

Solder Tip

Common solders are a mix of tin and lead. The numbers that describe each type of solder refer to their % of each metal in that solder. The melting temperatures are: 50/50 421 degress F.
60/40 374 degrees f. They "set up" at 361 degrees F. Most lead free solders are usually within a 430 to 465 degrees F. Melting temperatures of lead and zinc came also vary. Lead came usually melts at 620 degress F and zinc came at about 780 degress F.
Many people use 50/50 for the back side of a lamp or to fill gaps in a project. If you have big gaps in a piece that needs to be filled, turn your irons up and use the 50/50 solder. Once it is set up, turn the iron down and use 60/40 to tin and bead. Since 60/40 becomes liquid at a lower temperaturethe 50/50 patch doesn't melt when they solder over it with the iron turned down.
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Colors of the Year 2024

Colors of the Year 2024


For years we have been following Pantone’s Color of the Year.  It is very fun.  They pick a color and relate it to trends, lifestyles, and the future.  The color is announced in December. 

This year not only did Pantone announce its color but many paint manufacturers also chose their Color of the Year.   Here are some of them:


Pantone—Peach Fuzz

Selected to highlight our society’s desire for togetherness, kindness, compassion, and connection.

 peach colored room with soft furnishings


Valspar-Renew Blue

The shade is an uplifting blue that includes hints of grayish sea green and is all about well meaning and restoration.  It is instantly relaxing.

 a cool blue room with paneled blue walls and tonally matched furniture


Sherwin-Williams-Persimmon & Upward

It is called Renewed Comfort and is designed to encourage tranquility and rejuvenation.  It is an earthy terracotta color that promotes comfort and provides a pop of energetic color while maintaining a soft look.



Upward is to create a feel of relaxation and welcoming. 


Behr-Cracked Pepper


A soft black shade that is prized for its versatility. Designed to capture the warming and comforting effects associated with dark colors in the home.  It is an elegant look to create sophisticated spaces that feel equally inviting and relaxing. 


A warm, honey-toned neutral shade.  A fresh color that is highly versatile.



Dutch Boy—Ironside

A deep olive shade, rising to the popularity of deep shades in the home balances both sophistication and comfort.  It is linked to nature and creates an organic feel in the home.


Minwax-Bay Blue

 This is a wood stain between green and blue.  Meant to help a homeowner get creative and elevate spaces.



 Little Green—Sweet Treats

All about the rich and indulgent shades associated with the desserts.  Great for fall.


Graham & Brown

A soft and earthy shade of green, designed to create restful and restorative spaces.  A look inspired by nature to promote an organic look. 


Benjamin Moore-Blue Nova

Mid-tone blue with warm violet undertones.  Inspired by the night sky with a mystical feel. 

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Glass Blogs

Here are some other glass blogs you might light to look at.

Stained Glass Express

Stained Glass Express - The Blog

We try to do lots.  We give info on how-to, emerging artists, classic artists, industry news, products, and anything that we find interesting. 


Jack Storms -The Glass Sculptor

News - Jack Storms

If you are interested in looking at some amazing dichroic glass it is a fun look.


Corning Museum of Glass

Their blog has turned into a YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/corningmuseumofglass

as well as a written blog: https://blog.cmog.org/

Corning has width and breadth.  They so deserve the status of a top glass blog. 


Revere Glass

Theirs is a YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iMNQ2VrJUQ 

They are cool.  You can learn glass blowing through zoom. 

Museum of Glass

Also a YouTube channel with videos to inspire and educate about glass.  https://www.youtube.com/c/museumofglass/videos


The Glass Creative

Stained Glass Blog - The Glass Creative

Lots of how-to stuff.  Who doesn’t want to know how to put pressed flowers between glass!


Everything Stained Glass

Stained Glass Blog - Latest News and Tools from Everything Stained Glass

Once again, lots of instructions and how-to.  Well organized and has depth!


All this should keep you busy for awhile!

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Reading the Label on Creation is Messy 104 COE Rods

Reading the Label on Creation is Messy 104 COE Rods

How can I tell if a Messy Color is a transparent, opaque, or opal?

Creation is Messy organize their colors in more ways than just "by color"!

All of Creation is Messy colors fall into one of the following categories:

  • Opaques (Effetre calls these "pastels")
  • Opals (of the variety that turn opaque-ish after annealing- similar to Effetre's "opalinos" or "alabasters")
  • Milky Opals
  • Misty Opals
  • Moonstones
  • Cloudy Transparents
  • Transparents

These categories are not just about color, but also about the behavior of the glass.  Moonstones, for example, are etch resistant. Opals turn "opaque-ish" when annealed while misty/milky opals will not.

 comparison photo by Jenefer Ham

How are CiM item numbers organized?

CiM item numbers are composed of three parts. The first three digits "511" are the manufacturer code designated for Creation is Messy by Frantz Art Glass (in the same way that 591 indicates Effetre, 791 indicates Vetrofond, etc.)

An example of a Messy Color tag on a rod label

The fourth digit indicates one of the different families of colors as follows:
1 red
2 orange
3 yellow

4 green

5 blue
6 purple
7 brown
8 neutral
9 pink

The last two digits indicate a number for the color.

All Messy Color rods are between 4 and 7 mm in diameter. Some Messy Colors are available in thinner or fatter diameters. To indicate diameters that are not 4-7 mm in our item number system, they add an -S after the initial six digits of the item number. Further numbers indicate size as follows:

-S01 1-2 mm
-S02 2-3 mm
-S04 4-6 mm
-S06 6-8 mm
-S08 8-10 mm

An example of a tag on a Messy Color stringer
(Note: CiM no longer manufacturers stringers)

An example of a tag on a Messy Color large diameter rod

An example of a Messy Limited Run tag on a rod




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What You Can Expect to Find in a Glass Store Owner's Home

What You Can Expect to Find in a Glass Store Owner's Home

People often ask if Janet's house is made entirely of glass--here are the photos to prove it only nearly is!

These pieces in order are:

Youghiogheny stipple glass abstract by Joe Barberio

Entrance door by Glenn Parkhurst

Pumkin, Janet’s own first fused glass piece

Hanging head dragonfly, Tiffany reproduction, James Mercier

Mouth blown flower, Jan Royal

Medicine wheel, Jan Royal

Peacock ceiling light, artist unknown

Abstract night light, Xavier (7 year old grandson)

Loon Night light, Pam Wilcox

Winter Tree, Bruce Grantham

Bathing Lady, T&T Glassworks

Southwest Lamps, James Mercier

Door light, Unknown

Peacock light, Unknown

Stars, Stained Glass Express

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Soldering Iron Maintenance

Soldering Iron Maintenance


Ending up with a great looking project so often depends on your soldering.  Having skill at soldering is one thing and caring for your soldering equipment is another.

The part of your iron most apt to cause trouble is the tip. If the tip develops a crack or a hole, that is the end.  It will just disintegrate.  To make your tip last, keep it tinned to prevent oxidation.  A clean tip will give you better heat transfer.   Even if you are done for the day, tin the tip.  That will keep air away and keep oxidation away. 

 It is important.  The first thing is to keep the tip tinned.  Tinned means keeping it coated with a layer of solder.  This will keep your tip intact and make your solder melt and flow evenly and smoothly. 

Hakko FS 100 Soldering Iron Tip Cleaner

To tin the tip

Heat up the iron

Wipe the heated iron over your sponge or other cleaner you may be using.

Apply solder to the tip and allow it to coat the surface. 

Wipe off the excess on your sponge. 

Another useful supply for cleaning your tip is sal ammoniac. It is made of ammonium chloride, comes in a block and is great for cleaning your iron.  You still need to tin it. 



Sal Ammoniac Tinning Block

One simple maintenance tip is loosen your tip routinely and make sure it is not getting stuck in the barrel.

Despite your best efforts, you may have to replace your iron.  The cheaper the iron the quicker it will need to be replaced.  Crafters new to the craft may have purchased a low-cost iron not knowing if they will stick with it.  Most of these have a short warranty and pretty much last the length of the warranty.  Most often, parts are not available for the cheaper irons.  Once they are not working correctly—time to go. 

If you have a higher quality iron, and it is not working properly, you may want to replace it.  Some have ceramic elements and if you drop the iron the element can break and it will stop working.  They are replaceable, but I hear it is a lot of work.  If you like to do that sort of thing, it probably is worth getting the parts and making the repair.

If your tip gets frozen in the barrel you are pretty much done.  You will probably need a new iron.

If your power cord is damaged, you should get a new iron.  It may stop working and if it continues working it is dangerous.


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Making Fused Glass Snowflakes

Making Fused Glass Snowflakes

Making Fused Glass Snowflakes


 two delicate glass snowflakes with blue and clear

Picture by The Avenue Stained Glass


To make these amazing snowflakes, you will need:

A snowflake mold

Primer brush

Small measuring spoons

Digital Scale

Zyp primer

Assorted fine and medium frits (96 or 90 COE)

Dichroic frit flakes

You can watch a Youtube video here:  Making Snowflakes with Colour de Verre Molds - Bing video




Colour de Verre snowflakes are amazing.  They are great as an ornament or gift, or you can use them as embellishments on other projects. 

Colour de Verre introduced the first snowflake mold in 2012. Both the 2012 and 2013 molds are being retired soon.  If you have one, lucky you!  They are so scarce, we can’t find any. 



The 2017 snowflakes are the largest at 5.5 inches.  There are two separate molds, one released in January and one in December

The 2016 is also large and you get two designs.

Colour De Verre 2015 Snowflake Mold (stainedglassexpress.com)



Colour De Verre 2014 Snowflake Mold (stainedglassexpress.com)



Colour de Verre recommends that all of their molds be prepped with Zyp spray.


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Artist Spotlight: Mary Harris

Artist Spotlight: Mary Harris

Mary Harris is an artist from Wisconsin. She has a studio called Harris Art Glass. Mary came to my attention once before when she was winner in the Gallery of Excellence Art Competition at the Glass and Bead Show. This year she was a double winner in the same competition at the 2023 Glass and Bead Show. Below are her two winning entries.

Tree of Life

1st place popular vote

Professional Stained Glass

Under the Cherry Tree

1st place popular vote

Professional Mosaic

Below is a link to Mary’s website where you can see more of her amazing work. Portfolio | Harris Art Glass Glass Craft & Bead Expo | Las Vegas | Welcome! (glasscraftexpo.com) This is the link where you can go and see the other amazing entries in the Gallery of Excellence. Once you click on it go to the top and click on Gallery of Excellence. Red letters in the white bar.
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How To: Frame Stained Glass Panels using Zinc Came

How To: Frame Stained Glass Panels using Zinc Came

Intermediate / Advanced

How To:

Frame Stained Glass Panels using Zinc Came

"Came" is a channel made from a variety of metals and is available in various shapes. The two most commonly used metals used to manufacture came are lead and zinc. We carry multiple sizes of both Zinc Came and Lead Came on our website. Zinc Came is available in different widths. The wider the width, the stronger it is. Zinc Came is rigid and can be a challenge to cut. It lends itself well to geometric shapes. When used as a border for a stained glass panel, it will provide a nice clean, strong edge to that panel. Choose a width based on the look of your piece as well as the size. “U” Came / Capping Came is easier to work with but has little strength. Materials & Tools Needed:
  1. Your Stained Glass Panel
  2. Your choice of Zinc Came
  3. Your choice of hangers (we show Handy Hangers in this tutorial)
  4. Ceiling Tile or equivalent heat resistant work surface
  5. Push Pins (Straight Edges – Optional)
  6. Sharpie
  7. Ruler / Measuring Tool
  8. Fine toothed Hack Saw or Came Saw (Miter Box – Optional)
  9. Metal File
  10. (Masking or Electrical Tape - Optional)
  11. Soldering Iron, Stand, and Damp Sponge
  12. 60/40 Solder
  13. Flux and Flux Brush

Note: Click on photos to view them larger!

Note: Steps will not always happen in order, especially measuring and cutting. You will be going back and forth!

Measuring the Came: Cut a short piece (1” to 2”) of your Came to use as a marking gauge. Lay it over another piece of came (both pieces are laying on their side as though they were on a finished piece!) and mark the width of the gauge (both sides) onto the gauge came. Draw a diagonal from corner to corner of these marks. This will give you a 45° line to cut on.

Making an accurate mitered edge

Place a length of came on the bottom edge of your panel. Place your mitered gauge next to it so the end of the center channel lines up with the end of the glass panel. Mark the 45° angle onto the frame came piece.

Using gauge came to measure and mark frame cameAfter cutting, you can see the center channel lines up with the end of the glass panel

Cutting the Came: Note: After all this, you may find that a Miter Box will simplify this process! Place the blade of your saw over the cut line and saw straight down. Let the saw blade do the work, do not force the cut. Cut all sides and make allowances for hangers. Dress each cut with a file to remove any burrs and to fine tune the angle that you cut.

Filing the came

Look at that beautifully fitted mitered edge!

Hangers, Part 1: Plan ahead for what type of hanger you will use. We recommend Handy Hangers, which require a tiny modification to the top piece of zinc came. See the three-step photo below that shows a small notch filed off the top piece. When dry-fit together, the Handy Hanger will slide down into the side piece of zinc through that notch (note that it is shown flat in the second picture, and is then rotated sideways in the third photo to fit into the side.) Making room for a Handy Hanger Soldering the Zinc Came Frame: NOTE: Soldering Zinc requires more heat than copper foil. Dry fit the sides to your stained glass panel and secure in place with pins.

(Popsicle Sticks can be used as shims under the glass, if tipping is noticed.)

NOTE: Tape can be used to control/contain the solder. (If used, the tape must be stuck to the zinc prior to the flux application.) NOTE: Flux should be applied 1 joint at a time for best results. Side 1 : Solder each edge joint (all that are touching the side of the zinc came), working all the way around the 4 sides until all of the intersecting joints are soldered to the zinc came. Hangers, Part 2 : If using Handy Hangers, tin them and slide them into the notch you created. If using another hanging method, either make or prepare (modify) the hangers to fit into the vertical zinc channels. Tin the hangers and place them into the channels. They will be soldered in place at the same time as the corners are done. Corners : Apply a small amount of solder, using the chisel edge of the soldering iron, directly over the corner seam. Keep applying small amounts of solder in this manner until you see that it has penetrated the seam.

Details of angled soldering iron and finished and unfinished joints

Side 2 : Carefully flip your panel and repeat the same process as Side 1. Finishing : Clean the panel thoroughly. If needed, oooo Steel Wool can be used on the Zinc Came to brighten it or remove oxidation caused by the flux. If you Patina your panel, your best results will be achieved by using “JAX” Pewter Black. Wax and hang. Cleaners and Polishing (stainedglassexpress.com) Note: Completed panels can be heavy. Use a chain or cable that will easily support its weight. Sources: Everything Stained Glass – Molly Frances Ezine Articles – Maurine Summy Living Sun Glass – Samantha Calder James A Veilleux Researched, Interpreted and Arranged By: James A Veilleux 04/05/2023
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Tools for Effective Soldering

Tools for Effective Soldering

How to Effectively Solder

Stained Glass

By James Veilleux

Note: Soldering Stained Glass can be a fun but sometimes frustrating process. There is a definite learning curve involved but, with time and practice, the end result will be worth the effort. In order to even begin the soldering process, you need to have the right tools to successfully create a stained glass piece.

Below are the 7 essential items necessary to Effectively Solder Stained Glass

  1. Soldering Iron
The soldering Iron is the most important tool that you will need to solder stained glass. The soldering iron is used to melt the solder that will fuse the foiled stained glass pieces together. It is important to use a high-quality soldering iron, preferably with a means of controlling the temperature, to make the soldering process successful and increase the soldering iron's longevity. The soldering iron should be hot enough to allow the solder to flow over the seam of the foiled glass pieces. Too much heat will allow the solder to pass through the seam and possibly crack the glass. Soldering Irons & Accessories (stainedglassexpress.com) soldering iron
  1. Solder
Solder is a metal alloy that is used to join metal parts together. Solder comes in different variations, but for stained glass, the best choice is a solid-core wire solder. However, you will need to choose the solder that works best for your project or piece. Solder is usually made of Tin and one or two other metals such as Lead, Copper, or Silver. Solder comes in both Lead and Lead-Free variations. Stained glass uses solid solder with an external flux. 60/40 Solder is typically used for stained glass projects. The first number is the percentage of Tin (SN) while the second number represents the percentage of Lead (PB). 50/50 Solder is sometimes used for certain applications and requires more heat to work due to the increased lead content. Solder (stainedglassexpress.com) roll of solderroll of solder
  1. Flux
Flux is the chemical solution that is used to clean and join the metals. It helps the solder flow with the Copper Foil or Came. It is placed on the joint before the soldering begins to create a strong bond and hold. Flux comes in either a liquid, gel, or paste form. You will need to find a flux that works with your solder. Flux comes in different forms including Organic Acid, Water-Soluble, Inorganic and other forms. Never use directly from the original container in order to preserve the strength of the flux. Soldering Flux (stainedglassexpress.com) white bottle with blue lid contains flux oleic acid bottle white bottle with green lettering contains flux bottle with purple lid and label contains gel flux
  1. Sponge or Brass Wool
A Damp Sponge or Brass Wool specifically made for soldering is important to have on-hand to help while you solder to help preserve your soldering iron tips. When you solder a stained glass piece, you need to apply solder throughout the process or project. However, before adding any solder to your soldering iron, you need to clean the tip by lightly dragging it across a slightly damp sponge or inserting it into dry brass wool to remove the oxides and re-tin the tip. This needs to be repeated throughout the soldering process when you notice that the tip has oxidized (blackened). a rectangular yellow kitchen sponge
  1. Flux Applicator or Brush
A Flux Brush or Applicator (Q-Tip)is used to apply the Flux onto the metal areas to be joined. The Flux Brush can last a long time if rinsed at the end of each soldering session. If not rinsed, the flux will stay active and corrode the bristles and metal handle of the brush. Flux Brush 12 Pack (stainedglassexpress.com)
  1. Heat Resistant Surface
You will need a Flat, Burn-Resistant surface to work on your soldering project. This surface should allow pins to be used for the purpose of securing your stained glass project from movement. A ceiling tile is a good choice for this surface. Always use the unpainted side to work on.
  1. Gloves and Mask
If you are using Leaded Solder, it is important to wear chemical resistant gloves at a minimum. A Mask and Safety Glasses are recommended for protection from all flux fumes and solder splatter. We also highly recommend keeping Heavy Metal removing soap on hand at all times.

Credit for Info:




Stellar Technical Products

Researched, Interpreted and Arranged By: James A Veilleux 03/08/2023
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