Studio Sneak Peek: Forms of Glass
When you see us at shows or stop by the studio, you'll often hear us talk about sheet glass, frit, and stringers. But what does that mean?
Half sheets of opaque glass.
The most common type of glass we use is sheet glass from Bullseye in Portland, Oregon. The sheets are made by ladling a gob of molten glass onto a rolling mill and rolling it out into a very, very long sheet of 3 mm thick glass that extends across the factory floor.
It is hand-crafted using highly-protected recipes, which are adapted daily depending on the furnaces and other factors. We purchase our glass in 3mm thick half sheets which are about 17" x 20". Occassionally, we buy full sheets which are 35" x 20", but their size makes them harder to cut in our studio.
In addition, we use glass frit, which is glass that is ground into different sizes. Frit typically comes in four sizes:
Powder - which is the consistency of cinnamon
Fine - which is like small grains of sand
Medium - which is about the same size as quinoa grains
Coarse - which is like small peas
At Blazing Star Arts, we make frits as well using a food mill. This gives us two additional sizes and access to endless combinations of colors. The photo below shows the four standard sizes of frits, all in transparent green.
Additionally, we use stringers, which are 17" strings of glass in either 2mm, 1mm, or .5mm widths, and ribbons which are flattened pieces of glass.
Of course, there are many other types and variations of glass, from vitrigraph pull and rods to murrini, millefiori, confetti, and more.
We know that fused glass has a language of its own. We hope this sneak peek will make the terminology a bit clearer! If you ever have any questions, let us know.