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From HotPotter to HotPotter


In this blog you will find HotPot related tips, advice and how-tos to improve your glass fusing and have an enjoyable time!


Feel free to drop us a question, if it's been on your mind, chances are someone else has been wondering about it too and you'll be doing everybody a big favour :o)

By HotPot Norge, Jan 13 2016 09:00AM

For anyone who's ever worked with 3mm glass or thicker, you've probably come to appreciate the help of the blue runner.

As stained glass artists we were first introduced to the Blue Runner while learning the craft. Sure, I still prefer breaking glass with both thumbs on each side of the scored line. But if you've ever had a particularly small piece of glass where your thumbs have less than a centimeter on each side of the score line to grip, or if you're working with doubled rolled glass, the blue runner is an invaluable friend.

If you're still wondering how to use it, it's quite simple:

See the line or arrow on the head of the runner? That's the right side up.

2) Align that arrow / line exactly on your score line on the glass.

3) Press down gently and the pressure will divide the glass.

If things don't go as planned, one of 3 things must have happened:

a. Your score line did not start off strong - do not recut the glass at the same spot - just rotate the glass and align the runner on the opposite end of the score line and press.

b. Your score line is non existent - in this case you will have to recut your glass on a fresh new spot.

c. Did you check to see if the blue runner is right side up with the arrow / line facing towards you?

Useful tip:

* Always cut glass on its smoothest side. In the case of dichroic glass, cut on the uncoated side.

Hope this post has been useful. Good luck and happy fusing!

The Blue Runner right side up - see the raised line on the jaw bit?
The Blue Runner right side up - see the raised line on the jaw bit?
Breaking on the score line
Breaking on the score line

By HotPot Norge, Jul 20 2015 09:00AM

Chances are if you go to an art and craft fair these days you'll come across some dichroic jewelry for sale.

This colorful, iridescent glass experienced a surge in popularity a few years ago, and the craze shows no signs of stopping any time soon.

The best thing about dichroic glass is that you can make your own jewelry with a HotPot microwave kiln.

A good way of personalizing your jewelry even more is to engrave the dichroic glass with your very own design. It is simply removing a part of the dichroic layer to reveal the image you want.

This can be anything from flowers, trees, tribal motives to letters and numbers and so on.

If there is a Dremel in the house, your life becomes much easier. However, engraving can also be done with any sharp iron item like a nail or a screw.

To etch the glass:

1) Drag the tip of your instrument over the surface - this will scratch / remove the dichroic layer.

The deeper you go, the stronger your lines. Vary the line depth for a more dynamic look.

2) Wipe the glass particles off your etching to reveal your design.

3) Fuse the dichroic glass in your piece as normal and you'll end up with a highly personalized piece.

This etching can be done with Dichroic on Black and Dichroic on Clear glass.

Useful tip:

The deeper you go, the stronger your lines. Vary the line depth for a more dynamic look.

Picture1: Etched dichro on clear
Picture1: Etched dichro on clear
Picture2: Incorporating the piece in a design
Picture2: Incorporating the piece in a design
Picture3: The finished piece after fusing
Picture3: The finished piece after fusing
Another example on a black background
Another example on a black background

By HotPot Norge, Aug 22 2014 10:06PM

What's the difference?

You've probably come across this term in glass fusing, just when you thought you have your dichro glass needs covered, in comes Dichroic on Clear glass.

Do I need it? you may ask. What's the difference between this and Dichroic on Black?

Dichroic on Clear Glass just means that instead of spraying a thin dichoic layer on black opake glass, it is done on a clear glass base.

You are probably used to using Dichroic on black where the colours literally pop and you get dramatic results with very little effort on it's own or on plain glass. But don't underestimate the magic of clear dichroics.

Using Dichroic on Clear Glass:

Unlike Dichroic on Black glass where you can only use one side and it's the shiny metallic side up. With clear dichroics, you can use either side. The top shiny side with the dichroic crystals, once fused will give a rough texture that is cloudy, great for an ethereal effect but blocking most of your work underneath. This technique is best used over plain coloured glass, or even on it's own.

If you flip the dicho over, you now have in effect a capped dichro bit, doing away with having a clear glass cap over. Fusing with the base side up, gives you a smooth finish, but best of all, a piece with a lot of depth as you are now looking down through the clear cap onto the dichro layer underneath, and the colours underneath that. This dichro layer adds a nice shimmery sheen to the colours below in your piece.

Now, you can't get that effect with dichroic on black glass.

Dichroic on Black Glass
Dichroic on Black Glass
Dichroic on Clear Glass
Dichroic on Clear Glass
Dichroic Side Up
Dichroic Side Up
Dichroic side Down
Dichroic side Down

By HotPot Norge, Apr 7 2013 09:00AM

Definition: manipulating glass by raking a tool across the surface of molten glass.

Another possibility is to re-heat the fuse glass till soft and then distort the shape of the glass while it is hot. This opens a whole other way of designing unique items. This technique is named combing.

Plate made by raking through the colours
Plate made by raking through the colours

By HotPot Norge, Mar 31 2013 09:00AM

Definition: Shaping glass by bending it over or into a mold.

After making a fused piece you can place this piece on a mold, apply heat again to soften the glass and it it will melt to the shape of the mold. By doing this you can create all kind of different objects, from vases to bowls to free-standing items. The name for this is slumping.

This technique is very versatile due to the fact that you get to incorporate lots of things like paint, powders, frit, and stringers to copper wire and silver foil to create a truly unique self-designed piece.

Another term for this process is kiln-forming. It's not unusual for the two terms -- "warm glass" and "kiln-forming" -- to be used interchangeably, although in recent years "kiln-forming" has become the preferred term.

Slumped vessel
Slumped vessel
Slumped Free standing item
Slumped Free standing item

By HotPot Norge, Mar 27 2013 02:34PM

A article we found on the net with lots of info about metals in the microwave kiln.

You’ve probably been told that you should never ever put any metal into your microwave and have consequently questioned whether or not it would be sensible to fuse metals to glass in a microwave kiln. Today’s posting is just a short note about this very issue.

I was getting confused by conflicting information so I thought I’d do some reading and experimenting.

I have recollections of a gold-rimmed plate producing sparks conflicting with an observation that metals are used in the inside of a microwave oven and clear evidence that precious metal clays (eg silver) are used in microwave kilns.

And then there’s the metal in the packaging of microwave popcorn.

To learn about the physics relating to metals in a microwave oven I began my search at and trawled the Internet for further reliable information. Information is power.

My understanding is that long thin pieces of metal form an aerial that produces high voltages that turn nearby air into a plasma which allows electrical current to flow to earth - it all sounds reminiscent of electrostatic discharges in physics lessons at school. The answer seems to be that you should avoid using long pieces of metal wire that look like an aerial (which turns out precisely how microwave popcorn packets do their magic).

The picture you see here reveals the results of my first experiments with metals inside

a microwave kiln.

The first experiment was to remove the glue from the back of some copper foil, clean it, then fuse it between two pieces of fusing glass, clear on one side so that I could see what was happening inside the fused area.

You can see that the presence of air and extreme heat within a microwave kiln causes the copper to oxidize – but not consistently so you get some nice variety in the colors.

My next experiment was to fuse six kinds of metal wire that I could find into scraps of fusing glass with a clear cap so that I could see into the fused area. I used different colors of backing glass so that I could remember which piece used which type of metal.

The kinds of wire I tried were brass (intended for picture hanging), copper, tinned copper, zinc-plated iron as well as some high temperature wire purchased from my glass supplier.

I tried a variety of ways to form the loops, as you can see in the picture, from a simple overlap to U-shape or twisted loops.

Getting the glass and metal assemblies to sit still is a bit of bother so more experimentation is needed. The U-shaped loop caused the least trouble.

The twisted wires cause the most trouble.

Perhaps a drop of Glastac is all that’s needed?

All the metals fused into the glass successfully.

What differs between them is how the metals reacted to the heat and the presence of oxygen in the atmosphere that causes oxidation.

Some metal wires, such as the brass wire and zinc-plated iron wire, discolored and produced powdery residues that needed cleaning away.

Others, like the copper wire, turned black through oxidation but produced no messy residues.

I found that each kind of wire could be cleaned up, but not well enough in some cases.

The brass wire was the least satisfactory in my opinion as it remained badly discolored.

I think it’s best to assume you’ll need to apply some copper-coloured or black patination to get a good finish to the loops.

I’m sure I’ll find a use for fused metal loops someday but until then I will continue to use glue-on bails.

So, the answer is that you can put metal into your microwave kiln without causing a major catastrophe but you need to do some experimenting to check the quality of the results before embarking on a major project.

By HotPot Norge, Mar 24 2013 10:00AM

Definition: glass fusing is a process of using heat to melt and join together pieces of glass.

By applying heat to glass it will soften. And if you apply more heat, the glass will become more fluid and will flow together.

Two or more pieces of glass will stick (or "fuse") to each other. When the right kind of glass is heated and then cooled properly, the resulting fused glass piece will be solid and unbroken.

By HotPot Norge, Mar 17 2013 10:00AM

The term warm glass refers to fusing, slumping, and other glass processes which take place at temperatures between 600 and 925 degrees Celsius.

Compared to glassblower's working temperatures, which often exceed 1100 degrees Celsius.

In the next few weeks in Q & A the we'll be covering the basic definitions of:






By HotPot Norge, Feb 24 2013 10:04AM

The last post in Q & A was about preventing bubbles in your designed piece.

The post today is how to create lots of bubbles in your piece and in a place where you want them to appear.

To create bubbles you can use baking powder (sodium bicarbonate) or borax.

To apply to jewelry items, sprinkle the bubble powder over your design and add a glass cap to finish your piece. The best way is to keep the powder away from the edges so the cap can fuse to the base.

The results will vary depending on the amount used.

I noticed when trying the bubble powder that the less I used the better the results came out.

I started with way too much bubble powder and nothing happened at all.

Tried again with a bit less bubble (baking) powder and a blister formed even weakening the strength of the item just by the size and its place close to the surface. This was already good progress from the first pieces I tried.

By scaling down the amount of bubble powder, the best results came with a light dusting of the glass.

To create bubbles only at a pre designed place, mix the bubble powder with water and apply on the chosen place with a small brush. Let it dry totally.

You will notice that applying with the brush will add too much powder to the glass.

The excess powder can easily be rubbed off with your finger when dry. Always let the piece dry before firing.

You will see that in this way you can create bubbles in the places you like and you will have another tool to make pieces that will stand out even more.

Fred Hebing

By HotPot Norge, Feb 2 2013 10:00AM

Bubbles can be caused by many different things.

Uneven stacking of glass can result in air trapped between layers. To prevent this from occurring, check the placement of all the glass pieces to insure they are sitting properly on the base. If possible fill up the small openings between the different glass pieces with a clear glass.

Second, check the glass prior to fusing. Some glass may already contain bubbles inside, which may or may not affect the outcome.