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A Glass Blower’s Companion with Jason Michael -Helping Today's Glass Artist Think Like an Artistic Entrepreneur

May 20, 2019

WyzGuy Minute EP.6:Cleanliness is next to Godliness

 As many episode before this, current circumstances become the inspiration behind an episode.  This one is no different Recently I’ve been experimenting with application of color and new prep techniques and what dawned on me is the only way I’m ever going to have a successful result is if the glass I’m using is clean.

Now this might sound like a duhhh type of moment but as simple as this can be,  its easy to look past and not follow thru on.  Look at the glass you have in your studio.  Not the finished products but the raw materials.  How are you storing it?  Is everything exposed to the elements of your studio?   Are your rods and tubing of clear stored in the boxes they came in or are they all unpacked and stored on a shelf?

 How about your color?   Are you using pvc tubes to keep each color or size of clear glass rods sorted and separate? 

 The reason I ask is if your glass is exposed to the elements of the studio and not stored in a sealed container its being exposed to the environment and picking up the dust, dirt and grime in the air.  The smallest particles will potentially coat your glass and will show up in your work if not cleaned properly.  Even the glass that is kept stored away in the boxes they came in are going to have traces of some particles that need to be cleaned.  Even the oils from your hands will adhere to the glass and show up in your work.  This is why it’s important to not only evaluate how you store your raw materials but also how you’re cleaning your glass if you’re even cleaning it to begin with.

 First let's talk about storing your materials. With the variety of lengths that glass material comes in it can be a daunting task to find the right containers for storing materials.  If you use the boxes that the clear rod and tubing come in you won't have to keep a bunch of large plastic containers in the studio.  For color rods and even clear rods you can use PVC tubes to safely and neatly keep your color separated and out of the studio elements. Just make sure to buy the caps that appropriately fit the tubing and these can be stored on a shelf or rack. There are many options. Personally I drilled pilot holes on one side of 6 tubes which I was then able to fasten to the shelf and made them the bottom set. This will create a stable base for other tubes to rest of and not roll around. This is just one option.  now you can use these to store your color and clear rods.

 After you create a bunch of prep like vac stacks or sections for a larger build a great way to store them is to find a rolling bread rack with separate trays. They come with a plastic cover and this an ideal environment.  Also use plastic wrap to literally wrap your prepped sections for an extra barrier and stored in plastic bins with lids.  this creates a simple way to keep your prep clean and organized plus easy to grab when traveling to other studios to work.

  Rolling bread rack with cover link:


 So let’s talk cleaners.   Most glass cleaners contain ammonia and other chemicals that will stay on the surface of the glass even if it looks clean and dried.   Cloths from your dryer can also leave residue on your glass if any type of fabric softener was used.   Rubbing alcohol is ideal but because of the evaporation factor it may not go as far or last as long. Also as a warning..If you apply rubbing alcohol to hot glass it could potentially combust...


So what should we all use?? 

 A natural remedy that is used in a lot of households is a mixture of water and vinegar and some sort of paper.  Newspaper is commonly used for cleaning windows as it doesn’t leave any streaks.  But according to some research Windex brand glass cleaner has been proven to be the best..



Glass Cleaner Ingredients

  • 2 cups of water (distilled or filtered is best so it doesn’t leave residue)
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 10 drops essential oil of choice- I use lemon (optional- but it helps cut the vinegar smell)



A spray bottle with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water is also a good remedy.


As you can tell there's many ways to clean glass and many reasons why. Just remember clean glass will lead to better clarity in your final product. In the end  Create good habits that will lead to you creating your best work. 


And this has been your WyzGuy radio minute


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