Updated: May 3, 2018
Every industry has its dirty little Secrets! Believe me, even the stained glass industry has one or two!
The business of doing stained glass did not just start up 40 years ago like the business of home computers…no…it has been around for hundreds of years. Over those hundreds of years, not much has changed in comparison to other industries. We still cut glass primarily by hand, solder and lead are pretty much unchanged. Sure there are hundreds of technical and equipment changes, for example electric grinders vs hand grinding, and electric soldering irons vs coal heated copper wands. Dispite these small inovations stained glass is still mostly piece work done by hand.
However, the biggest little lie in the glass world is that you have to buy products designed specifically for the industry if you want your work to turn out. Ok, Ok, there are some great tools and products modifications that make things a lot easier. But most of the tools have been adapted and cross marketed from different industries.
My purpose is to expose some of the tools and products that can be swapped out for everyday items or some items that are sold throughout the industry as industry specific which really are not.
Let’s face it, it is getting very expensive to be a glass artist. Let’s try and save some money where we can and have more money left over to put towards the basics, like, glass, solder and lead came that we can’t substitute or source out easily.
As a retailer of equipment and supplies, it may sound like I am cutting off my nose to spite my face. I assure you I am not. I have found my customers very appreciative of my honesty and they become great clients who shop repeatedly at my studio.
So, without further ado, some of the items that have really irritated me over the years!
The first item on the block is: Mark Stay
Mark Stay. It is a handy convenience product that you smear over your tracing marker line on your glass to protect the line from washing away when you are using the grinder.
A great cheaper solution is any dollar store or drug store clearance bin or perhaps tucked back in your bathroom drawer… lip balm/chap stick product. It comes in lipstick type tubes, little pots, little squeeze tube etc. Keep it next to your grinder or saw. You can use your finger for an applicator to minimize wastage.
The last word of advice...Keep it exclusive and don’t put it on your lips!
Stay tuned for more Dirty Little Secrets!