Using Steider Studios Glass Medium in Candy Molds
June 24, 2010
Effective 4.1.15 this part of my business is for sale. I have just sold the last of SSGM and will not be re-ordering supplies to continue selling it. If I find a buyer I will re-direct all links to the new owner so that my hard work doesn’t fade away. Thank you so much for supporting my efforts all these years.
After mixing my glass paste, or glass clay as discussed here, I might choose to use candy or soap molds to form little critters instead of hand sculpting them. I can make multiples in minutes instead of painstakingly trying to reproduce each one by hand.
When using candy molds, I can’t always find the shapes I want. Recently I discovered that a friend from high school has a candy mold store, “Get Suckered” with thousands of molds to choose from!
By the way, you can mix colors to produce almost any color under the sun. Keep in mind you still can’t mix red and blue and expect purple…no you can’t… you’ll get brown. You’ll also get brown if you mix any of the reactive colors together, but there are some lovely browns to be had. You CAN, get hundreds (maybe thousands) of shades of green. And blue. You can get rich shades of each color by mixing in a small portion of it’s opposite. You can also alter the color by mixing in small amounts of colored mica. I use one heaping spoonful of powdered glass to one tiny spoon (see the tiny spoon on my website) of mica. You can also dilute colors by mixing with clear. Start with a 50:50 mix, then add more clear in repeatable increments. The color possibilities are endless.
When you have your glass paste, or clay mixed (see this post for mixing the medium and powdered glass – don’t forget to wear your respirator or disposable particulate mask) use a palette knife to press the paste firmly into your mold. If using clear molds, you can carefully turn it over (or hold it above your head and look up at the underside) to be sure you’ve pressed out all the air bubbles. If you see a bubble, press firmly into that spot until you press the bubble out. You can also pack the paste a little at a time, in layers to avoid trapping bubbles. This method is especially helpful for larger molds.
Place the filled mold into a baggie and seal it so you don’t have granules of glass escaping into your freezer. Freeze for an hour or so, then promptly remove and pop the components out by gently pressing on the back of the mold. Carefully place the frozen components onto paper towels to dry.
I like to use a food dehydrator to speed up the drying process. When teaching a one-day workshop, we have to use hair dryers to speed up the drying process. If you don’t have a dehydrator, simply set your pieces aside for a few days and let them dry naturally.
Once dry, glass clay is very fragile, like a meringue cookie so use care in handling it. Gently peel off the paper towel from the bottom. Using an emery board and wearing your respirator, file off any rough edges along the bottom. Use a wooden skewer to sand off any rough spots in your details. You can use a skewer or a dental tool to carve in additional lines if desired. Just remember to take care as it’s fragile. Did I already say it’s fragile? It’s very fragile!
The advantage to using Glass Medium instead of a slurry without a binder is that you can coldwork your edges and carve in additional detail prior to firing. You end up with a nicer finish on your fired glass candy mold sculpture.
What to do with them? I like giving them as a token to someone who has purchased my work. I put them in my garden, Use as drawer pulls; openers on jewelry boxes; glue a bail on, wire wrap, or drill a hole and wear as jewelry, ….what do you do with yours?
By the way, my next post will be announcing the product launch, at long last … Steider Studios Glass Medium!