A Creative Resolution: How to Use Holey Molds

How-To

The holiday season is over. The ham has been eaten and all your resolutions have been made (and probably broken). The time for making and giving out all your large and time consuming presents has passed...now what? Creatively stunted? Need a change of pace or something that is easy, simple yet stunning?

I know around this time of the year, I sure do. I need an activity that has a fast turn around time and the oomph to push me to create more. Sometimes just the act of creating can push you kicking and screaming through a creative block. Enter the fun (and inexpensive) holey molds. What a perfect way to use up scrap glass AND to produce a baseline piece from which to creatively expand upon. The best part? As the name denotes...they fuse with the hold already MADE - no messy, time consuming drilling! (Which, in the dead of winter in Maine - for me - is a pain in my rear as I have to go out in my unheated barn to drill.)

Beware though...they are totally addictive. The minute Im done with one kiln load...I immediately fill em up for another go round.

The process is very easy - spray molds with mold release, fill with frit (I use crushed scrap glass) and fuse. Viola, a wonderful piece of glass, complete with a hole for stringing, that is as amazing as the glass you add. Dont just stick with one color either - mix it all up!

My suggestions for filling:

Use 90% cathedral glass so you can see through the piece. Its no fun if you cant see the wonderful accidental swirls and mixes of the different colors. The opaque pieces along with transparent give you a very interesting marble effect. Much like lampworked glass.

Bury bits of goodness in the middles for fun and unusual outcomes. I like to use small gears or lock washers. Bubble powder is fun to use as are little bits of aluminum foil that melt away leaving amazing shiny bubbles.

Make sure the top layer of glass is a large mix of clear - this way you have a clear cap in order to see all the fun mix of glass in the middle and bottom.

Mix in small bits of scrap dicro to add sparkle.

*A bit of warning. Dont be tempted to fill the molds too full lest you will loose that wonderful curved edge. Using the principle that glass naturally wants to be 1/8 thick, only fill it as much as you need to achieve that outcome. It might take a few tries to gauge what is enough and what is too little/much - but those testers can always be crushed up and used again.

The hearts are perfect for Valentines Day. String up with a piece of ribbon as a stunning window ornament or an eye catching addition to a wrapped gift. You can also add a jump ring and throw it on a chain as a pendant.

Think of these little bits of molded glass as jumping off points. You can incorporate them in larger projects or use a bunch of them to make an intricate mobile for a loved one.

I think my point in all of this is to just KEEP MAKING things. As long as you are creating, your mind is being challenged. Dont just look at these molds as a way to produce an end product...use them to create the building blocks of other projects.

I wish you all a creative New Year.

Maggi Blue is a glass artisan, designer and writer. You can read more about her and her art on her website.

The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of Delphi Glass. Delphi Glass makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.
Delphi Glass reserves the right to delete, edit, or alter in any manner it sees fit blog entries or comments that it, in its sole discretion, deems to be unacceptable.

3 comments
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Chandra A.  •  January 23, 2013
@jbls I am truly sorry to hear about the trouble you’ve had with that mold (sounds like Delphi item #80748). I am quick to suggest you using a boron nitride spray (Delphi item#93701) with the next new mold you receive. I have had much better results using the spray versus the primo primer for molds that have that post/small negative space.
Joe B.  •  August 29, 2012
Over a short time I have purchased 14 of the wine glass molds, LF72. Why so many? After firing at a schedule suggested by Creative Paradise, the mold maker, and using Primo Primer, also at their suggestion, I find that the glass only releases with a gentle tap on a folded towel. The problem is that the center cone comes out as well. I'm not tapping hard. It just sticks to the glass and I wish I knew what I was doing incorrectly. I now have to re-order. Joe Bennett
jenny s.  •  January 09, 2012
I love the hearts! They seem a bit big for pendants, though (I prefer smaller), but I love the idea of hanging them up as decorations. I'll have to make some for my etsy shop :) www.etsy.com/shop/eyeseesage
ABOUT ME
Maggi Blue

Maggi Blue

Maggi Blue would be the last person to call herself an artist. She is a lover of color, a collector of skills and always curious at heart. She has been a graphic designer for over a decade and has been absorbing other mediums like glass, metals, printmaking, fiber (to name a few) like a sponge. She is currently a glass artisan, metalsmith and designer on the coast of Maine. She works out of her studio when she can and can always be found online. www.magpiecreative.com is her passion, www.creativitychronicles.com is her dumping ground, www.facebook.com/magpiecreative and @magpiecreative (twitter) are her online voice.