Fun Fused Project for Valentine’s Day

Fused Glass Bottle StopperIf you’re anything like me, you love adding a little something special to even the shortest of holidays. That little extra piece of décor is the perfect touch to get you into the spirit of the holiday. Take for instance Valentine’s Day, sure you can buy chocolates and flowers but those only last a few days, if you’re lucky!  Make yourself or your sweetie something that will last for ages and hey you can use it all year round too!

It just isn’t Valentine’s Day without a nice bottle of wine and a bottle of wine just isn’t complete without a schnazzy new bottle stopper! I love this project because you can make a fun and fantastic fused glass piece in less than two hours using the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln, and most of the time needed in this project is for cooling and drying! Not feeling the bottle stopper vibe? Create a pendant instead by applying a bail instead of a bottle stopper blank!

Find the pattern and instructions for this sweet fused glass bottle stopper here in our Creative Corner. Looking for a Fuseworks Microwave Kiln in your area? Check out our Store Locator for local and online dealers.

Bringing on the Bling with Mark Montano and the Fuseworks Kiln

Big Ass Book of Bling If you haven’t already noticed, there is a jewel of a new book on the market and its glistening above all other craft books currently on the market! The ever talented Mark Montano, the brilliant mind that brought you Dollar Store Décor, Pulp Fiction: Perfect Paper Projects, The Big Ass Book of Crafts, has just released his latest and greatest collection of jewelry and fashion accessory projects perfect for beginners and experienced crafter alike.

The Big Ass Book of Bling is like a multi-faceted diamond, each facet represents countless cute and clever jewelry and accessory projects which involve upcycling, and using plenty of stealthy craft supplies you probably already have on hand, from paper, plastic bags and pins to leather, rhinestones and lace this book features it all!  But our favorite part of this brilliant new read is the chapter– Glassterpiece. In this chapter, Mark uses our Fuseworks Microwave Kiln to put his unique shine on fused glass jewelry as well as giving readers a completely new way to look at jewelry findings!

We absolutely love Mark’s style and his genius crafting resourcefulness, we just had to sit down and ask him all the dirty details on all of his “craftpertiece.” Read on to find out more about Mark’s style, inspirations and what he’s working on!

How did you get your start in the crafting industry?

The crafting industry found me actually!  I wrote my first DIY book 12 years ago based on my articles in Cosmo Girl!     magazine.  It was called “Super Suite” and it was a bedroom makeover guide for teen girls filled with home decor DIY projects.  I kept writing books, and doing TV and the whole time I was getting known for my DIY projects.  I got invited to a CHA show in California  and found an entire world of people who enjoy what I do. That’s how it happened.

What inspired you to write the Big Ass Book of Bling?

20 Years in the fashion industry in NYC.  I was a fashion designer and I owned boutiques and had  huge runway shows and I would make the jewelry that we sold and used in our shows.  I left fashion for TV and writing and I missed it so I thought it would be fun to revisit my fashion career and write a book about the jewelry I used to make.

What was your favorite creation using the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln?

Mark Montano Fused Rings

 Probably the rings, they are simple and truly show of the unique qualities of the fused glass pieces.  I love adding the brass stampings to them and even though they are clearly for women, I can’t help putting them on when I’m at home and wearing them around the house.  They make   me feel good.

What inspires you when you are creating something new?

Gosh, inspiration is a process for me.  It comes from working with the materials and letting my imagination take its own road.  Inspiration is a gift, don’t you think?  I mean, when you really think about it, it’s something that comes to you.  So, I work with the materials and wait for the universe to be generous with me.  Sounds much more “new age-y” than I really am, but there you go!

What makes your designs unique from everyone else’s?

I think it’s because I don’t care about trends.  Trend has the word “end” in it and by the time something is a trend I believe it’s over, at least for me.  I don’t pay attention to them and just do my own thing.  When people follow their heart and their own individuality, I think they are much more apt to find something unique and wonderful.

Who’s work, glass or otherwise, do you most admire?

To be honest, because of Fuseworks and my microwave kiln, I now admire all glass artists.  It’s   such a wonderful art form and I don’t think people realize how complex it can be.  Now when I see hand blown glass or intricate glass pieces I’m much more blown away by them. I recently visited the Met in NYC and saw some terrific ancient glass and thought, WOW, that took some real talent!  Before I wouldn’t take the time to really look at it.

What advice would you give other artists/crafters?

Dive in and get dirty.  Nothing truly interesting comes from planning.  When you’re creative, it   comes from DOING!

What’s next for the fabulous Mark Montano?

I’m working on television project and have 2 books planned for this year.  Actually, I’m already tired just thinking about it!  I am going to be continuing my Youtube channel Make Your Mark! series because it’s just fun to do.  Other than that, I’ll be getting dirty in my studio and seeing what I can come up with.

When out for drinks with your pose, what’s your favorite cocktail?

A vodka gimlet, straight up with Kettle One.  It’s delicious and very 1950’s.

And there you have it folks, the inside scoop from the sparkling and illuminating artist – Mark Montano!

Mark Montano

Stay up to date on Mark and his crafty happening by clicking the links below!

WEBSITE

YOUTUBE 

BLOG

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

MARK’S BOOKS

Weekender Project: Fused Glass Garden Cuties

Summer is a great time to relax in the garden, add a little interest to yours with a few adorable plant stakes! Normally, I’m not a fan of bugs, but I wouldn’t mind having these cuties around!

Use these instructions to make a lady bug, butterfly or a dragonfly and a swell nametag for your plants! And the best part is you don’t need to heat up the whole house to fuse these little guys, all you need is your microwave and a Fuseworks kiln!

Check out our Creative Corner for more fun summer projects and find us on Facebook for more great projects!

St. Patrick’s Day Fused Glass Faves

Have you ever been pinched for not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day? I sure have, and you know it’s always a hoard of pinches too, not just one or two.

Since St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, we just had to post some of our favorite green fused jewelry projects so we can help you get away from those mean pinchers!

All of these fused projects can be found in our Creative Corner! Start fusing now before you get pinched!

1. Super Mod Pendant – Be groovy and green!

2. Cosmic Orange Magnet (or pin) – don’t be fooled by it’s name, this magnet includes green too and if you replace the magnet with a pin back or bail, it becomes a piece a jewelry!

3. Bedazzled Earrings – Just a hint of green will do!

4. Vidrio Azul Florez – Who could pinch someone who’s wearing green flowers?

5. Glass Bottle Necklace – This one is a twofer! The pendants are green and you can be green by upcyling a bottle!

To find the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln and glass in a store near you, visit our store locator.

Have a happy and crafty St. Patrick’s Day!

Weekender Project: Little Charmer Bracelet

St. Patrick’s Day is next Saturday!  Do you need a little luck of the Irish?

Create a lucky charm bracelet in just a few short hours with the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln. Use some hearts, stars and rainbows or horseshoes and clovers to make sure that Irish luck stays with you all day. Don’t forget to tie in some green!

The instructions for this fused charm bracelet can be found here.

Be sure to stop by our Creative Corner for more fun fusing projects and to find the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln in a store near year, check out our store locator!

Weekender Project: Little Flowers Fused Bottle Stopper

Dreaming of spring? Warm up your weekend with a fabulous Fuseworks project. These little millefiori flowers will be your boost to get through the last month of winter. All you need is the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln Kit and your microwave to start fusing beautiful pendants and home decor like this pretty bottle stopper.

The instructions for this fused bottle stopper can be found here. You can find many more fun fusing projects in our Creative Corner and if you are looking for the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln near you, swing by our store locator.

Fusing Organic Inclusions with the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln

I love using inclusions with the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln. A little while ago I wrote about  bubble inclusions, you can read about that here. Some of my favorite fused glass inclusions are organic inclusions because they make such beautiful pieces. Organic materials such as leaves, thin vines and feathers will burn away, leaving their impression behind in the glass resulting in a fossil-like effect.

There are a few guidelines that you should stick  to when including organic materials in your fused pieces:

 

  1. Make sure you only fuse very thin materials – like the thickness of a leaf – or you just won’t get your desired effect
  2. Make sure you only use dry materials; if the object is wet, it will not burn off
  3. Use contrasting or bright colors to make the image stand out
  4. Do not use this method to fuse plastic, paper, thick wood, food, hair, fabric or string, and be careful not to fuse in-organic materials as they may be toxic!

It only takes a few simple steps to create these beautiful pieces in your Fuseworks Microwave Kiln:

  1. Spray inexpensive hairspray on a small piece of fern or leaf.
  2. Dip material into glass powder and place it on a sheet of kiln paper on the base of the kiln.
  3. Cover it with one layer of glass.
  4. Put the kiln in a microwave and cover base with the lid. Fuse at the following temperatures: 600 watt microwave (50%) for 2 minutes, 960 watt microwave (80%) for 2 minutes, 1200 watt microwave (100%) for 30 seconds.
  5. Remove from microwave and allow cooling with the lid on for 45 minutes.

Be sure to visit the Creative Corner for more creative inspiration and to find Fuseworks near you, visit our store locator.