Thursday, October 10, 2013

What To Do With Scrap Glass

What to do with scrap glass is something we all have to contend with if you have been creating stained glass projects for any length of time.

But what exactly is scrap glass?

In our society where waste is commonplace; I believe that there is no such thing as scrap glass or scrap anything for that matter.

Scrap glass is nothing more than unused small pieces of beautiful colored glass.  Like garbage, scrap to one individual is a gold find to another. 

I'm quite sure that L.C. Tiffany didn't regard the tiny pieces left over from his lampshades as scrap.  He simply used them to create other more intricate patterns.

Other than the obvious uses for "scrap glass" (mosaics, wall hangings, small suncatchers, etc.) the real problem is how to organize unused pieces so you can easily find them in the creation of new projects.

Organization by size, the type of stained glass and the color will bring some order to the chaos of your scrap glass box.

Once order is achieved, you can use your fertile mind to create uses for each category or mixture of stained glass categories.

Now, what to do with scrap glass?
  • Most stained glass artisans use their scraps in mosaics of some type.  
Smaller scraps can be glued to a variety of bottles, plates, trays, objects, etc. to create unique mirrors, picture frames, stepping stones, suncatchers, wall hanging, table tops, or even to fill in small floor areas.  

If you are using small scrap glass for any floor area where there is a danger of being cut by the sharp edges, it pays to "ease" the edges of the glass shards by tossing them in a rock tumbler like the  Lortone 3a Tumbler - 3lb Capacity - TUM-110.00 pictured at the above left.
  • If you are into creating unique lampshades like L.C. Tiffany;  scrap glass already has a great end use for the creation of intricate lampshade patterns.
  • Smaller sized stained glass suncatchers are always a great end use for smaller pieces of scrap glass. 
  • Windchimes and mobiles are a great end use for scrap glass pieces.   
The smaller pieces are perfect for making small birds, butterflies, crosses, free style pieces, etc.  

Small wire loops can be used for the hangings or you can drill the glass when practical to do so.
  • Scrap glass can be slumped and fused to create a variety of projects  if you happen to be the owner of a kiln. 
Finally, if you have run out of fresh ideas you can always sell your scrap glass on eBay, donate it to a shcool or a church group, or just give it all away to someone who really needs it.

Remember, there is really no such thing as scrap glass.

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