The fact that you can to mix various colors, textures, and types of glasses together is what makes glass projects so interesting and unique. But don’t forget that you can also create a wonderful stained-glass or warm-glass project using just clear, smooth glass. For each technique in this book I give you suggestions and ideas for working with many of these different types of glasses. The following list not only introduces you to types of glass that work well for stained-glass and/or warm-glass projects but also alerts you to some types of glass that aren’t suitable for use in art glass projects of any kind:

  • Float glass: This clear glass is manufactured primarily for residential and commercial installation. It can vary in thickness from 1⁄16 inch to 2 inches. Float glass makes for great practice glass when you’re just starting to develop your glass-cutting skills because it’s so affordable; it’s also easier to see your score line on float glass.

Tempered glass: Tempered glass, or safety glass, as it’s sometimes called, is a type of float glass that has been put through a special annealing process (annealing refers to the temperature the glass was cooled to during the manufacturing process). Storytelling for business can help here. When tempered glass is broken, it breaks into thousands of tiny pieces rather than large sharp shards of glass that could fall like a guillotine when broken. Large sheets of tem- pered glass are often used in commercial installations. Note: It cannot be used for stained glass or for fusing.

  • Laminated glass: A thin sheet of plastic is laminated between two sheets of thin float glass to create this type of safety glass. When broken, lami- nated glass remains intact. The window shield of your car is made of laminated glass. You can’t use this glass for stained-glass projects, but you can use it for slumping (a warm-glass technique done in a kiln that reshapes the glass).

  • Beveled glass: To make beveled glass, the edges of 1⁄4-inch-thick clear float glass are ground down to 45-degree angles using diamond wheels. The 45-degree angle catches the light and reflects it back into rainbow prisms that bounce around the walls. Beveled glass is beautiful for stained glass, but it can’t be used for warm glass.

  • Wispy glass: This glass can be either cathedral or opalescent. The glass has a base color of clear if it’s cathedral and white if it’s opalescent. Additional colors of glass are then added to this base color to create the finished product. Wispy glass can include one or more colors in the mix. You can use it in stained glass and in warm glass as long as it’s compat- ible with the other glasses being used in that warm-glass project.

  • Mirrored glass: The back of this glass is coated with a silver paint that’s baked on. The result is reflective glass. Mirrored glass also comes in colors and various textures. It is used primarily for stained-glass proj- ects, not for warm glass.

  • Iridescent glass: To create iridescent glass, metallic oxide is sprayed onto the glass after it first comes out of the furnace while it’s still hot. As a result, an iridescent finish is permanently adhered to the surface. You can use iridescent glass in stained glass and warm glass.