September Fused Glass Book Reviews
The Joy of Coldworking by Johnathon Schmuck
I like learning about different techniques that can be used with fused glass therefore, for the most part I really liked this book (the pictures are magnificent). That being said, “The Joy of Coldworking” is more for a studio that is setting up a coldworking area and looking for the best equipment to train students on coldworking various types of glasswork, not for the “normal” fused glass artist. Moreover, I would not attempt some of these techniques or use the advanced pieces of coldworking equipment without instruction from a master in the field.
First let me tell you I’ve had this book for a while and although I coldwork almost every fused glass piece I make (shape, grind, sandblast, etc) I don’t know all the ways to coldwork fused glass and was a little intimidated by the thought so I was a little apprehensive about reading this book.
When I decided to start reading my fused glass books, I decided I would read them cover to cover including the introductions. I must tell you I really enjoy reading the introductions, they typically give you the background of the author but also his/her mindset. I love that because it helps me understand the book and its purpose better. The “Joy of Coldworking” introduction is beautifully written and makes you look forward to reading it. The book also provided some historical information about glass dating back to 3500 BC and coldworking to 2500 BC in Egypt and Babylonia. As I have mentioned I love history and some of the fused glass artwork pictures in this book are extraordinary.
“The Joy of Coldworking” also covered every coldworking piece of equipment I have (sandblaster, saws, grinders, hand-lapping pads, etc) to ones I only dream of (wet belt sander, etc.,) to those I have never even heard of (rociprolap, etc). It provided basic instructions an each piece of equipments purpose, care, and safety requirements. However, there are not projects or procedures to coldwork a piece of glass from start to finish. I did like the section that discussed how to know when apiece is complete. I also agree that a high polish is not always the answer. I love a satin finish or a sandblasted matt finish.
Bottom line, I liked the book but I do not see me using it much for actual coldworking. Sometimes a book can be great but not necessarily fit ones day to day requirements.
The second book I’d like to review is also about coldworking fused glass.
Coldworking Glass without Machines by Paul Tarlow
BLUF – I like “Coldworking Glass without Machines” by Paul Tarlow. So many fusers new and intermediate have questions regarding coldworking fused glass and this small book will answer the majority of these questions.
Coldworking Glass without Machines explains what coldworking is and when to coldwork. The book also explains what tools and materials are used to coldwork fused glass. The book describes how to use hand coldworking tools and materials verses machines. I also appreciated that the author explained when to use over-glazes and at what temperatures the over-glazes work with. Sometimes that can be a little confusing.
Overall I really like “Coldworking Glass without Machines” and I feel it would help any fused glass artist understand the basics of coldworking fused glass.
Remember Learning is a great thing especially for your passions!
Keeping my Kiln warm,