I’ve bought a lot of frit (crushed glass) over the years, as I like to give more texture and movement to the surface of my beads. Mostly I have purchased solid colors by the half kilo rather than the custom blends out there. I store smaller quantities in small plastic containers (like the ones that the custom blends come in) that I purchased separately.
When we built the studio I was able to factor in a storage solution. I decided to use a corner behind the kiln that would be dead space otherwise. The shelves you see below are actually narrow wood strips from IKEA that can also be used for propping up pictures.
It’s great to have all that frit on hand! But I can only use so many colors at once so, like with my glass storage, I have developed a way where I can keep smaller amounts at my fingertips without taking up too much of my work space.
I purchased glass Pyrex custard cups that come in sets of four. I picked mine up at Target but you can get them most anywhere there is cooking stuff…even at the grocery store, I think.
If I keep them only about half full I can stack them and save bench space.
Stacking them this way works almost as well as having a lid on them to keep stray particles and flying glass out. Some of them come with plastic covers and I often use one of them to lay over the top-most cup.
I have about eight of these cups on my work space. It helps to have a couple/few empty for that time when you are struck with inspiration in the middle of a bead and need a place to pour in a new color. When they all get full, to transfer the frit back into the original jar I use a kitchen funnel.
It may seem really simple and there are lots of ways to store frit however, there are many reasons I like this system.
1. The cups have wide mouths so it’s easy to use a teaspoon to scoop up the frit and roll the bead in it without spilling it all over my work surface as the bead pushes through the frit.
2. The wide mouths are also wide enough to accomodate sprinkling the frit over the hot bead without making a mess too.
2. Being glass makes them impervious to flying hot glass. They won’t melt if the hot mandrel ends up touching them when applying the frit either.
3. When they’re stacked, you can see through them so you know what colors are where. No guessing like with the metal tins some people use.
4. They nestle nicely.
5. They can be used for other things like a water dish and propping up test beads on mandrels while they’re cooling. I have one dedicated for white enamel sprinkling too but don’t recommend this method for storing enamels because the enamel will stick to the bottom of the cups when nestling them. Also, enamels shouldn’t be open to the air anyway.
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