Glass fusers are fond of this little saying. But I am here to tell you that this is indeed not true! Turns out making frit is actually quite tedious.
Glass waste is always a byproduct of making any fused glass or stained glass piece. In an effort to recycle as much of this waste as I possibly can, I bought a frit maker.
The basic process of making frit involves putting scrap glass in a metal tube and then crushing it with another metal tube that has a blade like piece across the bottom. The slightly smaller crushing tube is placed inside the first and then you pound away. After pounding the frit is put into a set of nesting sifters that sort the frit by size. A strong magnet is placed in the glass and moved around to pick up any metal pieces that may have come off of the tube during the pounding.
Here is what I learned.
You can’t overfill the tube. This means it takes more time to make frit than you would think.
Crushing glass is a dusty process. A respirator and googles are a must. I placed a towel over the handle of the frit maker to keep the dust down.
It’s not fun… just sayin.
My conclusion is that I am not about to go making jars of frit from leftover glass. I have a variety of frit that I bought in jars. If I need a color that I don’t have and just need a small amount, I might do this. Maybe. Probably not. This could be something productive to do if there is an electrical outage.
I did get some good results on my clear scraps and was able to make a nice recycled glass bowl. Next time I think I will try putting the scrap in an old pillow case and just hit it with a hammer to see what results I get. I also remember seeing something online once about retrofitting an old garbage disposal to make frit. Maybe I need to look into that too!?
If you have had good results with a frit maker, please share.