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If you have been following my blog, I mentioned several months ago that I approached a local store to learn about selling my products in a store.  I received lots of great advice, but one of the most memorable was that since I brought the owner a little bit of lots of different items (coasters, night lights, soap dishes, boxes, barrettes, etc) I had overwhelmed her.  She said it would be best to just bring one line such as coasters.

Recently I noticed a small store in Mountain View, CA called The Mountain View General Store.  It is very tiny, but seemed like the perfect place to get started with selling in a store as all items are handmade by local artists.  So I approached the owner, Tina Ambrogi, bringing just Christmas ornaments and asked her if she would be interested in selling them.  She said, “Yes.”  Yay!!!  And not only did she want to sell the ornaments, but basically any of my fused glass items.

I was then presented with a dilemma because any item I chose to give her to sell in her store meant I had to remove that item from my Etsy store and hence how do you figure out what will sell where.  But I finally made my choices and dropped the glass and contract off at the Mountain View General Store on Wednesday afternoon.  By Thursday afternoon, I had already sold one item and gotten a custom request for another.  Very, very exciting!

If you happen to be local to the San Francisco Bay Area, check out the Mountain View General Store for your Christmas shopping or everyday shopping for handmade items!

Mountain View General Store

Mountain View General Store

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The Stickiness of Adhesives

Let me start by saying that all the products I am going to discuss are great products and also that your experience may vary with mine.  However, I have had such a hard time with trying to find the right adhesives/epoxy for my products, that I wanted to share in case you are having similar issues.

I dabble a little in making fused glass pendants, barrettes and magnets.  Each of these require a non-glass piece (finding) to be glued to the glass to finalize the product.   My initial attempt was using E-6000 adhesive and I was discovering that I could easily pull the finding off of the glass after it was supposed to have cured.  I posted to a few glass forums and was giving some tips not about the glue, but about the preparation.  I will add here as they are great tips no matter which glue/epoxy you use:

  1. Make sure you roughen up the surface of both sides to be stuck, meaning both the glass and the finding.  I use like 220 grit sandpaper.
  2. Then clean all of the surfaces with acetone to remove any dirt and oils which would prevent a good adhesion.
  3. This one goes without saying, but make sure to follow the instructions on each adhesive exactly both for measurements and cure times as this is the only way to ensure it is working correctly.
  4. I added this item, but make sure you wear a face mask and have good ventilation.  I have found that most of these adhesives have a very strong odor and can easily give you a headache and I assume this means they are generally not good for you to breathe.  So be careful.

Next before I forget, let me also thank all of my testers here as since I am so nervous about selling something that might not hold up, I have had family and friends wear my pendants and barrettes giving me feedback if the findings popped off.  And I myself also put each piece through a rigorous test by trying to pull off each finding after it is cured – and I try pretty hard.  Perhaps I am putting them to a more rigorous test than is normal wear and tear, but I like to be safe!

Picture of some Recent Barrettes and Pendants Heading off to a Craft Fair

Okay, now for the results of many, many tests:

1) E-6000 adhesive works best for my barrettes and pendants with 2 recommendations.  First, you should buy the small tube and after 6 months pitch that tube and start another as while it doesn’t explicitly state it loses its effectively, I think it does.  Second, after letting it cure a day, the put the pieces on a cookie sheet in your oven, set the oven for 200 degrees and let it stay at 200 degrees about 30 minutes.  I then leave the pieces in the oven until it completely cools down.  This step seems essential and it works great!

2) Triolyse adhesive has become my favorite for the magnets.  It applies easily and sets up and holds quite well for the magnets.  And I don’t need to use the oven trick which is good since I have no idea how the magnets themselves would work in the oven.  But personally, I have just not been successful using this for my pendants and barrettes as with some effort, I can pop off the findings in over half the cases.

3) I am pretty sure that epoxies are supposed to be the most durable and so I recently tried one.  It was easy to mix and use, but after the recommended cure time, I was easily able to pull the finding off both a pendant and a barrette.  I should probably give this a second chance and hence why I am not saying which one I used, but for now it is not on the top of my list for sticking my findings!

One last thing regarding removal of the adhesives.  I have found that with all three adhesives above, acetone works the best at removing any residual adhesive.  Even to remove the magnet from the back of a piece of glass, I soaked it for 15 minutes and then used a razor blade to slowly pry up the magnet and clean up the glass.

If you have any favorite adhesives that you have discovered work the best for you, please share.  🙂  Thanks.

NOTE: I learn much of what I know from reading other websites, classes and blogs and hence, I haven’t really invented anything new here.  But I am sharing what I found to work and not work.  If you have found other ways to do something similar to this, please share! 

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