Thursday, March 19, 2009

Exotic Glass

I just got home from lampwork class, which was good as usual. Tonight we worked with exotic glasses (the kind you melt for beads, as opposed to the kind you wear that have really thick frames, a fake rubber nose and a Groucho Marx mustache). More instruction than usual as Dwyn showed us what happens with various types of glasses when you reduce the flame, which means turn down the oxygen and just heat the in the natural gas. We learned about striking the bead and neutral flames and heavy reductions, all sorts of new terminology which will probably drift out my brain by morning, good thing there were handouts and I took notes!

This type of glass has more silver in it so it reacts with the heat and the gases to make really cool colours in quite unexpected ways. I'll post photos once I get the beads back (and no, my beads won't look anything like the one below but this is to what I aspire). They're baking in the kiln in the store right now and by morning, the automated thermostat will have cooled down the kiln to room temperature and the Bead Fairy at Beadfx will take out all the beads in the morning and take them off the mandrells for us, which is really nice to have someone else do for you.

I snagged this photo from the website for Double Helix, who is one of the manufacturers who make this special glass and who was kind enough to donate free samples for our class:

Isn't it beautiful? Kind of looks like the earth from space, only with more green tones. Believe it or not, it's a bead. Wow.

Here's their website:

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