Friday, June 25, 2010

Annealing Lampwork Beads

Cooling beads slowly is a must. When purchasing Lampwork beads for your jewerly designs, you should make sure your Lampwork Beads have been correctly annealed. Here is why:

To prevent cracks, beads are cooled in a kiln, where temperatures can be closely regulated. The beadmaker anneals the bead as soon as it comes out of the flame. That means the bead is left to soak up heat in the kiln so that all glass within it is the same temperature.

The soaking temperature is high enough for glass to flow on some molecular level, but not so high that the bead ends up in a puddle on the kiln floor. After annealing, the artist begins to reduce the heat in the kiln, taking several hours to bring the beads to room temperature.

The slow reduction in temperature produces glass beads with fewer stress points, so they're less likely to crack. Very small glass beads are sometimes slowly cooled between layers of insulation. It's not the same as annealing, but the process is usually successful because the small amount of glass in tiny beads cools at a more even rate.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day Airboats

I just had to share with all of you, what is going on in my neighborhood today. All of the men are out in full force with their airboats. And all of this goes on right out my back door. This is a view I can see from my Glass Studio. Enjoy!!! I do!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lampwork Shard Bead

Yesterday I posted a picture of the shards I made. Today I wish to share with you two of the Shard Beads that I made. I love working with Shards, as they create such texture, and each one is a one of a kind bead, that could never be reproduced. So here ya go. Some Shard Eye Candy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blowing Shards.

This was the first time, I have tried to make these. The first one did not work. The second one was too thin, and the last two were JUST RIGHT. WAIT! doesn't that sound just like something from the THREE BEARS. :)  Anyway, I tired the first ones, with not much luck, and it resulted in thin, cellephone glass, floating everywhere. I am sure that can not be very good to be breathing around. So I was a little dis-illusioned. But as usual,I don't easily give up. I found this site, by Jennifer Gelhard , she has the most awesome tutorial, on how to blow Glass Shards. Thank you Jennifer.