Sunday, June 14, 2009
There's Incompatibility and then there's Just Plain Ugly
There will be a test. Make sure you read the entire blog! Hmmmmmm!
Although I knew this to be true, I forgot the key to working with glass: Make sure the COE's (coefficient of expansion) are the same. All right, I was tired. I had gotten home the day before from the Bead and Button Show. I still had not yet recovered from the great time I had there. I decided to go back to the torch the next morning. I wanted to use some of my Gaffer Chalcedony glass. I made a core of clear then encased the clear with the Chalcedony. I pressed the glass into a lentil shape, struck the bead for color (heated and cooled), then, immediately put this stunning bead into the kiln to anneal (cool down properly) it. After the bead was cooled, I soaked it in water, then I began to use my Dremel to extract the bead release. What? The bead cracked in half--almost. I thought this was a thermal crack. It wasn't until the next day I realized, this wasn't a thermal crack. It was an issue of incompatibility. I had used a core of transparent clear 104. Chaldedony has a 96 COE. Dang it all! That was a beautiful bead! All right, lesson remembered. There is incompatibility. Watch your glass. Lesson relearned.
Is this the test? No not yet. Stay tuned.
Then there is just plain ugly. I found some glass that I had bought in a box of "shorts" (short rods of glass). I thought I would play with the glass. It wasn't the prettiest color I had seen, but I was hoping that when introduced to the flame, magic would happen. Well, it didn't. There really is just plain ugly! See what I mean.
There was no magic. That color is just plain ugly. Luckily, I don't remember where I bought these shorts, but I hope not to buy them again. Oh, my.
Was that the test? No, not yet. Almost. So stay tuned.
These are not incompatible glasses, it's just the colors. I used a bright orange for the lip and handle (What was I thinking?) and Chalcedony for the vessel. It's not a perfect vessel. I was trying to get the little blob of hot glass to strike and I didn't blow the vessel enough. Again, lesson learned. I think this falls in between both categories of incompatible and just plain ugly.
Now, finally, here's the test. Oh, did I forget to mention there will be a give away? Hmmmmmm. All you need to do is to comment on this blog, and I will draw a number to choose a winner. You have until next Sunday, June 21st. I will pick a winner then for this vessel. Please leave a way for me to get in touch with you if you should win. If no one comments, well, I guess I get to keep this little vessel.
Now, that wasn't a hard test, was it? I think it's easy. Let me hear from you!