I love creating fused glass, but I also love any type of glass. So I have taken a couple of flameworking classes (see my past blogs). However the borosilicate class I took wasn’t too in-depth so I thought I’d take another one. Leslie recommended I take one with Glasscraft. So last Sunday I took flameworking 101 with Borosilicate with Chris at Glasscraft.
Overall I really enjoyed the class. He demonstrated a couple of techniques, then he’d let us play a bit, and then he’d come and help us. He was very talented, he’d fix things right a way.
First we made Maria’s – they are much harder to make than you’d think. Plus I couldn’t put more than 5 on each one. Borosilicate is a hard glass (33 COE) so I had a little bit of time before gravity took over. It’s funny to insult each other the other flamework artists would accuse each other of working with soft glass (90 – 104 COE).
After the Maria’s we made leaves. I had a tough time because you have to get a big enough ball at the end – flatten it then put a 3mm piece of glass on it so you can stretch the end. Mine either got too hot or not hot enough.
After the practice glass, Chris gave us a few choice of pieces we could make i.e., drink stirrers or pendants. It’s interesting he only gave us 2 colors of rods – cobalt and striker glass (it changes colors when it’s fired). Chris demo’d the options and then we got to play. My stirrers are a bit short and not very straight but the colors are great. I combined the blue and striker rods together in the flame. My pendants were a bit nicer but the bails are a bit too big.
Overall I really enjoyed the class. I love how relaxing it is and how you get to have the pieces sooner and it’s more hands on work. I still need to anneal them in my kiln to make them stronger.
I’m sure you are wondering will I be getting a torch soon. The answer is no. I enjoy it but I’m not comfortable having a torch in my house. I do like the borosilicate because its a little more forgiving than flameworking with 90 & 96. But then again I like the idea of using 90 & 96 because then I can use it in my fused glass work. For me it always comes back to fused glass. When I do take another flamework class it will probably be with Leslie – her style is more my style!
If you would like to see more of my fused glass work please refer to my website Elegant Fused Glass by Karen.
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Keeping my kiln warm,