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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chalcedony by Gaffer- Love It!

Oh my, I sure was excited when I received my box with Gaffer Glass in it. I had seen such lovely beads made with it and was anxious to give it a whirl.

When I'm trying out a glass for the first time, I usually make a shape that I've made hundreds of times before...a seashell. You see, it's for a variety of reasons all rolled into one bead.

As a sculpture type person, not only the color is important to me. I want to know the viscosity of the glass and how it moves at different temperatures. This is what a seashell does for me.

I get the feeling of melting the glass and winding it onto the mandrel in a larger than spacer size. Then I feel the stiffness of the glass as I roll it onto my torch mounted marver and later cut into it with my brass Stump Shaper. I also get to heat and squish it for the ruffled lip- again another way to check out its movement. Sometimes my razor blade get used for final adjustments along the top swirl.

Now that I've felt the Gaffer glass and have enjoyed the tactile part of it, color appreciation is next. And oh, what a lot of colors this Chalcedony has. Beautiful, aren't they? I know with practice, I'll be able to coax more out of it. But as this was an experimental seashell, I also tried wrapping some silver foil around the bead to see if the silver reacted in any way to the glass.

I didn't notice any difference, but I did like the additional texture and sparkle that the silver remnants provided.

You can find this seashell in my Studio Marcy Etsy shop.

So next time, I'll be working with the color some more. And I know some of my readers have the magical touch with this wonderful glass, so please feel free to post tips for it. I would appreciate your expertise.

See you tomorrow with more glass and creativity chat.