FAQ

GLASS

What is borosilicate?

Basically, "boro" is hard glass. This glass is sold under such trade names as Pyrex and Simax. Until the mid-80's, this glass was mostly colorless. In 1986, Paul Trautman came on the scene and founded Northstar Glassworks.

Colored borosilicate is considerably more expensive than "soft" lampworking glass. This difference is reflected in the selling price of handmade boro creations. I mention this little tidbit at craft shows, all the time.

HEAT

At what temperature does the glass melt?

3000 degrees Fahrenheit/ 1649 degrees Celsius

Wow! That's hot; do you burn yourself all the time?

As a beginner, I sure did. There is a faded, turtle shaped scar on my thigh from a scorching hot honu (turtle). Six years ago I passed my left pinkie finger through the flame. That was the most painful burn I've experienced. It kept me off the torch for five weeks.

TECHNIQUES

How does gold get inside the glass? What the heck is fuming?

The metal is applied to the glass by taking small bits of pure gold and putting these into the flame of the torch.

As the gold starts to vaporize/smoke, the glass that is to be colored is held in the path of the vapor. The gold then deposits onto the glass which can then be encased and shaped.

What kind of torch do you use?

I work on a Glass Torch Tech Mirage. This powerful torch has 40 total jets. That's 40 flames shooting out to melt the glass quickly!

ARTIST

Do you use a mold?

No, my glass is all free form sculpture. I prefer the creations to be one of a kind and so enjoy spending the extra time and effort.

How can I learn to sculpt glass?

Many larger cities have independent studios teaching lampworking lessons.

Also, I will be featuring how-to tutorials on my blog.

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