About bden glass
Lampworking is the technique I use and refers to the use of a gas powered torch or ‘lamp’ to melt glass.
At approx. 600 degrees, glass becomes molten and can be draped onto mandrels to make beads or formed by blowing and shaping with tools and hand movements.
Lampworking differs from glassblowing in that glassblowing uses a furnace which holds molten glass at a steady 2000 degrees
I use a Nortel RedMax torch that uses bottled propane and oxygen. The two gases mixed together make a very powerful and controlled flame. Thin steel rods, ‘mandrels,’ are coated in a clay based bead release before molten glass is applied to form beads.
Once beads have been made the temperature of the glass needs to be reduced slowly so thermal shock does not occur and the bead will be stable once at room temperature. A bath of tiny hollow micro-spheres of silica know as ‘cooling bubbles’ perform this task.
I use mainly coloured effetre which is a brand of Murano ‘soft glass.’ ‘Frit’, ‘Stringers’ and Murrini chips are decorative forms of glass used to make patterns and designs on the glass surface. I also like to use toughened borosilicate which is a ‘hard glass’ and requires higher temperatures to melt but is much stronger.
I love working with glass because it is unlike any other material I have ever experienced. The fluidity of glass in its molten state is magical and it has such resilience.
I enjoy experimenting and exploring with the glass, never really knowing what I might come out with. I use this as a from of development and sometimes my best designs come about by accident.
I really enjoy teaching my craft to others and love introducing passionate people to the world of glass making. Check out my workshop page for details on how you can get involved