I love glass as a medium. Hot, molten and difficult to control hardens to a cool and immovable form. When glass is hot, colours look different. There is a glow, but no depth. When cooled, the layers, colours and textures reveal themselves.
I use what is called “soft” glass in my designs. Each piece of glass goes through a process called annealing, during which the shaped glass is put in a kiln and heated and cooled to a specific temperature at a specific rate. This process helps to relieve any internal thermal stresses that may have formed during the flameworking process and helps add to the glass’ strength and durability.
Different metals and materials can be encapsulated by glass and/or can create a chemical reaction causing glass to change colour, create little bubbles between layers of glass, or even to create a textured surface. I love to explore the medium of glass by exploring different tools, techniques and even additives to achieve my designs.
Traditionally called lampworking because glass was heated and formed with an oil lamp and bellows, flameworked glass has a long history and is similar to glass blowing but on a much smaller scale.
Once hot and molten, glass can be formed in a number of ways with or without the use of tools to help push and mold the glass. Hollow forms are blown on a hollow steel mandrel or blowpipe, while solid forms can be made on a punty or on a solid steel mandrel.
Glass beads and rings are formed by rolling the molten glass onto a steel mandrel coated in a release agent. This prevents the cooled glass from sticking to the metal.
Glass can be heated and cooled in a controlled manner in a kiln. Using different molds techniques and temperature, glass is slumped or fused to to achieve different forms and textures.
Glass can also be worked once annealed and fully cooled through processes such as etching or grinding using more traditional lapidary techniques to further the shape and design of the piece.
The glass work from Wild and Wise Studio is made using a number of different techniques. Any release agents used to prevent hot glass from sticking to tools and molds is cleaned out before the glass is used in the final design. Please see jewellery care for information about caring for your glass jewellery.