Hello, My name is Christina Nixon Cole, and I torch my art.

I'm a glass, micromosaic and silver jewelry artist. Welcome!

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Heating your hot glass

Using soft glass, sometimes it can be a bit finicky introducing it into the flame. Taking room temperature glass and throw it in the flame, and there can be a problem. The glass can be a bit shockey, especially with some colors, and guaranteed some popping glass if there is a small bubble that has been pulled or stretched the length of the glass.
One helpful technique is to warm the glass very slowly in the flame, but this takes time. And if you tend to be a bit impatient or want to make more beads per hour, then use something to warm the glass.

One nice invention adopted by quite a few lampwork artists is the curling iron heater. Instead of heating the curling iron, throw some rods of glass in there. There are a few different models, but if you get the one with the flat top, it can be used to place glass "condiments" like dichroic glass, murrine chips, shards, or cane, etc. You can get one here.

A few months ago I got my hands on a hot plate heater thingy. Yes, that's the technical and brand name. It gets super hot, hot enough to burn your finger if you grab the glass in the wrong place.

So, being that it did not have a "lid" I grabbed some sheet metal and with a simple bend and tucking it in the sides, it becomes a garage. To further the functionality, I added a back wall to trap the heat. And even though mine is curved, I can still manage to add my "condiments".

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