Glass art is one of the most attractive art forms we have today. Shaping and designing the beautiful shining glass is a great way to showcase your art. There are various types of glass and even more ways to carve designs on them. From as primitive as inscribing design with a sharp object to modern as imprinting with a laser printer. Many forms have been created and appreciated by the artists. The technology is not widely accepted. People even consider it more technology and programming than art. But lampwork is the undisputed and one of the oldest form of glass decorating techniques.
Glass is more elastic when heated. Its plasticity returns when it is cooled. This concept is the working principle behind the lampwork technology. There is a great deal of precision is required. If the hand shakes by just a millimeter then the whole design is ruined. This level of pinpoint precision requires tremendous practice. Basically, lampwork is heating up the glass in a controlled manner by using the flame. This flamethrower is very small like a pencil’s nib and heats up a really small area and melts is so less that it doesn’t fall off but can be reshaped. That is why lampworking is also called flameworking or torchworking.
Glass selection is an important factor in this area. It works with all types of glasses but it is the most effective when used with soda-lime glass, lead-glass and borosillicate glass. These soft and hard glasses give the best response to the heat by the lampwork flame. There is also a great deal of options available when it comes to choose the burner. Based on your type of design and glass one can choose from Bench burner, hand torch, Kiln, Marver, Paddle, Reamer. Blowhose assembly, Swivel assembly, Tungsten pick, Shears, hot fingers and lathe. The heat, flame size and coefficient of friction are the determining factors in choosing the best toolkit for the job.
Now, we have the best of the glass and the perfect tool. It is time to start showing off the artistic skills. There are various ways to make a design on the glass like Preparing the mandrel, heating rod and mandrel, shaping the bead, decorating the bead, striking, annealing and cold working. All these methods are greatly used and specialize in certain area. A combination of more than one are also used by expert artist to bring the perfect product.