26 February 2013
The glass I use to make beads comes in long rod shapes that look like knitting needles. Sometimes a special request comes to create beads from glass that has special meaning to someone.
My sister Lynn lives in Ontario on a farm. Over the years, she has found vintage bottles on her property. She decided recently that should would like to have some made into beads. After I wrapped my head around the fact that I would destroy the vintage bottles (yes, I researched them to make sure I wasn't going to melt something rare), I sat down at the torch and held my breath. Sometimes when I introduce an unknown glass to the flame it explodes. These bottles were quite old and the glass melted at a much higher temperature than what I usually use so it melted slowly and the bottle didn't shatter in my hand.
When melting unknown glass you can't mix it with any other glass because you don't know what temperature it will melt and cool at. If you mix glass that cools at different rates, it will crack before you ever get to wear it. So I made solid colour beads and the attached photos shows how they turned out.