Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Annealing Shocky Glass

Annealing - stabilizing by adding heat and ramping down slowly.  Shocky - glass that pops off in the flame, and usually lands on your neck or lap!  Glass - what I use to make my beads.

Lampworkers all know what I mean when I say shocky glass - it's glass that no matter how slowly you introduce it into the flame, it pops off in shards and lands all over you and your workspace.  It's usually odd-lot glass (small batches of glass usually produced by mixing several colors of glass together).  Did you know you can anneal your glass to make it less shocky?

 If you can spare the electricity and time, you can simply put your rods in your kiln like this (excuse the messy kiln) and run an anneal cycle fully. 
 If you want to do it while you are running your kiln anyways, which is more cost effective, put your glass rods in your kiln thusly-  you can pile them up, they won't melt into each other (this is an anneal cycle, not a fuse cycle!!!!). 
 Here are some tips to help you (and I am telling you this from personal experience):

1.  Clean your glass rods first - get the rubber band schmutz off before you put the rods in the kiln.  That way, you won't get the burning rubber smell (lol) and the black marks on your glass (which burn off in the flame when you use the rod, but, you know, who wants to take that chance...)

2.  If you keep the labels on your glass rods, make sure you anneal like the photo above, with the paper labels outside of the kiln-proper area.  Again, this avoids the burning smell of paper and the mess of burnt paper on your rod.

3.  Do NOT put the glass in the kiln on top of the rod rests.  Ask me how I know.  Below you can see two photos of glass that got a nice little bend in them, because I rested them on the rod rest instead of flat on the floor of the kiln!

While this may not stop all your odd-lot glass from shocking, it should help a bit!  It's no fun to get burned by glass, so still be careful when introducing your glass to the flame, even if you did anneal it!

Susan Kennedy
SueBeads Etsy Store


  1. I have never considered annealing the rods before...brilliant!

  2. Yes, annealing helps on most. The ones that seem beyond hope just drop in chunks instead of popping and flying all over the place. I love those odds!

  3. I had to laugh at your 'bendy' rods. I did the exact same thing once. Doh!!


  4. Exploding glass does not sound good. You need a Kevlar suit!


We would love to hear what you have to say, please leave a comment.