Monday, April 21, 2014

One of the Deadly Sins

Maybe the title is a bit overdramatic. This particular sin isn't deadly. Unless there's some kind of a freak accident thing. Technically it isn't a sin either. Except maybe to glassworkers. And the jewelry maker who commits this particular sin.

I know you're probably yelling at your computer (because maybe I'll hear it?) to just spill it already. What IS this "deadly sin"?

The answer: using a flame on or near your lampwork glass beads. In particular, I was thinking about designers wanting to heat patina lampwork glass headpins. However, this rule applies to any glass on any metal. Your beautiful glass headpin or bead WILL crack. Guaranteed.

This photo is an example of a thermal crack from allowing the bead to cool too much while working on it, then putting it back into the flame:

I really love all our readers. But I'm not sacrificing one of my headpins to show you what happens if you take a perfectly annealed headpin/bead and try to heat patina the wire it's seated on. You will have to take my word for it. Or I suppose you could try to prove to yourself that it's true. I just don't recommend it. 

Newest headpins. Really love the pop of bright color during this really cold snowy winter. #lampwork #glassaddictions #thisartistslife
Perfectly annealed and un-cracked glass headpins.

It's super simple to avoid. But oh so tempting to try-especially when you want that beautiful flame patina on copper or bronze. Don't give into the temptation or you will cry. And probably swear. A lot.

-Jen Cameron
Glass Addictions


  1. sounds like the voice of experience....

    not knowing in depth how lampwork glass is made iIwould likely be one of those folks who would attempt to sin. ( and be sorry)

    none the less, I love the head pins

  2. Although I am not allowed to play with fire if I did I probably would commit this sin and swear. Thank you for your preventative knowledge. LOLOL

  3. Thank you so much! I never thought to warn my buyers. Posted this to my FB.

  4. I learned THE HARD WAY that could not put a flame near a glass bead years ago - I was totally shocked! This is a good reminder to everyone! :)

  5. There are many chemical patinas that can be applied that won't effect the glass bead, too! So thanks for the reminder - especially for those of us who don't make glass beads so have no knowledge base of flame+glass!

  6. Head smack. I learned this the hard way...but not with gorgeous lampwork beads. (: I'm learning to torch fire enamel and I tried to refire some beads because I didn't like the color. Yes, cracked glass.


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