Shards became another passion that I explored.
I still make shards and enjoy applying them to the beads I make. They have become one of the few things that I revisit now and again. I love the hot bubbles and breaking them up into manageable pieces. And “yes” I need many many colors, who knows when the muse will strike!
I make my shards on a hollow mandrel that I has a soft tube attached to one end. I use a small clip to keep the tube closed till I get the hollow ball of glass just the way I want it. When everything is looking good I give it a lot of heat without melting everything back into a solid ball. Then I take the clip off the end and give just a small puff of air till it starts to move. When it starts to move I blow harder and steady. If everything is the way it should be the glass will expand quite a bit. I can then lay the glass balloon down on my worktop and wait for it to cool. Sometimes it will shock and then there is a bang that if you are not ready for will make you jump out of your skin. But hey….there is where the fun comes in…keeping you on your toes.
This is one of my favorite pieces and is one that I am keeping! It is a transparent cranberry colored disk of glass that I blew a hole in ( that will be another blog ! ), I melted a piece of yellow glass for the center, and applied a shard that was created using Raku type frit that I had made. I mounted it on a sterling silver pendant that has a hole in the back so you can hold it up to the light and see all the colors in the glass.
There are so many variations to lampworking that even if I live to a hundred I will have only scratched the surface.
I think that is what keeps the magic going.