Sunday, September 29, 2013

Emptying the kiln....#1

Before annealing, lampwork beads can be unstable; the process of heating and cooling glass at different rates means that a change in ambient temperature can cause the glass to crack -- or even explode. To prevent this, lampworkers anneal their beads. In a kiln that looks like a large toolbox, I heat the beads to 940 degrees F, and hold the temp their for half an hour, before slowly ramping the temp down. This removes those internal stresses.

So when I say I've emptied the kiln, it's not really like emptying a potter's kiln. The beads look the same; the differences are internal.

So, down to business: I usually "batch-anneal" my beads, meaning that I do them all at once instead of annealing directly after making the beads, while they are still hot. Here's what I just took out; the result of perhaps 3-4 days' work.

Click on the pics to get a larger version.

You see some Coral Islands, Blue Brilliance, Red Stripies, Teal Stripies, Peak Fall and swirled green beads (taking submissions for naming those beads now!)

Of the beads shown, the Coral Islands, being dotty beads, take the longest to make. Each color represents an individually placed dot!

More fun unpacking the kiln in a few days!

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