Early glass furnace
above: an early glass-
working furnace

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Glass-working from
The Glass Encyclopedia

A short explanation of Glass-working:
There are many forms of working with glass, some requiring large expensive furnaces and cooling ovens (for glass blowing) whilst others need only a blow torch (for lampworking) or a small kiln (for slumped glass).

The Phoenicians are traditionally credited with discovering how to make glass, but it is an unlikely story. According to Pliny the Elder, some Phoenician merchants were on a beach and built a fire. They used blocks of natron from their cargo, and the heat of the fire fused the sand, natron and burning wood to produce glass. It isn't a very plausible story because a beach fire probably wouldn't be hot enough to produce glass.

It was the Romans who discovered that the fluid property of glass as it cools makes it possible to blow a bubble into the glass and create a vessel. And so glass blowing began.

Atoms and molecules move around freely in liquid molten glass. When it cools the atoms do not form a crystalline structure, as they do in most other materials. Glass stays flexible as it cools and can be manipulated by blowing a bubble into it, or pulling it around to make various shapes before it cools and becomes a "super cooled liquid". This is one of the most wonderful features of glass, that make it such a delight for the creative glass artist.

References and Sources:

We have selected some recent books as well as some favourite classic books on working with Glass. Click on the book cover or title to see more information.

Sand Cast Chinese 2014 Kiln-Formed Glass 2014 Kiln Cast Glass 2013 Beginners Guide to Kiln-formed glass 2012 Penland classes in Flameworking 2011 Creative Lampwork 2011 Mould Making for Glass 2011 Glass Notes 2006 Kiln forming glass Contemporary Kiln Formed Glass 2009.jpg Coldworking Glass Contemporary Lampworking III Warm glass Lampworking Art of Fire beginning glassblowing glass disctionary Dictionary of Glass glass science book Glass Notes Advanced Fusing Flameworking book Art and Soul of Beads Advanced Glassworking Women Working in Glass Libbey American Glassmaker 2011 A History of Owens-Illinois Glass makers book Stourbridge Glassmakers book Glass-making in England History of Glassmaking in England The Glassmakers Pilkington History of Glassmaking in London 2013 Decorative glasswork bookPilchuck glass book Studio Craft as Career by Stankard 2016 Stankard: Spark the Creative Flame 1000 Glass Beads Creating Glass Beads Complete Glass Beadmaking Glass Bead Workshop exotic bead book Creative bead book

The Complete Book of Glass Beadmaking (Sept 2010) by Kimberley Adams. A popular book which has been described by a reviewer as "the complete book for a beginner".
Glass Bead Workshop: Building Skills, Exploring Techniques, Finding Inspiration (May 2008) by Jeri L. Warhaftig. 144 full colour pages showing advanced techniques using step-by-step photos, thorough explanation, and very creative projects.
The Book of Beads: A practical and inspirational guide to Beads and Jewelry Making (Aug 90) by Janet Coles and Robert Budwig. A very popular guide covering an extensive range of information.
Exotic Beads: 45 distinctive Beaded Jewelry Designs (Mar 96) by Sara Withers. 128 pages of beautiful project ideas.
Creative Bead Jewelry: Weaving Looming, Stringing, Wiring and Making Beads (Oct 95) by Carol Taylor. 144 pages written in a highly entertaining style, giving comprehensive advice for novices to experts on these techniques of bead-working.
Irresistible bead book new bead book beads book Beads of the World Jenkins Beads of Glass
The Irresistible Bead: Designing and Creating Exquisite Beadwork Jewelry (Nov 96) by Linda Fry Kenzle. Another very popular book on beadworking.
The New Beadwork (Oct 92) by Kathlyn Moss. A hardcover book with 112 pages of advice on beadwork and design.
Stained Glass (July 94) by Kay Bain Weiner. A guide to Tiffany copper foil techniques.
More books on stained glass
Pate de Verre and Kiln Casting of Glass (Apr 97) Daniel M. Fenton and James E. Kervin. 198 pages of information on these techniques..
Making Glass Beads (Oct 97) by Cindy Jenkins. 112 pages of advice on making a wide range of bead designs.
Fused Glass Handbook (Aug 87) by Gill Reynolds. A popular handbook.
Kiln Firing Glass: Glass Fusing Book One (revised edition) (Jun 94) by Boyce Lundstrom and Danile Schwoerer. The first of a series covering the various techniques of glass fusing.
Advanced Fusing Techniques (Glass Fusing Book 2) (Jun 89) by Boyce Lundstrom.
Glass Casting and Mold Making (Glass Fusing Book 3) (Jun 89) by Boyce Lundstrom.
The History of Beads: from 30,000 BC to the present (Sept 95) by Lois Sherr Dubin. Great pictures; great information; a very handsome book, originally a very expensive hardback now in paperback at a very reasonable price.
Alchemy in Light: Making Art Glass (Jan 98) by Tapeworm Video. This is a video currently available in USA/Canada format only (you can usually get US videos converted).
English-Spanish-Portuguese Dictionary of Glassmaking (Sept 92) a dictionary of technical terms used in glassmaking translating between three languages.
Prism and Lens Making (Feb 88) by F. Twyman.
Contemporary Lampworking: A practical guide to Shaping Glass in the Flame (Sept 95) by Bandhu Scott Dunham. Technical information on glass shaping including detailed advice on glass compatibility; studio set-up; safety, plus a gallery of contemporary glasswork.
Glassblowing: An introduction to Artistic and Scientific Flameworking 2nd Edition (revised) (Nov 93) by Edward Carberry.
Glassblowing: An introduction to solid and blown sculpturing (Nov 89) by Homer L. Hoyt.
Studio Craft as Career: A Guide to Achieving Excellence in Art (Dec 2016) by Paul J. Stankard. Career advice from a great glass artist.
Spark the Creative Flame: Making the Journey from Craft to Art (Dec 2013) by Paul J. Stankard, one of glassmakings truly great artists.

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