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Lampworking is a type of glassblowing that uses a gas and oxygen fueled torch to melt rods and tubes of clear and colored glass. Once in a molten state, the glass is formed by blowing and shaping while using a variety of tools and hand movements.

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The glass is then placed into a kiln and heated to 1050 degrees in order to strengthen it and then begin the gradual cooling process, called annealing, that prevents cracking.  Annealing is the process of heating the glass to a temperature where it reaches a stress-relief point, that is, a temperature at which the glass is still too hard to deform, but is soft enough for internal stresses to ease.  
Once the glass has cooled, coldworking techniques can be used to create form and shape without using heat.   I use a variety of these techniques including faceting, drilling, cutting, polishing and grinding.  These additional steps add tactile and visual textures without masking the vibrant color or clarity. 
movie_trailerLampworking can be done with many types of glass, but the most common are soda-lime, sometimes called "soft glass" and borosilicate, often called "hard glass”.  These relative terms are based on the materials COE or coefficient of expansion which is the rate at which the glass expands and contracts. 
Lampworking differs from furnace glassblowing in many ways.  Because the artist uses a torch, small sections of the glass can be heated and shaped which allows for greater detail.  In the past, lampworkers were limited by the size and weight of their creation.  Now modern technologies provide hotter flames and rotate the glass by machine.  These technologies are redefining lampworking as an art form. 

If you are interested in learning about glass art and would like to take a class please
contact us for more details.