Making magic

Last week I posted a piece of my glass work for a blog party. I’d forgotten how much fun glass work is. Glass work is as close as you can get to working with an actual magical substance because it is. What most people don’t know is that glass is not a solid. It’s a really slow liquid.

You can see this in very old windows. The glass is thicker at the bottom than it is at the top because it has slowly flowed due to gravity. You can also see the effects in an earthquake because it will flow outward and reach a cooler point in the air and shatter. This is why you never ever run out of a building during an earthquake. Thousands of glass needles have just been formed and the only place it has to go on down.

When you work with fused glass you play with cold glass cutting or etching with acid or you can work with it in the kiln under high heat to get the effects you want.

Glass is changeable under some lights it can be one colour and under high heat it is more colour. You can add metal to it or powdered glass and change it to other colours. If it’s dichroic it will have one colour under sunlight and under artificial light another set of colours. Working with it is never the same twice. You can write what you did down and try to make it the same but the magic changes it.

Working with metal is fun and can be just as transformative but not near as much magic as glass. Glass is modern alchemy. Glass is magic.

2 thoughts on “Making magic

  1. Here is something that you might not know about me…

    My dad worked for years in a factory where they did glass-to-metal seal. When this is done right, it is called “hermetic”. His company made parts for the aerospace industry. All of the space craft that the U.S. sent up from the 1960s the early 80s had parts in them that were, literally, handled by my dad. He was the one man in charge of the big furnace where the glass was melted. I grew up with this technology, so I take it for granted. He used to light the furnaces on Sunday night, and I used to go with him. Metal is a conductor, glass is an insulator. He made connectors with metal pins in the center of a melted glass bead surrounded by a metal casing.

    I don’t know if it is still true, but they used to be the only company that did this. If you want to know more about it and even see some pictures, look here:

    The company is still there.


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