Thursday, April 29, 2010

Terms of the Trade - Encasing

Boy, I haven't gotten many comments this week... am I too technical??? Boring you to tears??? You know I'm a comment junkie...will work for feedback! Don't worry, back to beady goodness come Monday!

Encasing or casing is when one layer of glass is wrapped around another - fully or partially. This usually done with a clear glass at the end to magnify all the glass pretties on the inside.

This Summer's Garden glass bead was encased and encased and encased and.... numerous times!

There are many issues that go into good casing. Temperature is SO crucial. If the base bead is too hot, the surface decoration will smear; too cool and it will crack when you add hot glass. And that's just for starters! Some PRICEY clear glasses will pick up scum in the flame if your oxy balance is off! Air bubbles can get trapped. Some are pretty...too many are fragile. Or you can leave gaps and the inner glass rises to the top.

It's a pain in the rear! So why do it? That magnification that takes the bead to the next, extraordinary level! Let's take another look at the silvered ivory bead from the other day:

To me this bead is interesting and unusual but, if I cased it, check out how the design is magnified:

Snakeskin Closeup

Or look at what happens when the casing is a pale, tinted color:

Lavender Snakeskin

Pretty neat, huh??

Casing isn't always clear though. Why would you case in an opaque glass? Two reasons come to mind. Clear glass can get hotter and not lose it's shape. It also holds the heat longer. So if you are making a sculpted glass bead that will need a lot of working time, clear glass would make the perfect core.

The other reason is cost of the glass. Say that you LOVE some of those expensive glasses and, like me, you LOVE big, giant glass beads. That could get expensive beyond the point you could expect to recoup in the sales price. So... clear, cheap ($8 / lb) core cased with an expensive outer cover!

Quick reminder: While I'm STILL working away on the new website, there are a TON of beads up there. I will gladly wire wrap any of my pretty beads into something special for Mom! I even gift wrap. There's still time to order for Mother's Day!

Hope you will pop back in here next week! Have a wonderful weekend!


Kate said...

I always LOVE your work! I have been enjoying your technical posts a lot. I have two kids under 5 and one on the way so lampwork is a little beyond me at the moment but totally something I eventually want to explore! Thanks for keeping such a great blog :)

JanelDudleyBeads said...

OMG Holly!

I don't remember seeing Summer's Garden! SSSSOOOO PRETTY!

Also you write the best blogs!!!

Lauren said...

Those flower beads are GORGEOUS, Holly!!!

rottrover said...

so beautiful. the encasing takes it to a whole new level. i'm so impressed!