SG-phalenopsis red bowl green and silver bicone rose 1-blog

Welcome to sghilliard glass. I’ve been drawn to glass since my parents let me buy a stretched 6 oz Coke bottle at a gift shop in Gatlinburg TN, moving on to play with pyrex tubing and Bunsen burners while working in Biology labs. As my tastes have matured I’ve realized that I most enjoy the interplay of light, color and form that’s only possible using glass as a medium. My interests include celtic and natural themes in fused glass and copper foil, and I’m currently obsessed with the oddly meditative practice of flameworking, melting rods of glass and building up beads and marbles on stainless steel mandrels. I live in North Georgia with my wife Amy (a watercolor artist), two cats and two dogs.

I post updates on my activities in the Blog. If you’re interested in purchasing any of my work please see my Etsy shop, or contact me directly. Thanks for visiting!


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  • Lela
    March 12, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    nice to read about your experiences as they are similar to mine w/regarding to freezing in the studio 🙂

    i am trying to research how to slump the beads i’ve done on the mandrel – in the kiln, so i can fuse out some cracks, and make broken ones into cabochons, was wondering if you ‘ve had experience with this,
    i think i might just have to just start a batch and experiment w/temps – see what works best

    Thanks! Lela

  • admin
    March 29, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Hi Lela,
    Fortunately it’s a lot more comfortable in the studio these days, though I’m sure I’ll be complaining about the heat before long.
    Re: your question, I’ve fired cracked beads with some success. I don’t know how well it would work when they’re on the mandrel, but I’ve fired beads halves (cracked completely in half) to full fuse, around 1480F, and they looked pretty good. You need to make sure to clean out all the bead release–if that gets melted into the bead it will look dirty.
    A larger question is why your beads are cracking, and healing those cracks while you still have the bead in the flame. When I get a crack because I haven’t kept the bead warm enough I melt it back in then, while it’s still hot. If your beads look fine when they go in the annealer and come out cracked you might have some incompatible glass–even glasses that have the same COE can be incompatible and crack when combined.
    Hope this helps, Steve