Flowers that bloom in a ball of fire and molten glass. ?
I have been on a kick exploring what are known as ‘implosions’ in glass. A process where, as opposed to an explosion, the main action is inward.
I start by creating small canes, which are ‘sticks’ of glass featuring 2-3 colors, usually a transparent color (cobalt, purple, green, etc.) layered over a solid color, such as white. This adds depth to the flower petals and leaves. I then make a cane to represent the yellow flower stamens in the center of the flower.
Making the Fire Flower
I create fire flowers by heating a large amount of clear glass to a molten state. I press this blob flat on my workbench, creating a large ‘nail head’ shape. This nail head shape is called a ‘maria.’
I melt in my mini canes in the rough shape of a flower. It doesn’t look like much, does it?
This piece has yellow stamens in the center (orange now because this glass is very hot), cobalt flower petals, and green leaves around the periphery. Each piece has been melted on to the clear maria, and now I am ready to start the incremental melting process to ‘implode’ this flower.
Here are the components melted in a bit farther. I melt the edges of the clear glass, which will eventually encompass the flower parts and push the flower in the center. It is a slow process to ensure that the petals implode evenly and the flower stays centered.
The glass eventually rounds and flows into a ball, causing the small colored glass components to ‘bloom’ up inside, creating a flower.
This is a lavender bloom. One of the perils of working by yourself with a hot flame and trying to take photos at the same time means that sometimes I miss a photo opp in the process. But it is the same idea and same process. This flower is blooming up in the center as the molten outer edges of clear glass are moving downward.
Finally, through the magic of heat and gravity, the flower blooms. It is magic every time.
And now back to my blue flower that I started out with, I add a round ring of glass up top and pull out the base of the flower to a point.
This makes a ready-to-wear pendant containing a flower frozen in time. This bead is very hot — the yellow stamens are still glowing orange.
I then place it in my kiln to cool slowly over 8 hours, a process called annealing. This cools the glass slowly and evenly so it will not crack or have stress fractures from cooling too quickly.
These flowers, in a variety of colors, will be available soon in my shop. I will update this post when they are ready.
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