What is the difference between the Flame Shop and the Hot Shop?
- The Flame Shop uses gas/oxygen torches to heat glass rods. The Hot Shop gathers glass from a furnace.
- The Flame Shop uses a small steel mandrel to make beads or the actual glass rod to melt the end to create a gather. The Hot Shop uses a long steel pipe called a blowpipe to gather glass.
- The Flame Shop uses flame from the torch as the heat source to melt and shape the glass. The Hot Shop has a furnace to heat the glass and a crucible that holds the molten glass.
- The Flame Shop makes smaller more detailed pieces and generally the artist or student works alone. The Hot Shop makes larger pieces that usually take a team.
What is the difference between Borosilicate Glass and Soft Glass (also called Soda-Lime glass)?
- Soft glass is the most common and least expensive glass.
- Soft glass consists of Silica, Sodium Oxide and Calcium Oxide.
- Soft glass is chemically stable, and has a long working time. (You can work with it longer than, for example, Borosilicate glass.)
- Soft glass has a wide array of colors to choose from.
- Soft glass is mostly used for beads and sculptures.
- Borosilicate glass is used for scientific lab ware, like test tubes.
- Borosilicate is very resistant to chemicals and temperature swings.
- The original Pyrex was made out of Borosilicate. The new Pyrex, is made out of tempered soft glass.
- Borosilicate glass consists of Silica, Boric Acid, Sodium Oxide and Aluminum Oxide.
- Borosilicate has a limited color selection, but new colors are being developed yearly.
- Borosilicate glass is relatively expensive.
- Borosilicate glass is mostly used for sculpture, cookware, marbles and pipes.
How big of a piece can I make at the torch in the Flame Shop?
Size is up to you. With practice, you will be able attach smaller components in order to create a larger finished piece. Pieces can be as big as a person or as small and detailed as a fly.
Can I blow glass in the Flame Shop?
Yes. You can either blow soft glass (using a small steel blow pipe), or borosilicate glass either by making your own tubing, or by purchasing pre-made tubing. Often goblets, hollow pendants or pipes are created in Flame Shops.
Can I make paperweights in the Flame Shop?
Yes. For examples, visit Paul Stankard’s work (paulstankard.com) and Chicago Art Institute (artic.edu/collection?q=paperweight) The photo to the left is a paperweight Bronwen made.
Can I make stuff to use in the Warm Shop?
Yes. We call those components. It’s important to use the same type of glass that you are fusing with, so there aren’t any compatibility issues.
Can I make stuff to use in the Hot Shop?
Yes. We call those components too. It’s important to use the same type of glass that you are blowing with, so there aren’t any compatibility issues.
Why Should I learn Flame Working at Sonoran Glass School?
- The instructors are world class and established artists.
- The instructors are patient and giving.
- The space is comfortable and inviting.
- We use pressured oxygen to obtain the best colors from our glass.
- We bring in instructors from around the country as visiting artists.
- We are there for you, to help you and to guide you every step of the way.