Alien Skin- A type of glass technique that starts with a 40mm piece of tubing, colored or clear. It is heated up and texturized with a knife and/or spikes. The tubing is then fumed with gold and silver. Next, it is inserted into a 50mm piece of glass. Sucking out the air, it traps a small air bubble, lines and the fuming in between the two pieces of glass.
Coil Pot- Much the name implies, it is when you only use your blow tube and a rod of colored glass. The colored glass is wrapped in a coil around the blow tube, creating a coil pot just like in ceramic with clay. This is then melted together until you have a solid colored ball of glass. With many solid "crayon" colors, it must also be encased with clear as to not allow the glass to boil.
Dichroic- Glass with a thin metal coating on one side, the coating is at most about 4 millionths of an inch thick. This process is known as thin film deposition. It is achieved by plates of glass in a kiln, which also contains a crucible. Some metals are placed in the crucible. The kiln is drawn under a vacuum. A laser vaporizes the metals and a thin metal coating is deposited on the glass.
Frit- Small, broken glass that is about the size of a fine table salt-like consistency to a small gravel. This glass can then be poured into some tubing to color the glass from the inside, or it can be rolled on the outside of the clear glass to color it- each creating a different look.
Fumed- When a lamp worker heats silver or gold to a point that it fumes onto the glass. This is how we get the color changing effect. Silver makes blues and purples. Gold will give you orange and pinks. Mixing the proper way will give you greens, crazy purples, pinks and other really neat colors.
Inside Out- This is when a tube is flared open like a tea cup. Color is pulled to a stringer and the artist draws on the inside of the glass. The glass is then clored and you have an inside-out piece. There is also another way we use for a more detailed effect: We draw on the outside of the tube, then below the drawing, we blow a large paper thin bubble about twice as wide and long as the piece that was drawn on. Last, you heat up the part that was drawn on and push it inside itself of the large bubble. This is called puff and stuff.
Kiln- An oven made of refractory brick a pyrometer and controller come standard. There are two kinds of kilns front loaders and top loaders.
Lampworker- Technically, our "glass blowers" are actually lamp workers. This term originated from when glass was worked on a oil lamp back in the day. Lampworking is a type of glasswork that uses a gas fueled torch to melt rods and tubes of clear and colored glass. Once in a molten state, the glass is formed by blowing and shaping with a variety of tools and hand movements. It is also known as flameworking or torchworking. Lampworking differs from glassblowing in that glassblowing utilizes a blowpipe to inflate a glass blob known as a gob or gather, thereby inflating it by blowing air into the blowpipe, whereas, lampworking manipulates glass either by the use of tools, gravity, or by blowing directly into the end of a glass tube.
Marble- Can be a lump of glass, be it round, square, oval or almost any shape. It can range from having a picture behind it to just a bump of glass. Marbles can take from 1 minute to 2 hours to make.
Milli or Millefiori- means a thousand flowers in Italian. Originally it was a flower design made in glass and pulled in a long rod. The design is made with many stingers of glass to actually make a pixilated picture. The larger the picture and the smaller the stringers of glass, the more (detailed) the milli chip will look. This rod is then turned into tens to hundreds of milli pictures. These milli pictures can then be laid next to each other to make a new pattern of a bunch of flowers. The rod is then pulled again so there is one (milli chip) that contains a bunch of milli flowers. You can do this over and over creating a very complex milli. With this same concept a very experienced lamp worker can create a very detailed graphic.
Raking- This is when a clear tube is spun with colored glass. It is then heated down the length of the tube, "raking" the colored glass with a rod of clear glass. This can be done in only one direction or back and forth, creating many different raking patterns.
Ratichilo- A pattern lain on the outside of a glass tube. It is lain in a spiral effect around the tube, then again going the opposite direction, creating a spiral criss-cross pattern. There is also the option to then melt the lines in and fill the clear in between the lines with a different color to make a stained glass effect. Once either of these two ways done, we will melt it down into a disc. Once the disc is on the end of the glass tube, a bubble is blown just below it and ripped off, making an actual disc. This disc of ratichilo can be put in another piece of glass. One ratichilo can take between 45-90 minutes.
Stinger- A thin piece of glass roughly 3mm-.1mm.
Switch ball- This is a very complex piece of glass. Sometimes this is called switch axis because you are switching the axis of the glass. This piece of glass starts with a 50mm piece of clear tubing lined with stripes of glass. It is then sleeved with more clear glass, or striped with clear glass, to make more colored glass. This becomes a large colored tube of glass. This large tube is pulled down to a 10mm-20mm diameter tubing, cut in 2-5 inch lengths. Then wigwagged back and forth to make a wig wag effect. One end is terminated and the tube is then turned to a ball of glass. A hole is (popped) 90 degrees from the termination to then switch the axis. Next, the other end is terminated and you have a switch ball. This can take roughly 2-3 hours to make 10-15 switch balls, or approximately 10-15 minutes per switch ball. The cleaner the ball the longer it takes to make.
Termination- The end of a piece of glass. The part that was once open and then closed. The cleaner the termination, the longer it takes. Creating a good termination will make a point in the glass rather than a bleed in the glass.
Weld- This is where two pieces of glass are joined together. A weld should be smooth and never like a butt. You shouldn't be able to feel a groove in the glass.
Window- A window is a piece of glass put into another piece of glass creating a window effect. Windows can be made from a switch ball, a fumed drawing, a colored drawing, a ratichilo or any kind of art piece made on something and then dropped into another piece of glass.