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Sunday, June 28, 2009

The "Magic" of Manganese

The chemical makeup of glass and the interactions between one element and another makes a fascinating journey of discovery. I've recently learned that it is the element manganese that creates the metallic surface that I love ,with flashes of purple, blue, green and pink.At first I thought it was only a result of changing the flame chemistry by using more or less oxygen and propane at the torch. But I've found it is much more subtle, it is finding the correct spot in the edge of the flame that brings out the colors.It is a delicate dance between gently heating and cooling repeatedly that brings success. But just a bit too much heat and the surface goes back to shiny black, all suggestion of color gone. The two glasses in these pictures are dark silver plum and a new glass named "metallic black". They look very ordinary and unassuming in the rod form. Enjoy the "magic show" !!

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Catalina Glass on Etsy

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Basically I love working with my hands to create with color and texture. I fill my days with lampworked hot glass, teaching, spinning, dyeing, weaving, knitting, gardening, reading, cooking and traveling. Come to to see my current work