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Lampworking -Chalcedony User Guide

Chalcedony User Guide

Characteristics: This is a highly reactive color that can produce a variety of effects and colors, when exposed to the right conditions. The color, upon purchase, usually looks brown, tan, or grey, with maybe a hint of green or purple. It is not until this color is reintroduced to heat that the gaffer will begin to be able to determine the result of effects that this very versatile color will deliver.

How to work: The objective is to achieve the vibrant variations that occur when the silver is burned off the surface, revealing the other, more appealing characteristics of this color: purple, blue, green, red, orange, and yellow. So, how do we do that? We have to get the G-109 hot enough that the silver that has deposited itself onto the surface of the glass burns off.

There are three types of flames settings:

Reducing: When there is more propane than oxygen.

Neutral: When there are equal parts oxygen to propane.

Oxidizing: When there is more oxygen than propane.

The flame setting that we are interested in is the last one - the oxidizing flame. This is the hottest flame setting, and the one that will heat the Chalcedony up enough that the color will “reset” itself to a new color setting (i.e., it will have burned off the silver deposits on the surface.)

So, what we do is set the torch to a “raging-hot” flame and heat up the color till it looks clear. Once it has gotten this hot you want to quickly cool it on the marver, or spot-tool it with the tag, or tweezers, or what ever you prefer using. The tooling will tell the color to cool down quickly which will keep the silver from coming to the surface and stop it from producing the brown/tan effect. If you partially tool the glass, this will create a differentiation of temperatures between the areas cooled and not cooled, and these differences in temperatures will create variations in color.

This is how to begin the color process, but because this color has such a wide range of effects and colors, you can continue to develop different results with the use of the oxidizing flame setting on the torch. When you re-expose the color to the flame setting you can, essentially, begin to “paint” the color by using the flame heat as your “brush.”

Variables effecting resulting colors:

•          The duration of time that you expose the glass to the heat is an important determinant in which colors will be produced by that given heat exposure.

•          How quickly the glass is cooled after being heated is also a huge contributing factor in color variations.

Hopefully this information will give you a basic understanding of how this color works, and a place of origin to go about learning the many beautiful variations that this color can produce. Attached are a few examples of what this color can do.

Chalcedony User Guide by Mike Hengler & Examples of Chalcedony and Blue Chalcedony by Deb Batten.

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