This wasn't as obvious as it looks... yes I make beads from glass but I was thinking about all the things to do "with" glass, and the penny only dropped when I was replying to a comment on Day 1 of the challenge. D'oh!
Essentially glass can be measured by something called it's COE number (Coefficient of Thermal Expansion), but before you get worried this is going to get super technical, all you need to know is that in essence you stick to the same number when mixing different glasses.
The glass I use for making beads is COE 104 glass, which is often referred to as soft glass, I use it in rod form, a bit like a pencil thickness - but you can also get crushed glass (frits), very thin rods (stringers), ribbons, powdered glass, shards and probably lots of others I don't know about!
|Top to bottom: Frits of different grades, stringer, rod and ribbon|
Glass can also be categorised in different ways, transparent, opaque, opaline (not quite transparent, not quite opaque) and there's a whole range of speciality glasses, it's literally endless; the modern beadmaker has a very large palette of glass they can choose from to create their beads.
|Opaque and Transparent Glass Rods|
I use several different brands, the Italian murano glass is probably more commonly known, but I use glass from all over the world.
Even if they have the same COE, not all glass plays nicely with other glass... conversely you can mix small amounts of a slightly different COE glass as a decoration, general rule of thumb is 5% or less... but as you can see... that is why E is so important in my glass beadmaking journey!
Does anyone else see a face shape in the different types of glass photo?!