Thistle / Atom / Bucky Ball Pendant
These are my staple design in small Pendant form! They are still my favorite to look at and touch, because this shape represents so many things in nature. From single Atoms to clustered atoms (Buckyball C60 carbon) to the Sun, and seen everywhere in between, I call them 'thistles', because to me, the shape is its most significant in a dandelion seed head. I think it's the most universal shape there is, round, but pointy, smooth but sharp, and viscerally and intrinsically attractive.
Please note, the thistles are pokey but not sharp, so try not to fall asleep wearing one of these! The bases are all silvered glass, most with graduating color effects from top to bottom.
Gumdrop Ball Pendants
This series of pendants were inspired by the look of gumdrop frosted candy. I make them in every color you can imagine, and the 'frostings' which are liberal dustings of frit melted into the blown ball, vary in color and sheen and size. These are much simpler balls than the above types, and should be worn with smooth clothes because the frit may 'catch' wooly clothes. They are very cute!
Each piece of glasswork is individually handmade by me in my small glass studio in Orlando, Florida.
My chosen glass type is borosilicate. This glass is familiar to most, when manufactured by Corning, as Pyrex. It is the strongest, most durable glass we can use for art, and could possibly outlast humanity itself, if not broken.
Borosilicate glass is extremely strong and resistant to heat and chemicals. It is more difficult to produce, and the colors in the glass come from precious metals, so it is a more costly media than other forms of glass. Pure .99% silver produce the rich irridescent blues and greens, while 24K gold produce golds, pinks and reds.
Everything I make is properly flame stuck and kiln annealed, in a digitally controlled kiln, sometimes several times over many days to ensure full color striking and for maximum hardness, strength, and durability. The fact that these balls have air inside because they were blown creates a tight vaccum inside the glass that helps to strengthen the form from even normal glass breakage. While it is still glass, these are more likely to bounce then break if dropped, borosilicate is tough stuff, and the air trap makes it even tougher!
Borosilicate should last beyond centuries, and can be passed down forever.
Borosilicate glass will easily withstand temperatures up to 1600 degrees without melting. Another advantage of borosilicate glass, unlike most other types of glass, is that it is usually repairable if cracked or broken (assuming all pieces are together). I warranty my work, so if you have a problem, I will repair or replace your piece so long as I'm working in glass.
Exploring all the nuances in borosilicate glass is a journey I hope you can share with me.
If you see anything in my website gallery that's not listed,
please feel free to email me. If it's still available, I can put it
in my Etsy shop for you. Or, just email me, I love to hear from
people who love glass too!
ęCopyright Helen Starkweather - 2008-2016 - All Rights