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Boro Room -- For Boro-related tips, techniques, and questions.

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  #1  
Old 2012-07-19, 6:12am
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Default Boro capsules of organic material, non-annealed jewelry - thoughts?

I know kiln-annealing is industry standard, and I typically anneal all my pieces. However, I have recently been making some boro pieces that, as they are currently designed, can not be annealed. They contain organic materials, like moss and lichen, sealed inside hollow capsules. (see attached pics)

And I am just in love with them, but I am worried about their durability, mainly the joint at the ring, which is also where I seal up the capsule. I haven't had the courage to try to drop them on the floor yet to check, but I have given them to friends with no bad results - even after being dropped!

But I am curious what you all think. (I am awaiting the "anneal or die" wrist-slap!)

Anyone have experience with these types of capsule pieces as jewelry? If you drop a piece on the floor, anything would break, annealed or not, right? Or am I just fooling myself?

Is it worth a cool design and a disclaimer - "f.y.i. these aren't annealed" if I sell these pieces, and the customer knows what they are getting and know to be careful with them, or is it just a big bad no-no?

I am considering just changing the design so that I can anneal the piece empty, with the bottom open and ring pre-attached, and then when it's cold inserting the organics into the bottom and then sealing it up with the torch, so only the bottom contains stress. This would make the piece more stable, but I wouldn't get that nice perfect rounded bottom shape. ...Sigh.



Last edited by robotronik; 2012-07-19 at 6:16am.
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  #2  
Old 2012-07-19, 6:40am
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Beautiful!! Sorry, not much help on the matter of boro But I just wanted to say I though it is beautiful!
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  #3  
Old 2012-07-19, 6:45am
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Aw, thanks!
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Old 2012-07-19, 6:49am
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I have some unannealed pieces that I amde over two years ago. One of them falls of its shelf at least once a week and has never broken. The thing with not annealling, is that you never knoe if it will crack or when. It's a risk. I think that if you educate people about what they are getting, they would be ok to sell.
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Old 2012-07-19, 6:50am
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Beautiful!! Sorry, not much help on the matter of boro But I just wanted to say I though it is beautiful!
^^^ This ^^^
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Old 2012-07-19, 7:16am
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^^^ This ^^^
^^^ That ^^^

as a general rule of thumb, if the wallthickness is thinner, it'll less likely to break due to stress without annealing, because of the lower mass and and it will have less stress due to the way the heat differential occurs in thinner glass (as opposed to heavy walled glass). See if medium or lightwall is suitable. I think it probably is in such a small piece.
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Old 2012-07-19, 8:50am
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if the wallthickness is thinner, it'll less likely to break due to stress without annealing
The capsule walls are quite thin, and the over-all size of the piece is quite small.

But thanks, this make me feel better about it!

I also make other capsules which I anneal, but they are full of steel wool. The steel turns black from the heat, and they get this cool matte-black charred effect.

But I like the lichen more...
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Old 2012-07-19, 9:18am
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Reality is you are selling glass that has not been annealed and most certainly has some level of residual stress. I would not be comfortable with that. Why not anneal the capsules and the tops separately and then stuff the material inside and glue on the top using an appropriate adhesive?
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Old 2012-07-19, 3:09pm
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I would check for stress with a polariscope and just not sell any that have stress. Since the glass you're using is clear, you should be able to see any stress in the finished piece. I love the mystery, how did that get in there? And you would lose that if you make it in separate pieces.
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Old 2012-07-19, 5:56pm
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I agree with what Glasshouse said.. Just check them with a scope.. I personally would buy one just as they are. They are cool and being all clear, and the thickness, I would not have a problem buying them.. I think even annealled properly, if dropped on a tile floor either one would break... It's hollow glass....
Keep them going, they are awesome..
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  #11  
Old 2012-07-19, 6:09pm
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I made these almost 2 years ago they have opals pieces in them and I haven't annealed any on them,
I don't see a problem
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Old 2012-07-19, 8:17pm
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If it were me, I'd probably anneal empty, then fill and seal heating as small of an area as possible... and check with polariscope.
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Old 2012-07-20, 10:06am
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People spend too much time worrying and not enough time enjoying life.

Like Joe said, they're glass.

Annealed or no, if it hits a cement floor it's likely to break. Even annealed, with that thin constriction it's a potential breaking point, but it's small and thin enough overall that it's likely fine.

I like them, by the way.

I tried doing that with paper once, it didn't go well
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Old 2012-07-20, 11:41am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menty666 View Post
People spend too much time worrying and not enough time enjoying life.

Like Joe said, they're glass.

Annealed or no, if it hits a cement floor it's likely to break. Even annealed, with that thin constriction it's a potential breaking point, but it's small and thin enough overall that it's likely fine.

I like them, by the way.

I tried doing that with paper once, it didn't go well
Heres the original post:

"And I am just in love with them, but I am worried about their durability, mainly the joint at the ring, which is also where I seal up the capsule. I haven't had the courage to try to drop them on the floor yet to check, but I have given them to friends with no bad results - even after being dropped!

But I am curious what you all think. (I am awaiting the "anneal or die" wrist-slap!)"

Are you suggesting in the future that we all NOT answer the OPs question and just say "Enjoy Life, Worry Less" ? Guess its time to find another technical forum.....
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Old 2012-07-20, 11:48am
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Thanks everyone for the advice, and nice words as well! I think using a polariscope is a brilliant idea. That would ease my mind, and solve the mystery of "how fragile are these anyway?" so I know what exactly I am selling, and what I can tell my customers.

I considered making them open at the top, annealing them, and then using an adhesive to attach a silversmithed cap with a ring attached, but I do love the sealed capsules.

If I were to do something like that in the future, what would be the best glue to use? Is there anything out there that really lasts?

And what type of glue would you guys recommend for glass-glass contact for such a stressed part of a pendant as the top ring?

Thanks!
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Old 2012-07-20, 12:01pm
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Are you suggesting in the future that we all NOT answer the OPs question and just say "Enjoy Life, Worry Less" ? Guess its time to find another technical forum.....
That's a good point. But I think he is saying that it's fragile either way you slice it, which is an important thing to just accept about these pieces. But I definitely appreciate the technical answers as well.

Quote:
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I tried doing that with paper once, it didn't go well
Ha! Yeah, the lichen works better when it is ever so slightly damp. I can imagine dry paper would just char immediately!
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Old 2012-07-20, 12:11pm
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Originally Posted by robotronik View Post
Thanks everyone for the advice, and nice words as well! I think using a polariscope is a brilliant idea. That would ease my mind, and solve the mystery of "how fragile are these anyway?" so I know what exactly I am selling, and what I can tell my customers.

I considered making them open at the top, annealing them, and then using an adhesive to attach a silversmithed cap with a ring attached, but I do love the sealed capsules.

If I were to do something like that in the future, what would be the best glue to use? Is there anything out there that really lasts?

And what type of glue would you guys recommend for glass-glass contact for such a stressed part of a pendant as the top ring?

Thanks!
I have used a UV cure Loctite product for this in the past. These can just be left in the sun so no special equipment is needed. Cures water clear so you cant tell it isnt done hot. I will check the Part number when I get home tonight and post it.
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Old 2012-07-20, 12:13pm
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Originally Posted by robotronik View Post
That's a good point. But I think he is saying that it's fragile either way you slice it, which is an important thing to just accept about these pieces. But I definitely appreciate the technical answers as well.
OK but that misses the point. Un annealed glass is stressy and does not need to be dropped to break and can be dangerous if it is hanging around someones neck. I wouldnt sleep well at night myself if I was selling these as pendants without annealing them.
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Old 2012-07-20, 3:00pm
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My point is that anything you *can* anneal, you certainly should.

But look around, you'll get advice from certainly knowledgeable people that'll tell you it's OK to bench cool ornaments and in fact, with a sealed container you *should* bench cool it since you run the greater risk of it exploding in the kiln. Ask me how I know, I was glad to have a 4" thick door and lucky that the sealed ornament I made didn't explode in the kiln while I had the door open.

Consider also, that the wall thickness of these is fairly thin, and the amount of glass actually being worked is very small, giving plenty of surface area to dissipate stress should any exist. If it were unworked 4mm walled tubing I'd have a different opinion, but that looks to be fairly thin.

This is one of the few instances where I'd tell someone, just stick it in the blanket and still sleep well at night.
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Old 2012-07-20, 4:15pm
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Originally Posted by menty666 View Post
My point is that anything you *can* anneal, you certainly should.

But look around, you'll get advice from certainly knowledgeable people that'll tell you it's OK to bench cool ornaments and in fact, with a sealed container you *should* bench cool it since you run the greater risk of it exploding in the kiln. Ask me how I know, I was glad to have a 4" thick door and lucky that the sealed ornament I made didn't explode in the kiln while I had the door open.

Consider also, that the wall thickness of these is fairly thin, and the amount of glass actually being worked is very small, giving plenty of surface area to dissipate stress should any exist. If it were unworked 4mm walled tubing I'd have a different opinion, but that looks to be fairly thin.

This is one of the few instances where I'd tell someone, just stick it in the blanket and still sleep well at night.
We can agree to disagree. I really dont know who is telling you that you shouldnt anneal ornaments. In my opinion that is certainly bad advice.
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  #21  
Old 2012-07-20, 9:23pm
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I think the pre-annealing of the hollow vessels and then a glued on silver cap is really your best option, as the main stress point is going to be where you seal it up and form your loop. however if you feel switching over to the silver cap would "compromise" your design stick with what you have and just let people know they are a little more fragile than the rest of your work. It's glass...it can and will break, I don't feel you are putting anyones health at risk by not annealing and as long as you are honest with people about their fragility (is that even a word) you should be able to sleep soundly
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  #22  
Old 2012-07-21, 5:55am
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fragility IS a word.

and heaven forbid someone should suggest the <shudder> heresy of not annealing ONE tiny weld. Even if it IS extremely common practice in many glass applications.

However you decide to go, it will work out fine. Get on with making art.
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Old 2012-07-21, 4:04pm
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Oh yeah I forgot to add how cool these are. Soo yeah very cool design
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Old 2012-07-21, 5:55pm
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Part of glass's magic is its impermanence.

When I look at moss in a glass capsule, I'm not thinking, "wow, with anerobic bacteria, in 200 yrs, this will be dust in a capsule!" I'm thinking, "What a treasure! How fragile! what genius! How did she do it? It's like an expression of time - a time capsule in reverse. Instead of capturing a fad in the 1950's and preserving it forever, this artwork captures eternity, the ages, in a delicate, eggshell fragile capsule - a brief gem.

I've really had to embrace this with my glass sculptures. I don't have to do anything wrong to have broken glass fish. its part of the value, not a detriment. they are delicate. its part of their magic.
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Old 2012-07-21, 6:12pm
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Quote:
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We can agree to disagree. I really dont know who is telling you that you shouldnt anneal ornaments. In my opinion that is certainly bad advice.
He didn't say that. He clearly specified that you shouldn't anneal sealed ornaments. This is true in most cases.
In this particular case of sealed lichen pendants it's not only impractical, but detrimental to anneal after adding the loop. If you know what you're doing, it's not a problem and you can get away with a lot of things. A softer flame when sealing, proper preparation, slow cooling under a fiber blanket, using thin walled glass all go a looooong way to minimising any issues which may pop up otherwiser were you to introduce a steep thermal gradient to thick-walled glass tubing which is consequently air cooled.
I had a job for many years, back in the 90s; sealed pendants containing a holistic essence for a naturopathic practice. Never had any issues or returns due to cracking or "mysterious" breakage. I clearly explained any issues that may arise from not being able to anneal and none of those issues ever came to pass (I made thousands of units).
I also routinely seal plasma sculptures without annealing in a kiln afterwards. Kiln annealing in this case is definitely not an option, the vessels are under deep vacuum and would slowly collapse, crack or implode at annealing temperatures. It's all in the setup and the execution.
It helps if you know how to do it right!
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Old 2012-07-21, 6:19pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grama Tortoise View Post
Part of glass's magic is its impermanence.

When I look at moss in a glass capsule, I'm not thinking, "wow, with anerobic bacteria, in 200 yrs, this will be dust in a capsule!" I'm thinking, "What a treasure! How fragile! what genius! How did she do it? It's like an expression of time - a time capsule in reverse. Instead of capturing a fad in the 1950's and preserving it forever, this artwork captures eternity, the ages, in a delicate, eggshell fragile capsule - a brief gem.

I've really had to embrace this with my glass sculptures. I don't have to do anything wrong to have broken glass fish. its part of the value, not a detriment. they are delicate. its part of their magic.
Notwithstanding poetic notions, I can't agree with that last statement, either ... if there is a breakage, something went wrong ... properly made glass does not break on its own!
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Old 2012-08-06, 4:38am
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Always remember just what annealing does. If you DON'T do it, well, it's not annealed. Easy peasy It's very black and white, no guessing involved. It IS or it ISN'T.
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Old 2012-08-06, 5:08am
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I wouldnt worry about it.. its not thick, its boro, it can handle it.. I have little mustard seed necklaces that are similar that I made 30 years ago..
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Old 2012-08-08, 9:58pm
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Considering it only clear and its round and fairly small yeh wont have any issues with not annealing.

That being said I would create the the cylinder with the ring, leave one end open, anneal it then add the lichen and close it off . Then flame anneal the end.

Only issue I see is at the point inside where it comes to a sharp point you need that part more rounded out.

Cant really tell but it looks like the bottom is thicker then the rest I would try making it thinner, same thickness as the wall thickness.

really cool pendant.
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