Lapidary work is a process that does take some time. This picture is showing you many pieces in progress. Two geode beads that are half way polished, one that has not been cut, and a pile of butterfly murrini parts for a paper weight.
I work with three glass types (most of which are soft glass); COE104 Moretti, Vetrofond, and Color is Messy (CIM). I work with schott crystal (clear) which is a slightly higher COE (with stronger magnification than COE 104), and I work with borosilicate (pyrex, hard glass; not shown here). I enjoy the different effects.
The soft glasses have many color options. Due to the low melting point, most of the colors come out with little burning or de-vitrification (Crystals form on the surface of the bead, appearing textured or pitted.) Having studied glass recipes and clay for a few years in college, I am able to determine what metals (mostly oxides) create what colors, at what temperatures and environments. I do not have it all memorized, I did keep really good notes.
This information has become very useful to me. By seeing the color, I can guess what metal it would be in the glass. The healing properties I am looking for will determine what metal I use. In this case, copper is in my work. You can read about the mental and physical healing properties of copper or Google, “copper healing properties”. (many sites exist on the subject). I will tell more when I show you my finished work.
The schott crystal glass is very soft, and very clear when it is polished. I mostly use it for encasing. Except here; See all of those little tiny crystals in my hand? That is schott crystal, peeled, and pulled into a rod of glass, cut, and then ground down, and made into crystals shaped on a flat lap. (I am very excited to make my own crystals). I will be polishing those up very soon. They will be crystal clear.
For years people have believed in the powers of rocks, crystals, and different minerals. I have heard about it all my life. As I study more, I have learned that, every religion or culture known to man has used crystals and stones symbolically or decorativley. That fascinates me. It makes me think that a Universal asthetic is taking place.
The more I learn, the more inspired I am becoming. The best part is; every time I melt glass, essentially, I am making earth energy. This gives me an enlightened feeling.
All of these parts will be polished on the flat lap, and cleaned very well. I then re-enter the pieces into the flame, putting them together, to finally apply a relief style soul gesture with emotion.
For additional information please see Sheila Morley’s Art blog. Sheila’s art work is currently documented in an on line gallery, and can be purchased at her website, e-bay, and she has a new shop at Etsy.