Japanese Kinari Glass

It’s always an adventure trying a new brand of glass. It can be fun, frustrating and challenging. It takes practice to learn how a new kind of glass reacts to the flame and to other colors and metal foils. I’ve really come to love some of the colors from ASK104, Messy Color, and Double Helix now that I’ve worked with them for a while.

Feeling adventurous again, I recently bought a sample pack of Japanese Kinari glass. The colors have a beautiful soft look, like Effetre Alabastro and Opalino glass. Most of the Kinari colors are in the purple-blue-green range and there aren’t any reds or yellows yet from what I’ve seen. Also, some of the transparent rods are very densely pigmented and look black. Because many of the Japanese-style beads use millefiori, I think the transparents are dense so that when the glass is pulled out to a thin cane it will still hold its color. Here is a photo of some of the normal-colored rods, they’re hand-pulled and some of them have an interesting texture:

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Like the better-known Japanese Satake glass, Kinari is very, very soft (it melts like butter in the flame) and it has a COE in the 120’s. Because it’s so soft, some people say it should be used with a cooler torch like the Hot Head or the Japanese-style upright air-burning torch. I haven’t had a problem with it on my Minor burner as long as I keep the flame small. The glass is much softer than what I’m used to though, so it’s like learning how to make beads all over again.

I know the annealing schedule for Kinari is different from a 104 COE schedule, but I don’t know what the exact temperatures should be. I’m going to try the Satake schedule and see how that works. Since I haven’t programmed my kiln for Japanese glass yet, I’m just putting my experimental Kinari beads into a fiber blanket to cool and accepting the fact that they’re going to crack. Here are my first test beads:

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The Kinari I’m using is version “C.” I’ve heard that the earlier versions “A” and “B” did not work well for people because some of the colors would devitrify. I’m finding occasional devit with some colors in my version “C” beads, but not too bad.

In the next post I write on Kinari glass, I hope to have some annealed beads to show you.

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4 Responses to “Japanese Kinari Glass”

  1. Suz Says:

    Fun playing with new glass isn’t it? Thanks for sharing. I’m just wondering why you have to ‘accept that they are going to crack’? If left within fibre blanket till cool (and put in warm enough) you should be able to keep them whole and batch anneal them later, when you get the annealing schedule. Is there something specific to japanese glass that makes this not possible?

    Just curious.

  2. beadabundant Says:

    Hi Suz,
    I think you’re right about the Japanese glass being more susceptible to cracking. It does have a very high COE. I know that glass with a low COE like boro can be left out and annealed later with no problem, and I haven’t had nearly as much cracking when I cool 104 glass in a fibre blanket either.
    Thanks for the comment and the observation!

  3. Daniel N. Marder Says:

    I have about 1200 Lbs of Kinari glass in my studio. your fiber blanket dosn’t actually anneal the glass more stabel shapes like perfect spheres don’t crack as easily. other beads should be annealed if your having trouble with cracking. I’ve had no issues using heated vermiculite in a roaster. it’s just enough to keep most small to medium objects whole. I’m curious where you git your glass from I would like to get my hands on some clear without having to make a whole pot of 125coe glass. If you know of anyone who sells clear could you let me know? I’d like to get any amount up to 100 Lbs email: danny@makingglass.com

  4. Joe Greenberg Says:

    I have been playing with Kinari glass for the last 10 years or so after a friend of mine acquired several hundred pounds of the material. We recently acquired some clear as well… I’m pretty excited to be able to start to mess with millefiori with the Glass. Try making some hollow beads with the glass – I find it super easy to work with if you use a very small flame, you can do some pretty amazing detail work


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