Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I've been practicing my boro and trying to figure out this whole "striking" concept. (In boro, I've just learned that the best way to get bright red/purple colours is to keep the whole piece glowing hot while you're shaping it, then let the glow disappear only at the very end, then reheat gently in an oxygen-rich flame. Before I was heating and cooling repeatedly, which isn't as effective.) These aren't the best examples of my colour progress but I wanted to share this design since I really love it!

It's based on a variety of inspiration from making "glasswing" flutter beads in soft glass, then making a similar toggle in boro for a lady who decorates purses. I then forgot about it for about a year until I saw a singer with a crescent of contrasting undershirt showing at her neckline and thought how awesome that would look as a necklace. It reminded me of some kind of historical neckwear but I couldn't remember what until I did an internet search. Eventually I found it: a gorget, (from the French for "throat", pronounced "gor-JHEY") a piece of medieval plate armour for the neck that gradually became more of a decorative rank marking and eventually a trade item in the New World.

I thought that glass would be an interesting medium for "armour", and these are some of the results thus far! They're between 2.75 and 3.5 inches wide.

Aurora Gorget

Blue Gorget

Amber Gorget

Currents Gorget

This one is actually quite purple and reflective in places, but the photo picked up the amber transmitted light instead of the purple reflected light... Darn uncooperative light! I re-used some shards from a failed blown piece to make the blue background.

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