Important Terms

Antique glass: Traditional handmade sheet glass. In this process, glass is blown into cylinders.  The ends are cut off, and then the cylinder is opened up and flattened while in the molten state.

Beveled glass: Clear glass ¼ “inch thick is ground on an angle creating a bevel on one face of the glass. Bevels act like prisms in sunlight.

Breaking the score: Applying force to a piece of glass so that it breaks along a score line.

Came:  See Lead Came (below)

Cathedral glass: Transparent colored sheet (art) glass can be either smooth or textured.

Combing: Combing is process of manipulating molten glass in a kiln.  This process is also refered to as raking.  It is the process of heating glass in a kiln to a temperature of at least 1700F and pushing and pulling a unique design into the hot molten glass with raking rods.

Copper foil method: Glass is wrapped with a self-adhesive copper strip and pieces are soldered together.

Dalle de verre: A thick slab of cut glass usually approximately 1” thick often embedded in cement with epoxy.

Drapery glass: A sheet of heavily folded glass that suggests fabric folds.

Etching: Removal of the layer of color from flashed glass with hydrofluoric acid. Areas to be etched are exposed with the use of a resistant stencil. Etching creams are often used with some success on small areas.  Sandblasting is the preferred method to etch glass.  Iridescent glass is often etched to create unique designs.

Enamel: Powdered colored glass suspended in a volatile medium and painted onto glass with a brush or air brush. When the medium has evaporated, the glass is kiln-fired to temperatures ranging from 1250° to 1350°, making the enamel paint permanent.

Flashed glass: Sheet glass with two separate color layers.  It usually has a light color base and is often streaked/flashed with deeper colors.

Glass globs or nuggets: Rounded pieces of glass, 1/2″ to 1″ in diameter.  Usually transparent glass.

Glass jewels: Molten glass is pressed into molds and polished into consistent shapes and sizes. Shapes include circles, tear drops, etc.

Grozing: Use the curved, small fine tooth portion of the grozing pliers to nibble away the glass that has not broken cleanly on the score.

Joint: Where lead lines meet one another in the lead came technique.

Kiln: A firebrick oven used for fusing, slumping, draping, annealing and raking glass.

Lampworking:  A process where glass rod is heated in a mixed gas torch flame and the rod is melted into glass shapes, beads, marbles etc.

Lead came: Lead that is extruded into “U” or “H” shaped strips, then cut and shaped to hold cut pieces of art glass. Available in 6 feet strips.  The profile can be either flat or rounded and is available in various sizes.

Leaded glass: Glass held together by lead and soldered at all abutting joints.

Opalescent glass: Glass with varying degrees of opacity, favored by lampshade makers.

Oxidation: A covering on lead came and copper foil from extended exposure to air.  This oxidation must be removed with a wire brush or #0000 steel wool prior to soldering or applying a patina.

Pattern: The line drawing, drawn to scale. Most patterns today are drawn with computer software and printed on paper showing piece number, color, and glass cut direction.

Puddles: The process of fusing stacks of glass, breaking the fused piece into several smaller pieces, turning the broken pieces on edge and then melting the glass once more.

Reinforcing bars: Steel bars/rods are soldered (anchored) to a large leaded or copper foil window to prevent it from bowing or sagging.  The bars must be anchored to the outside frame for the reinforcement to be effective.

Resist material: Resistant material that protects areas of glass during acid etching or sandblasting.  The thickness and type of resistant material chosen is based on the method used to etch the piece.

Sandblasting: Abrades glass away to various depths to produce a design.

Score: A line impressed by rolling a glass cutting wheel upon the surface of the glass. This fissure weakens the surface tension of the glass and allows it to be broken in a controlled manner.

Screen Melt:  The process of stacking a predetermined amount (mass) of glass pieces on a raised screen and melting at high temperatures (1700°F) through the screen onto a kiln shelf.  

Slumping: Sheet glass and fused glass is shaped by placing it on a mold and heated in a kiln, usually around 1350°F to 1400°F. Thinner glass often requires a higher temp to slump into a mold than thicker glass.

Solder bead: Solder built up on copper foil to a rounded shape, for strength and appearance.

Tapping: Using a ball-ended glasscutter tapped underneath the score initiating a crack (creating a run) and pushing the crack along the score line.  Often used when making curved cuts in difficult glass. Care must be taken not to shatter the glass.

Tinning: A thin coat of solder applied to copper foil wrapped around glass.  It is applied as a base/support layer before a second layer of heavier solder is applied.  It also protects the copper foil from oxidation if time only allows a base coat in one day.