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Aventurine Glass is glass which sparkles due to thousands of tiny specs of metal embedded within the glass ("metallic glitter").
English-speaking people may be tempted to add the letter "d" (glass is an adventure after all!),
but the name "Aventurine" derives from the Italian "a ventura" which is translated as "by chance", indicating that its discovery by Miotti in the 1600's was by accident. Since chance and (happy) accident often seem to define and influence glassblowing at school, I think this is fitting here too.
Aventurine glass is basically a man-made glass gemstone (e.g. chalcedony with muscovite mica inclusions which might be found in nature). The chromium oxide inclusions create silvery sparkles. The sparkling actually bears the name "Aventurescence" (if you Google that word, there are more than 70,000 web pages!)
While aventurine glass has historically been limited to only sparkly accents, such as narrow twists, I spent much of 2011 working through a variety of technical issues to make pieces completely of aventurine glass, so that the entire piece would sparkle. .
My approach is to fuse layers of aventurine together in the small kiln in my garage at home. This fusing takes between 19 and 21 hours, and the peak temperature is 1500 Fahrenheit. There are three layers fused together: an aventurine layer on the top (which becomes the inside of the bowl), an opaquing middle layer (opaque black), and an aventurine layer on the bottom. All Spectrum 96. The clear feet are made with the help of an optic mold, and I think add a nice contrast to the opaque bowls.
01:41:30 May 20 2013
glassblowing web page at 18.104.22.168 last modified: June 27 2012