Friday, March 21, 2014

Annealing Murano Glass Beads by VenetianBeadShop

Annealing Murano Glass Beads - Why and How
First Why would we want to anneal our Venetian Glass Beads?

Annealing takes the stress out of the glass much the same way annealing metals relieves the stress. While the beads are being made, small amounts of stress are created by the different temperatures of glass which are being applied. It is essential while making the beads to attempt to keep all the glass at a consistent temperature. However, the glass on the exterior of the bead will cool at a faster rate than the interior because it is exposed to air.

Ways to Anneal: Our small beads are annealed in the same method they have been annealing in Venice since the beginning of the bead industry there.

First: Flash Annealing, putting the bead back into the fire once it is completed to maintain the entire bead at the same temperature. You must be careful in this step if you have exterior 24kt Gold Foil, or .925 Sterling Silver Foil and for all decorations. If you leave in the flame too long you risk distorting your decorations and burning the foils.

Second: Today we use vermiculite to help maintain the heat in the bead so that it slowly cools. After the flash annealing, the beads are pushed into a deep vat of vermiculite, not touching each other. They cool in this material for hours.

Annealing Oven: This is popular with "lampworkers" around the world. We use this type of oven for our larger, more sophisticated beads and for blown beads.

For more information on Annealing Murano Glass Beads, visit our onsite VenetianBeadShop Blog

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