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Boro Room -- For Boro-related tips, techniques, and questions.

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  #1  
Old 2009-03-30, 10:51am
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Default encasing gems

Hi,
I have been playing with encasing quartz and love it.
I wonder if there is a way to encase the quartz so it doesn't create all the bubbles around it?

I also see some encase opals. Any kind of opal would do? or only Gilson Opals?

I also tried a few other stones and semi precious but so far they all look like the quartz. A turquoise became ugly grey.

Do any of you have tried different other gems? or semi precious stones?

I had success with CZs though and not bubbles. I tried the quartz in a tube or between 2 marias. Still bubbles.
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  #2  
Old 2009-03-31, 9:26am
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I have heard that the natural opals would explode. The Gilson opals are what work for encasing. ABR Imagery sells the Gilson opals.
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  #3  
Old 2009-03-31, 12:51pm
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cool! thanks! at least now I can order some and try.
I have a client ask me to encase an opal she has... but I prefer to practice on other opals and see before I try anything with hers!!!
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Old 2009-03-31, 3:27pm
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I use to cut stones, facet and Cab, ( well still do but lampworking has won over my time more than faceting has) a real opal will dry out and break if you would get it hot enough to encase it in glass. The moisture in the stone is what helps give it the fire, when they dry out they crack, off the top of my head I can't remember what the water content is, I will see if I can find it.

Look here http://www.gemsociety.org/info/gems/Opal.htm

If I were going to try to encase any opal, I would only use created gemstone like gilson and I don't know if it would work as I have never tired the gilson opal in glass before, I have only done CZ's. So, I can't give any info on encasing one, the only thing I can tell you is not to use a natural stone, a natural opal will not survive in my opinion.
I hope I was of some help to you.
Sandra
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  #5  
Old 2009-03-31, 5:36pm
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gilson opals are the only 'opal' that you can encase... you can encase some 'rocks' i've heard, but not natural gems
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  #6  
Old 2009-03-31, 8:37pm
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thanks!
can you precise "rocks" please? like turquoise? or malachite?...
some quartz... amethyst doesn't like it so far...
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  #7  
Old 2009-04-01, 12:36am
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I have a detailed DVD on how to encase opal to set in glass.. also the dvd has some really cool fuming tricks...its 30 bucks..you can get it on Etsy or hagstromartglass.com

Please dont waste you natural opals!!..Gilson Opal is what you need....
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Get Your New Hagstrom Art Glass Videos on my website and Etsy now!!!
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  #8  
Old 2009-04-01, 1:03am
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beautiful work Hag...
I sooo wish you would come to Alabama!! I have been admiring your work for a while and would love to be able to do that!!
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Old 2009-04-01, 6:20am
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Unless the quartz is pure, a variety of minerals can be found throughout the sample.These form when the quartz is still a hot solution.It's what gives the various colors often seen with quartz, and impacts the fuse or melt point of the quartz. Pure quartz has a very high melt point, but some mineral quartz can melt at around 1110 deg F, the same temp as mica.And if you've ever tried to add some sparkle to boro with mica , you know how crappy decomposed mica looks. Just can't take the heat. I would guess the bubbles are some of the other minerals gassing out from the surface of the quartz. As for other minerals for encasing, most suffer from the same thing opals do, which is moisture in the mineral which rapidly expands and "explodes". Most minerals were formed in a hot water solution under pressure, so water is part of their makeup.It's hit or miss with encasing almost anything outside of lab opals.

Good luck
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  #10  
Old 2009-04-01, 6:27am
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I can testify to the fact that natural opals don't work! When I first heard "opals" a few months ago, I was excited cuz I have a bunch of opal cabs. Excitedly shared them with a friend who works with boro. I was so great EXCEPT that when I tried to use them, they went 'pffft' and exploded into what looked like chalk dust within the glass. Um, er, yeah, that didn't work so I sent a quick pm to my friend to let him know NOT to try to make a masterpiece with them and... too late, he found out the hard way too.

He still speaks to me though!

So, no to natural opals... trust me on this one!

cz's = soft glass = okay

cz's w/boro = NO (not compatible)

Sue
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  #11  
Old 2009-04-01, 2:36pm
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thank you so much all of you!!
This saves me tremendous time, money and deception!!
Yesterday I tried tiger's eye - melter
Turquoise, exploded in the glass
Malachite - exploded in the glass.
So I think maybe if I get the purest quartz I can get... anyways the bubbles are nice to, it gives some sparkle.
I tried ramping up a quartz piece in the kiln prior to encasing yesterday. It
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  #12  
Old 2009-04-01, 2:37pm
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sorry - hit enter by accident, so here is the rest:

The quartz didn't explode but still made bubbles. So that would confirm the bubble theory or the fact that the quartz I have is not very pure or maybe not even really quartz and literrally melted or boiled... that is what it looks like.

This is a very interesting thread!! thanks and I will then order some gibson opals... maybe your pendant dvd to... been contemplating the idea for a while...
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  #13  
Old 2009-04-01, 3:04pm
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Ive tried the mineral and gemstone encasement route.Lots of them No matter what color they are at the start,white bubbles is what they end up as.Sometimes the bubbles make a nice design.I did encase some pieces of blue kyanite and it stayed blue with only a little trapped air.I get some new minerals every so often to try.I sold a lot of the white bubble looking pendants.Keep trying different things.
Jeff
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  #14  
Old 2009-04-01, 9:56pm
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oh well... guess I will not be more successful than you! I will check Kyanite. I like the white bubbles from quartz sometimes. It is nice. and glittery for the clients who like glitters! (like dichro).
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  #15  
Old 2009-04-02, 11:22am
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It is easier if you work with soft glass on a hot head, the lower the heat - the fewer bubbles I get.
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  #16  
Old 2009-04-02, 12:02pm
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In Lewis C Wilson's Sculptural Glass Working Vol 2 he does pendants with encased rock crystal. He takes small pieces and quicky smashes the clear down on the piece of quartz. I think he said that about a third pop off.
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  #17  
Old 2009-04-02, 6:47pm
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It is from Lewis C Wilson I got the idea of encasing quartz! Thumbs up to him and his great videos!! He is a grea teacher!!! and so nice to as a person.

I then tought of encasing other rocks, minerals etc... but guess it is not such a good idea.

I will try with softglass... not a bad idea! thanks! didn't think about it... or work farther in the flame and slower to.
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Old 2020-12-11, 3:40am
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Default A blue opal

Quote:
Originally Posted by malem View Post
Hi,
I have been playing with encasing quartz and love it.
I wonder if there is a way to encase the quartz so it doesn't create all the bubbles around it?

I also see some encase opals. Any kind of opal would do? or only Gilson Opals?

I also tried a few other stones and semi precious but so far they all look like the quartz. A turquoise became ugly grey.

Do any of you have tried different other gems? or semi precious stones?

I had success with CZs though and not bubbles. I tried the quartz in a tube or between 2 marias. Still bubbles.
A blue opal looks beautiful.
for beautiful opal jewelry or any other gem stone jewelry please visit
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  #19  
Old 2020-12-11, 3:43am
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Default beautiful

Quote:
Originally Posted by hagstromartglass View Post
I have a detailed DVD on how to encase opal to set in glass.. also the dvd has some really cool fuming tricks...its 30 bucks..you can get it on Etsy or hagstromartglass.com

Please dont waste you natural opals!!..Gilson Opal is what you need....
beautiful
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  #20  
Old 2020-12-11, 3:44am
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Default opal are beautiful

Quote:
Originally Posted by earlbacher View Post
gilson opals are the only 'opal' that you can encase... you can encase some 'rocks' i've heard, but not natural gems
Opals are beautiful
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  #21  
Old 2020-12-11, 3:46am
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Default hii

Quote:
Originally Posted by malem View Post
sorry - hit enter by accident, so here is the rest:

The quartz didn't explode but still made bubbles. So that would confirm the bubble theory or the fact that the quartz I have is not very pure or maybe not even really quartz and literrally melted or boiled... that is what it looks like.

This is a very interesting thread!! thanks and I will then order some gibson opals... maybe your pendant dvd to... been contemplating the idea for a while...
order some online products from gemexi.
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Old 2020-12-11, 3:47am
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Default hiii

Quote:
Originally Posted by malem View Post
oh well... guess I will not be more successful than you! I will check Kyanite. I like the white bubbles from quartz sometimes. It is nice. and glittery for the clients who like glitters! (like dichro).
Kyanite is a beautiful gemstone
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  #23  
Old 2020-12-12, 9:35am
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I have a bunch of un-tumbled Gilson opal shards...crumbs(?). Any good design ideas they are from 1mm to about 4mm.
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  #24  
Old 2022-04-25, 10:53pm
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Nice Content Shared
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