Saturday, 23 August 2008

Flashed Glass

Red pot metal glass is often undesirably dark in colour and very expensive. The method developed to produce red glass was called flashing. In this procedure, a semi-molten gather of coloured glass was dipped into a pot of clear glass. As the bubble became enlarged, the red glass formed a thin coating on the inside. The formed glass was cut, flattened and annealed as any other blown sheet.

There were a number of advantages to this technique. It allowed a variety in the depth of red – and other deep colours - ranging from very dark and almost opaque, and sometimes merely tinted. The other advantage was that the colour of double-layered glass could be engraved, abraded, or etched to show colourless glass underneath. Other base colours are also used in making flashed glass, for example red flashed onto a pale green base.  Also see this post on finding the flashed side of glass.

There still exist a number of glass factories, notably in Germany, USA, England, France, Poland and Russia which continue to produce high quality glass by traditional methods primarily for the restoration of ancient windows.