Bobbie & Joy - the blog

Fire and Ice Christmas Decorations

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There’s something magical about the way glass decorations catch the light and sparkle. A tiny glimmer of light becomes something beautiful.

high twist lampwork glass icicles borosilicate christmas winter decorations

Our icicles start life as long rods of glass.  Five foot long rods of glass (or 150cm if you prefer the metric). That means that the parcel they come in is taller than I am as it’s been well wrapped in bubble wrap.

The first step in making these is to cut the glass into more manageable lengths. That’s done by making a tiny scratch on the glass and then snapping the rod. It’s one of those jobs that’s hugely satisfying to do.

mixed lampwork glass icicles borosilicate christmas winter decorations set

Then it’s back to the torch the melt the glass into icicles. The glass we use is borosilicate. It’s the same stuff that older Pyrex glass dishes were made from (these days they’re made from a less durable glass). Borosilicate is brilliant for ornaments because it’s strong. We’ve bashed icicles together when we’ve been taking photos and they just make a lovely chime.

Each icicle is made individually, starting with the hanging loop, making twists along the length and finishing the point off with a little gather of glass that looks like a drip.

Although borosilicate glass is tough, the process of making the icicles can add some stress – the glass gets heated fast. To counteract this the icicles then go into a digitally controlled kiln to be annealled. This allows them the cool slowly and this removes stress from the glass. Cheaper glass ornaments don’t always have this done and it’s why you sometimes see glass shatter for no apparent reason.

Once the icicles have been annealed we add linen hanging threads. This means your icicles are ready to hang as soon as they arrive.

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Covid-19 has meant no in person shows for us this year and we wanted to be sure that decorations could be posted safely. Posting glass is an interesting challenge, especially as we wanted to make sure that packages could fit through letter boxes. To keep decorations safe we’ve sewn felt pockets. These mean that icicles can’t bash against each other. The felt pockets fit neatly into metal tins, and the metal tins fit neatly into cardboard wraps. Once the order is packed we give it a good shake to be sure nothing moves.lampwork glass icicles borosilicate christmas winter decorations gift box wSets of up to six icicles fit easily through letter boxes, and if you’d like to send them as gifts  we’re happy to add a card with a message for you.

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