Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Saturday, 23 January 2010

An Interesting Thing is Knowledge

Bullseye Glass Co. has been making Aventurine glass in several colours for a long time now, and ever since Spectrum entered the market with theirs (Green, Blue and just recently Black) the popularity and profile of this glass has risen substantially. So what is Aventurine glass? It's a type of coloured glass produced by the deliberate addition of an excess amount of a metal oxide during founding. The quantity of the metal oxide is such that it cannot remain in solution and forms crystals large enough to reflect light. These glasses, while challenging to make, are so fresh and new looking that they seem to have fostered some misinformation. Below is a clipped posting from a few months ago by Lani of Bullseye, trying to rectify the misinformation:

Yikes - Toxic teaching…
The other day one of our salespeople took a call from a user concerned about the toxicity of Bullseye’s Aventurine glass. HUH?

Aventurine takes its name from the Italian “avventura” which translates as “adventure” - a good description for a glass that, due to its supersaturation of metal, has historically been challenging to melt and - at least in its copper form - was often a different color from batch to batch. Bullseye has made Aventurine glasses for over 20 years. Currently we offer them in three styles (a green 1112, a lighter green 1412 and a blue 1140)….none of them poisonous.

But back to the story:
The caller had been told that after firing, an Aventurine glass should only be handled with gloves until it was first washed.
Yes, supposedly, according to the caller’s teacher – who claimed to have this information direct from the glass manufacturer – “chromium comes out of the Aventurine and should not be handled directly until washed with soap and water.”
Kilnforming is fascinating territory and there are lots of knowledgeable teachers out there who can guide you through it with accurate and useful information.
There are also a number of nutcases who ought to be ticketed for teaching without a clue.
If you need accurate information on the behavior of our glass, a good place to find it is here.
If, instead, you’re looking for the latest urban legend, you might like to answer the phones in our sales office.

1 comment:

FusedLight said...

Ah, Mikey, Mikey, Mikey... the kindly doctor needs to talk with you.

"Aventurine" derives from the Italian "a ventura" meaning "by chance". (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalcedony ) not "adventure". This refers to the glass making technique that was fortuitously found to make the gold version of aventurine: goldstone.

The "real" aventurine, as in "the rock", does have chrome-mica as the sparkly bits. That's where the confusion of the instructor probably came in.

As far as I know, BE doesn't dump chrome-rich mica into their ersatz glass "aventurine".

Y'r h'mbl & obt. svnt,
Geologist (ret.)