My name is Heather Kelly. I had my first lampworking lesson in November 2009 and fell in love with glass. Such a fascinating and beautiful material to work with! I soon had my own setup and was busy making glass beads.
In September 2010 I had the opportunity to become a distributor for Lauscha lampwork glass. We did not at the time have a dedicated UK distributor, so it was difficult to get hold of the glass. This was a great shame, as Lauscha has some beautiful and unique colours that do not have analogues from other 104 CoE glass manufacturers. I jumped at the chance to be able to supply it.
I hope you enjoy it and I am always overjoyed to see what you make from it!
About Lauscha glass
This glass is produced by Farbglashütte Lauscha in the German town of Lauscha. The Hütte has been making glass there since 1853. The glass is molten in furnaces and all of it is still handpulled to form the rods and tubes that we melt with our torches. Lauscha glass is famous for its purples and reds and for its clear, which is excellent for encasing because of the optical clarity.
Lauscha glass is 104 COE soda lime glass.
Lauscha glass is free from lead and lithium.
Want to know more?
Soda lime refers to some of the materials used to make the glass, sodium carbonate and calcium oxide (as opposed to borosilicate, for example, which uses boron oxide). The main ingredient of all glass is silica - the other materials are added to alter the characteristics of the end product. Sodium carbonate lowers the melting point of glass - pure silica melts at over 2300C!
Coefficient of expansion and compatibility
CoE stands for coefficient of expansion and measures how the size of an object changes with a change in temperature. CoE for any make of glass is actually a range, the precise number depending on the characteristics of each individual colour. The full range for Lauscha is 104-110 for opaque colours and 102-108 for transparents.
All manufacturers have such a CoE range - calling a product 104 is a useful generality to distinguish it from glass with markedly different CoEs (33, 90, 96, 120, to name the main ones encountered in lampworking). Generally speaking, one 104 glass is compatible to use with another 104 glass. Some individual colours may not be suited to using together, sometimes because one is at the low end of the CoE range and the other is at the high end.
CoE is not the whole story, as there are other reasons that can cause incompatibility between specific colours of glass, such as differences in viscosity. It can also depend on an individual lampworker's method of working, since the characteristics of glass can alter as it is worked in the flame. This can result in problems that are confined to one style of beads.
Whem mixing glass from different manufacturers in new combinations it is always wise to do some test beads first.