Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Lark Books; First Thus edition (August 1, 2005)
Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.5 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,244,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #34 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Glass & Glassware > Glassblowing
From a technical perspective, this is a great how-to on flamework. Mears details many useful projects which, if mastered, can give the student a solid background from which to create more artistic and creative items.Some of the discussion on tools, a studio and other equipment is vague - she glosses over specific tools, deferring instead to the old "check with your supplier" for info on torches, tools and other items.A solid buy at this price, even better if used. She includes a section of work being done by artists around the world that really showcases both the full capability of torchwork and the creative ways in which torchwork is being used with other formats - blown glass, fused glass, painted glass and more.
The big problem with glass art is the way that to many people use the terms from one media to another with out thought and then complain. When they find out that it isn't what it appears to be.Back in the day lamp working referred to the type of stuff that was done at the malls in the little booth. Also called glass blowing by the signs at the stand. Not that there was ever much glass blowing in the true sense of the meaning. It was was mostly the making and attaching of glass bits to other glass bits to form something.This book is about hot working hard glass(borosilicate glass) with all the added expense of the large torch and tools.It is also to bad that on the back cover or the flaps of the book it is never mentioned that it is a hard glass beginners book.It is done very well for a book covering intro to flameworking of borosilicate glass. Step by steps are done with enough pictures and descriptions that you can follow them.The description of this book on this sale page doesn't make clear that it is not a book for soft glass(soda lime) I own it and have read it but will only use it if I ever do hard glass.
This book is a good read, but as a boro artist I found that it was a bit simplistic and did not cover much in the way of new techniques. Much of the book had the same design concept put together in a different way - a beginners book.
Conventional Lampworking generally refers to soft glass, but this book deals with borosilicate or "hard Glass". Since I wanted a book on soft glass "moretti" I was extremely disappointed.
The problem with this book is that, as the author states at the very beginning, this is a book for those working with hard glass using an oxygen /fuel torch. Thus for the 98% of those beginners who start with the single tank brazing fuel (e.g. MAPP gas) and therefore work with soft glass this book misses the mark. True many of the techniques are similar, but since there are many books out there that are written from the soft glass lampworking viewpoint, why spend time and money on something that misses the mark.
This book is a good introduction to working with hard glass (that is, borosilicate glass, such as Pyrex). It's beautifully photographed and nicely put together. Except as eye candy, it doesn't have much to offer flameworkers who use soft glass (soda-lime glass) unless they plan to cross over to working boro, but that's not the book's fault.
I like the book a lot and am more than pleased with the projects. I love that there is a progression of more difficult projects that build skills. Unfortunately, the writing and pictures are not set up alongside each other, and where the directions are not easy to follow, the photos are not right beside the text (rather, they are on a different page) to clarify the directions.This book is a lot better than the couple of books I have read in the library which had lots of pictures but no really clear directions to help a person make the projects they describe. So, I give this one a 4, and I do recommend it to people who do basic bead making and glass fusing and know a number of the simpler techniques. This book will take you further and make flameworking and fusing many times more fun.
The author is really good at providing detailed step-by-step instructions with good pictures so you can see what she's talking about. She lists the tools you will need for each exercise. She builds up slowly, starting with simple exercises (such as leaves and morias), then combining those exercises together to form detailed projects (such as the flower candleholder).I'd like to see her go into annealing a little bit more. As it is, she doesn't really explain that aspect in much depth (she talks about using a kiln, and even about using the kiln as a place to hold hot glass pieces, but never specifies when pieces should be placed there). While annealing isn't AS important in boro, it is still important to at least flame-anneal the pieces. I suspect the author just flame anneals automatically and didn't think to include that information. However, no book is perfect, and there is annealing information available free online, so it is only a minor drawback in an otherwise fantastic book.As others have stated, this book is directed at borosilicate users. Soft glass users may find some useful tips here, but a lot of the methods discussed just aren't very relevant. There are plenty of soft glass books out there, however, and I was overjoyed to see a book directed at hard glass users.