About Devardi® Glass
Devardi Glass is a handmade and hand pulled, lead free glass. However, because this is a handmade glass, the rods can be irregular rather than uniform. This does not affect the quality. The rods just don’t look as good as other, more commercial brands. You will also find some of the rods tend to be thicker or thinner than what you may be accustomed to. Each batch will have a variety of very thin, normal and thick rods, usually ranging from 6mm to 10mm thickness. And the lengths range from 6-13 inches. The only way to keep prices low is to sell the glass in these sizes. Some have suggested that we sell our rods in more uniform sizes like other brands. But to sell a great glass at a much more affordable price means they must include these sizes. The choice is between having to pay more or dealing with these irregularities.
The first thing you should know about Devardi Glass is that it does not like high heat when first placed into the flame. Reduce your flame more than you would Moretti Glass initially, or you will find the glass will shock and splinter a bit more, especially the opaque colors. This is likely because it is a bit denser, more saturated glass, although its COE is still 104. If you preheat the ends of your rods in the kiln at 950 degrees, you can usually place your rods directly into the flame, and without this problem. Or, just wave the rods in the flame a bit longer. The thicker rods require more preheating, obviously. A rod warmer is also a nice item. For the thicker rods, we use a small, inexpensive hotplate you can buy at most discounts stores. We set it to medium and place the rod ends on the hot surface.
Most of the testers who have published that Devardi glass is shocky or can lose color, or may have other problems, fail to reduce their heat when they begin to use the glass, and therefore experience these difficulties. It is a mistake most users of Devardi Glass first make, even experienced testers. We made the same mistake when we started with it. Once people reduce that heat, the rods are far less shocky, the colors hold true and a host of other complaints subside. The user begins to realize just how pleasant the glass is to use.
Some have asked us to explain just where to set the flame on the torch. As a general rule, if you can hold a three inch rod into the flame without your fingers becoming too hot, your flame is ok. If it becomes too hot to get that close, your flame is too large to begin your rods. Once your glass is melted onto the mandrel, you can increase the flame somewhat to shape the glass.
Keep in mind, Devardi Glass is a stiff glass. It has to be shaped using marvers and other tools. It is not a glass that can be shaped by heating it so much that it flows to the desired shape as with some other COE 104 glasses. Heating it that much will burn the glass or ruin it's chemical composition, leading to discolorations or cracks in the glass later. Slowly soften the glass with a low flame and constantly shape it with tools until it reaches the desired shape. This will preserve the composition and colors.
TRANSPARENT DEVARDI GLASS: The transparents should be heated and always used in a low flame. Too high of a flame causes them to bubble, foam and burn, as with any glass, although their colors tend to tolerate the heat better than other common glass. Heat the transparents slowly. They do not splinter much, but they foam if they are heated too quickly or with too much heat. It is also best to apply the transparents in thin layers rather than in thick layers. This greatly reduces the possibility of bubbles entering the bead. The transparent rods retain their color quite well, and the color of the rod is the color you will get in your work. Semi-opaque red is the only exception. It is orange red in the rod and deep, blood red in your work. If you overheat it, it turns clear.
SEMI-OPAQUE GLASS: The semi-opaques are simply marvelous. They let some light through, but you can’t see through them. They offer a very soft, pleasing, deep appearance at a very affordable price. They are my favorites. They are also the easiest to use. They splinter very little, foam very little and rarely discolor. Just remember, don’t overheat the glass. But, adding a little more heat can change the glass, adding lines and swirls. You may wish to experiment with this. Some of the effects are very pleasing.
OPAQUE GLASS: Again, heat the glass rods slowly, or preheat them. The opaque glass shocks and splinters the most if not slowly heated. They offer some great colors and effects depending on the heat and the oxygen/propane mix used. For example, the black will sheen a silvery metallic when a very small, high oxygen flame is used at the end of your project. A larger flame with more propane offers a deep black color. The butterscotch and salmon “mottle” if a larger flame is used, giving a marbled look. Other opaques will do the same. A smaller flame gives the exact color and very uniform. One thing I experienced with the salmon color is a frosty sheen if I get it too hot. If this happens, ignore it. When the bead cools, the frost wipes off and is shiny like it was never there. You may also experience foaming if you apply too much heat to the opaques. If this occurs, move your work from the flame, lower the heat and again apply heat to the area. The foam will disappear if it is not too severe.
ANNEALING: For best results with Devardi Glass, we suggest you anneal your project immediately when you finish it. This is especially important if you are blending Devardi with other COE 104 glasses, such as Moretti. Although, we have had great success cooling beads in a blanket, annealing offers the best protection. For best results, evenly heat your bead or project to a dark red glow immediately when you are done, especially if you are combining other types of COE 104 Glass with Devardi Glass. Evenly heating it to a dark red glow will greatly prevent the possibility of cracking since the glass is above the annealing temperature and evenly heated to one temperature. This gives the glass a chance to blend properly between the types and colors. Place the bead into a preheated kiln at 950 – 970 degrees. Annealing will take place in about 30 minutes soaking time at this temperature. After this soaking time, we suggest at least a 3 hour cooling period to room temperature. Longer is even better. Less time also seems to work fine, but we prefer at least 3 hours.
PLEASE give Devardi Glass a bit of time to become accustom to it. It behaves differently than Moretti. Once people become accustom to a few new techniques, different reactions and heat mixtures, they usually like Devardi. Devardi Glass is stiffer than Moretti, for one thing, holding its shape better as you work. This has many benefits, as you will see, such as preventing designs from melting away when you are working on something next to what you already created. It also sags much less than Moretti. The effects of Devardi Glass are like no other, adding a whole new dimension to your art work. And it mixes well with Moretti, adding to what you may already do and the glass you have in stock. But just be patient with it, as you would any new glass. We have found it will do you well.
If you have any questions or comments about Devardi Glass, we are always available to help. Just email us. If you have any problems, we will always work through them. We wish that your experience with Devardi Glass and our company be grand. Thank you again. Natasha and Daniel