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Author Topic: torchwork vs lampwork vs millefiori ???  (Read 1231 times)

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Offline kap320

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torchwork vs lampwork vs millefiori ???
« on: October 22, 2011, 09:34:41 PM »
Can anyone tell a novice {me} in simple terms, the difference between paperweights that are made via regular melt gathering, torchwork or
lampwork. Torchwork and lampwork seem the same to me-----HELP!!!--Thanks ,,Ken

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Offline Sach

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Re: torchwork vs lampwork vs millefiori ???
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2011, 09:52:03 PM »
Torchwork and Lampwork are indeed the same thing, just different terminology.  In all these types torch/lampwork, and millefiori the internal components, called the set-up, are made in advance, then encased in clear glass.  Furnace type paperweights are made all in one go and thus can be produced much faster than the others.

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Offline KevinH

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Re: torchwork vs lampwork vs millefiori ???
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2011, 10:57:27 PM »
Expanding on Sach's post, we should also add "flamework" into the terminology, which is another variation of "lampwork" / "torchwork". And then we can add that "flamework" & "torchwork" were terms mainly used in the USA from the time of the development of what has been called "the American way" of paperweight making. [See my comments from a past thread quoted below.]

For readers not familiar with the term, "millefiori" (mentioned by Sach) is not a method of working like "torchwork" etc., but is basically the "cane slices" cut from a length of stretched cane which contains (most often) a geometric pattern contstructed by fusing rods of clear and coloured glass.

The quote below described in more detail the general difference between working with "the American" [use of billets] and "the Scottish" (& elsewhere) [using gathers from a pot or furnace] methods. But note that some Scottish work is now made in "the American" way!
In the US, many makers construct the whole of the weight by "torchwork", using billets of clear and coloured glass at every stage. This does not involve the use a furnace, in the way the general Scottish (etc.) "lampworked" items do.

As a very broad generalisation, "lampworked" pieces use pre-formed flattened elements which are added to a shaped gather, then covered wth more clear and finally the extra clear for the dome is gathered and shaped.

But in the Ameican way, because of the standard use of what I'll call "laying on" of the clear glass required, it has become natural to also build up all the coloured elements (of a full 3D flower, for example) by working every individual element of colour and clear until the design is fully constructed. This is a very labour intensive process and it can take several days to make just one weight if it is a complex form.

The "lampworked" method has its labour intensity at the stage of creating the coloured parts, but because most of this work is, as I suggest, more of a 2D form, a weight can be made more quickly.

Speed of construction = cheaper production. Hence the price differential bewteen much of the American and Scottish (etc.) work.

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