I am now a member of Esty, “Your place to buy & sell all things handmade.” It was so easy to place a few pictures of my work on the site and get started as a member. I have had several hits, but most interesting are connections made and BUZZ over the Swedish blue slag used in my Swedish blue slag cuff bracelet I call “Deep Blue Sweden “.
The blue slag is actually 500-year old glass from Sweden that was obtained at a gem & mineral show in Indianapolis last year. I purchased five of these pieces at the time, just because they were so different a such a lovely shade of blue. Eventually, the largest piece found it’s home in Deep Blue Sweden, the bracelet was posted here and on Etsy, and a connection was made to another artist who used a piece of this glass in a creation of her own on “Jewelry Lessons by eni oken & friends”.
One comment read:
“The ‘stone’ is very beautiful, and a wonder in recycling, since that is exactly what is going on with it! Just to add a little bit to the historical aspect, It is no accident that many metal and glass works were located near one another at that time – the skilled labor used in both was somewhat interchangeable, and the glass makers of the time needed some of the ore to make the beautiful clear glass so popular among the nobility for their homes and churches.
Iron ore is usually found near quartz. ‘Slag’ from the smelting and refining process of iron is largely composed of silica, and other imperfections. Silica is the main ingredient in glass. Purified, it creates imperceptibly colored glass – The addition of other minerals gives it color, and interestingly, removes color, in certain applications. This slag must have had small amounts of cobalt, too. Cobalt is what is used to achieve a glorious blue color even today.
The 15th century (1400-1500)is the time frame that Murano and all of the Venetian glass makers first came to the fore. Pure, clear, evenly toned clear and colored glass-making was an artform then in Europe. They would not have prized this glass that formed from the refining process – due to the quick cooling, it had the striations in color, and an unusable form.
How interesting that it has lain in this state since practically moments after it was removed from the refinery – just covered over with soil and the remains of buildings. How wonderful that we prize this glass for its antiquity and accidental beauty.
I couldn’t have said it better, or more interestingly. What fun!
P.S. Contact me or visit my Etsy site if you are interested in owning this beautiful piece. Thanks!