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Flash glass is multi-layer glass, mouth-blown by master craftsmen. Its thin layers begin as small molten bubbles at the end of a blowpipe, one inside the other. Dipped in the furnace, it is then blown into cylinders, opened into tubes, sliced, flattened and fired in the kiln.
When glass is dipped in certain acids, it is slowly eaten away, becoming clearer and paler.
It all starts with glass. The raw material is actually a blend of glass and metallic oxides that reflect a spectrum of colors. Combined and heated to 2600 Fahrenheit, the molten mixture that results is carefully shaped by master craftmen.
Recreating original oil paintings in a new medium required highly creative planning of color — as work on LEVITICUS shows. The first step, before choosing the glass, is preparing a color map. Here, Ofra has drawn the basic color areas for a better understanding of the glass pieces needed.
Each piece of flash glass is expressly selected as the very best for its purpose. The search is often long and always painstaking because flash glass is extraordinarily diverse. Its layers are different colors and in different sequences, its transparency varies, and its direction of flow fluctuates.
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Lead-came joins the hundreds of pieces of cut glass in each window, both to one another and to their frame. The artist has made these metal strips a central feature, using them to enhance movement and composition in each window, and draw the eye into the stories they tell.
Each evolving image on each panel involves many techniques and materials. The artist may start with acid to obtain a certain shade, and then apply vitreous paint, enamel or silver stain to produce a certain effect during firing.
The tinctures, shades, contours and silhouettes that combine to build each image emerge from a planned and precise fusion of many materials. Look closely at the finished glass. Its minutely sculpted surfaces are testament to many hours of work toward an appearance revealed only after the final firing.
Marking where to cut the different pieces of glass. Each area of the windows is coded, their code numbers seen on a 10-percent transparency overlay of the original work, adjusted for the windows.