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Can You Stand the Heat?

Flame Chemistry

The setting of a flame (a.k.a. flame chemistry) is a crucial aspect of a lampworker’s process. Different flames have varying effects on borosillicate glass.

Flame anatomy

Each zone or candle has its own characteristics such as color, sharpness, temperature, and length depending on the type of flame.

  • Inner Cone – upper tip is the hottest part of the flame
  • Intermediate Cone – not always present
  • Outer Envelope – coolest part of the flame
Example of Flame Zones
Example of Flame Zones

Flame Types

  • Diffusion – This is usually a starter flame. It is composed of mostly fuel and burns coolest of all flames. It is identified by its yellow-orange color and wispy appearance.


Diffusion Flame

  • Reducing – Once a little more oxygen (o2) is added, it becomes a reducing flame. It is produced when there is not enough o2 to cause the combustion of all the fuel. This flame has long yellow candles and an intermediate cone. It still has a bushy nature, but is more defined than a diffusion flame. A loud roar accompanies reduction.
  • Neutral – Mixing equal parts o2 and fuel will create a neutral flame. Being the hottest of the flames, you will notice a sharpening of the candles. The candles are also white with a bright blue outer envelope. Most of glass working is done here.
Neutral Flame
Neutral Flame
  • Oxidizing – This flame has more o2 than fuel. It is characterized with a hissing noise and even shorter cones. It can boil glass off. Therefore, it is important to keep the piece within the glass’ heat tolerance.
Oxidizing Flame
Oxidizing Flame

Flame chemistry can make all the difference between a cobalt rod being vibrant blue or dull grey. Learn more about the actual colors and setting effects here. When fuming precious metals, the flame used on gold would annihilate any silver that has not been encased. Basically, for every job, there is an appropriate flame, and Will has studied them to bring you beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces.


2 thoughts on “Can You Stand the Heat?

  1. I’m looking for a DNA carb cap that i happen to see at custome grow 420 on youtube and one I saw on instagram. How do i go about purchase said item?

    1. They are finally here… DNA Dabber/Cap Combo

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