We love borosilicate or "boro" glass beads for the muted colors they display. Yet what exactly is borosilicate glass?
Borosilicate glass was invented by Otto Schott in the 19th century and sold under the name "Duran" in 1893. Corning Glass began to market borosilicate glass under the name "Pyrex" around 1915. Borosilicate has a higher melting temperature and therefore can withstand wide variations in temperature.
Modern flamework artists are taking borosilicate glass to new levels far beyond what the creators imagined. Since boro glass can withstand wider variations in temperature, it is particularly suited to sculpture. Some wonderful examples of sculptural beads in borosilicate are these "exotic shells and ammonites" made by Jeremy Sinkus. (Photos from Jeremy's website)
The muted, swirling colors of boro glass enhance the organic subject of the art beads. Jeremy is one of many artists who create lovely boro beads. Others artist work with frit to create lovely beads in boro and soda lime glass. Look for another Wikibeadia post on frit!
Written by Cindy Gimbrone, glass beadmaker and dabbler in borosilicate glass.