This is just a bit of relief from my ramblings, this is me finishing a boro pendant. (note the clean bench)
In the world of glass making we often hear different labels for different types of glass work, some are confusing and some are obvious, There are two major areas of glass working, hot and cold, hot glass can be divided up into flame working, furnace working and kiln working, all these methods soften or melt the glass to produce the desired effect. Of the hot glass group flame working uses the highest temperatures, the flame is at almost 2000ºC, then furnace and kiln work use pretty much the same temperatures, which can be up to 1200ºC. Often you will hear the misleading term "warm glass" to describe kiln working, a kiln cast can be run to well over 1000ºC which is hot on my scale, however the use of hot and warm to describe the genres seems to be accepted. Cold working as you might expect, is working on the glass while it is cold and this includes, cutting, grinding, engraving, sandblasting, polishing and gluing to name some of the techniques. What ever type of glass you do it is still glass and the skills and knowledge requirements are basically the same.
Glass as many of you will know is a complex mixture of silica and the various "fluxes" it is disolved in, it has one very basic quality that makes it possible for us to work with it as we do, as it is heated it softens gradualy and as it cools it hardens gradualy, this is because it does not crystallize but maintains it's amorphous structure at all times and this smooth softening and hardening allows us to work it in so many ways.