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Lampworking is using a torch to melt and shape the glass. It is also known as flameworking or torchworking, as the modern practice no longer uses oil-fueled lamps. Although the art form has been practiced since ancient times, it became widely practiced in Murano in Italy, in the 14th century. In the mid 19th century, lampwork technique was extended to the production of paperweights, primarily in France, where it became a popular art form, still collected today.
Early lampworking was done in the flame of an oil lamp, with the artist blowing air into the flame through a pipe. Most artists today use torches that burn either propane or natural gas and pure oxygen(which can be produced by an oxygen concentrator) as the oxidizer.
Lampworking can be done with many types of glass, but the most common are Moretti (Effetre) called "soft glass" and Borosilicate knows as "hard glass''.
Different colors of glass must be carefully selected for compatibility with each other in terms of their coefficent of expansion (COE). Glass with incompatible COE, mixed together, can create powerful stresses within a finished piece as it cools, cracking or violently shattering the piece. Chemically, some colors can react with each other when melted together. This may cause desirable effects in coloration, metallic sheen, or result in an aesthetically pleasing "web effect". It also can cause undesirable effects such as unattractive discoloration, bubbling, or devitrification.