Our Design Process

Our Design Process

From Concept to Finished Art...

There's no denying, the process of taking a new Firelight Glass design from conception to finished product is a painstaking one. As Jamie (our chief engineer) puts it, "We have rarely been content doing what is obvious or easiest. It's like a high wire act. We're so close to the edge of what glass can do and what our jigging materials can endure."

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Many of their designs push the limit of how glass responds. "As a super-cooled liquid, it gravitates toward round shapes and smooth transitions, but we often try for sharp angles and grossly distorted bubbles."

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The commitment to developing new designs is a strong one, even if it means having to slow down production for a while. But for Karen, as both designer and CEO, the impulse of the artist takes precedence over the business of making profits.

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Every step of the production process demands perfection, starting with the raw materials. Firelight Glass constantly searches out the very best sources. Four and five-foot-long "water-white" glass tubing, in various wall thickness and diameters, must be highly refined and free from imperfections. Once the tubing enters the factory, it undergoes numerous cleaning and quality-control checks - before, during and after the stages of melting, shaping and annealing. Ten people are involved in the exacting and careful work of producing one Waterlily stem.

Firelight Glass designs are proprietary, and the hot-working techniques of making the oil candles are "seamless", resulting in an unparalleled purity of form.

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Each candle comes with a lifetime fiberglass wick - which draws the oil upward through the candle without the wick itself burning - along with an oil funnel, safety matches, instructions, and sturdy packaging.

Firelight Glass Lamp Oil, made from specially blended liquid paraffin, is one of the safest and cleanest of lamp oils. It is virtually smokeless and odorless. Each ounce provides approximately eight hours of burning time, so the oil in a 4-inch Sonata Table-light, for example, will provide 32 hours of candlelight; a 7 1/2" hexagonal pillar,136 hours.

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