Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fibre Optics Arrived!

I got a shipment of fibre optic glass today, which will form the bulk of my next big wholesale order. Its another CCNL order, but this time the product is being shipped to Korea for sale. This fall, there is a massive Craft Biennale in Cheongju, Korea. Canada is the official guest country and there are going to many venues showcasing our awesomeness. One of the ways we are participating will be to send product for sale in the Cheongju International Craft Market. So if you are reading this in Cheongju because you are interested in learning about the fibre optic glass jewelry that you bought - thank you - and here's a picture of your jewelry on the day the unworked slabs arrived at my home in Canada.

I order my fibre optics as slabs from a veteran flintknapper named Craig Ratzat who owns a flintknapping supply shop called Neolithics, located in Oklahoma. I get my obsidian from Neolithics as well. The fibre optic slabs are about 1/4" thick and I'll use a tile cutter to score and snap them into rectangular or triangular blanks. After that I knap them like any other glass or stone.

When the slabs arrive they are a little dusty from the sawing process, so they aren't as bright as the finished pieces will be, but you can see the fibre optic filaments quite well. If you look lengthwise down the slab towards a bright light you will see a honeycomb pattern. You're looking down the end of the individual fibre optic filaments that have been fused into a solid brick. Knapping across those filaments is like cracking through hundreds of tiny mirrors. That's why fibre optic glass is so much more reflective than normal glass.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast
Photo Captions:
Top, Unpacking the fibre optic slabs from Neolithics
Middle, Looking down the end of a fibre optic slab, detail of filaments
Bottom, Finished fibre optic pendant ready to string


  1. It's great to see the candy dish of colours unveiled when you open the box! They're a little dusty on the outside but the colours burst when you start chipping away... I can't decide if I want a pink, black or silver pair of earrings. I'll keep you posted ;-)

  2. The Rooms has a good selection of pink fibre optic earrings.

    The photo looking down the fibre optic filaments was a little surprising -- you don't see the little black nuclei in the middle of the tubes when you view them with the naked eye. Click on the picture to enlarge it.


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