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A partial evolution of glass hearts by Christine Hansen

This picture shows how my glass hearts have developed (grown?) since I began making them in 2009. (I think. Maybe 2010. It’s been a while, for sure.) Each heart is the culmination of a dance between me, glass, fire, and gravity. I hand-shape each heart, nudging a little here, pulling a little there, and adding a twist *right there* for the best spiral possible. Once I finish with a heart, I gently detach it from the glass rod I use to hold the heart as I work, and put it in the kiln to anneal.

The first hearts I made were tiny, about 1/2″ or smaller in size, and intended for use as charms for bracelets and necklaces. They were among the first of my off-mandrel pieces. The red one in the following two pictures is smaller than a Scrabble tile. (In fact, the square Diva charm in the same charm cluster *is* a Scrabble tile.)

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Detail shot of tiny heart charm by Christine Hansen

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Diva Scrabble tile measures 0.75″ x 0.83″, shows scale of red heart on left.

As I got a better feel for working off mandrel, I started to make my hearts a little larger, closer to 1″ in size, so that they could be worn as pendants. As I upgraded my skills, torch, and oxygen supply, I was able to work larger still, getting the pendants up to the current size of 1-1/4″-1-1/2.” The following picture shows a variety of memorial heart pendants I’ve made for people.

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The first comfort stones were roughly 1-1/2″-1-3/4″ in width, and the latest hearts I’ve been making, the really big comfort stones, have been measuring in at about 2″-2-1/2″ in size. The comfort stones are not only larger than the pendants, they’re about twice as thick, roughly 3/8″-1/2″ thick. The larger size means these pieces are much heavier than the charm- and pendant-sized hearts I’ve been making, which means I have to be even more careful when working with heat and gravity.

The picture below shows a group of heart comfort stones I recently finished for a client. I am really happy with how they turned out, but more importantly, so is my client.

The hearts I make are a lot like the people and animals on this planet: similar in many ways, and maybe they even contain the same colors, but they’re all just a *little* different: each one is completely unique and special. Kind of like souls.

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