Experimenting with torch fired enamels

I’m getting ready to start experimenting with torch fired enamels and
want to make sure I protect my eyes. I’ve checked the archives here,
and searched the internet, but am still uncertain on what to wear
(only one reference to Aur-99s). “Dark” or “tinted” safety glasses
isn’t much help - I’d appreciate specific recommendations from people
who do a lot of torch firing and take eye protection seriously!

Thanks to all who respond.


Zee, It is very wise of you to wear protective glasses. For torch
work (soldering, casting, etc.), I use didymium glasses which are
recommended for acetylene, Mapp gas, and Propane.

For kiln firing, I use Calobar glasses available from Enamelworks in
Seattle They have a website.

I don’t have a source for the Didymium glasses, as the place I got
them is no longer in business. Hopefully someone on Orchid can help

Alma Rands

Go to http://www.auralens.net/e_gwrecommend.cfm

for comparisons of the various types of filter lens safety glasses.
I have the AUR-92 lenses and like them for situations where in need
this type of protection.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts

If you do a google search for the didymium glasses there a good
number of places you can buy them.

Debbie Moyer


Didymium glasses are the recommended type. Glassblower suppliers
have these glasses. One web site is



see: http://www.auralens.net/m1_eyewear_activity_selector.cfm
for good advice on specialty eyewear.



I work with glass and have also played with torch firing enamels.
The best and highly recommended glasses for working with glass are
called “Didymium”. Here is the best description I have found of how
they work and a link (one of many locations to purchase from) to a
good supplier. They are also available with side screen protection
for any flying material.

Rose didymium is a high luminous transmittance filter specifically
designed to absorb bright yellow sodium flare (589 nm) which occurs
when heating glass. Didymium lenses protect the eyes from certain
visible and UV light produced in the glassblowing process. They
enable the glassblower to see the glass while it is being worked in
the flame.This is the classic filter that has been used for many
years in all types of hot glass applications, as well as kiln


Good luck and have fun!
Tisha Abrahamsen
Andre Glass

Didymium glasses are available through lampworking suppliers. Just
google didymium lampworking and you should find suppliers. If not,
email me offline and I’ll send you a few when I’ve returned home.


Hi there

I did a glass blowing course a while back (in Turkey, oddly enough),
and didymium was recommended as the minimum protection needed when
looking at hot glass (which would include enamel). However, if the
glass was coloured, didymium does not help that much, as it only
protects you from the sodium glare you get form clear glass. Some
students had what looked like bifocals, with didymium on top and a
more welding grade anti-glare bottom. Have a search on equipment for
glass blowing and you will probably find what you need.


I got mine from my lampwork supply place. Any of the glass suppliers
should have the didymium glasses. Nortelglass.com in Toronto, Frantz
art glass, c.r.loo, Olympic color rods, or sundance glass in the


Is there an easy way to find the beginning of a thread? I missed the
start of this one and am wondering what the original question was?
The replies I am finding seem to assume that torch firing enamels is
just like making glass beads with a torch since both techniques
involve melting glass with a torch. As an enamelist and a lampwork
glass bead maker, I do both. Very different torches and flames in my
experience. Not to say that eye protection is not needed, but
perhaps not the same eye protection. I am very concerned about safety
and would like to read what an expert has to say on the subject.

My cousin is an ophthalmologist/surgeon, and she says “not to worry”.
Not sure I can believe that… and anyway, I am a born worrier.

Carol Holaday

Carol, I think this link will take you to the thread on torch fired