27 March 2008

Feng shui

Feng Shui is a Chinese philosophy which asks us to bring positive Chi Energy into our rooms through sunlight. Lightscapes and suncatchers change the quality of light entering a room so possibly add to its Chi energy. I have no idea whether there is empirical evidence that this is so but owning a suncatcher with a crystal in is not illegal, immoral, and it won't make you fat. If you like looking at patches of coloured light then the chances are that doing it will make you feel happy.
Here you can see how the octagonal swarovski crystal casts 8 little rainbows behind it.
To quote Joni Mitchell, who I much admire:
Woke up, it was a chelsea morning, and the first thing that I saw
Was the sun through yellow curtains, and a rainbow on the wall
Blue, red, green and gold to welcome you, crimson crystal beads to beckon. Won't you stay, we'll put on a day, there's a sun show every second.

25 March 2008


Here are two images of a suncatcher I made for Charley. On the left it is against a sheet; on the right against the view from the window. It has a octagonal swarovski crystal so it makes rainbows for her when the sun shines through it.

When I first started making stained glass panels I used prisms and bevels which refract the sunlight into rainbows. I saw the prisms made much better rainbows than the bevels. The bevels are glass and the prisms are acrylic or glass. So why are the bevels less effective than the prisms at splitting white light?

I discovered Strass/ Swarovski® Crystals (Swore-off-ski). They are made of glass with lead in, aka crystal. These flawless crystals are clearer than air or water. They refract well and make excellent rainbows; they are small and relatively cheap. The bevels are made of ordinary glass, not crystal, so refract less well.