I am so excited about my new didys. What are didys you ask? Well let me tell you all about them. Didys are what lampworkers wear as safety glasses to protect their eyes. Technically they are Didymium safety glasses which protects the eyes from the harsh soda flare emitted from burning the glass in the flame and also protects the eyes from shards of glass which might (only on occasion) fly away . Personally I call them my rose colored glasses because looking through them makes the world look pink. Perfect, everyone needs a pair of rose colored glasses. They are a very important part of the lampworker's set up. If you are lampworking it is imperative that you protect your eyes from the brightness produced in the flame.
Didymium safety glasses are specifically worn for working soft glass or soda lime glass. If you are working with boroscillate glass you will need a different strength of protection.
A definition from dictionary.com
di·dym·i·um [dahy-dim-ee-uh m, di-]
noun, Chemistry .a mixture of neodymium and praseodymium, formerly thought to be an element.
Another definition from wikipedia
Didymium (Greek: twin element) is a mixture of the elements praseodymium and neodymium. It is used in safety glasses for glassblowing and blacksmithing, especially when a gas (propane) powered forge is used, where it provides a filter which selectively blocks the yellowish light at 589 nm emitted by the hot sodium in the glass, without having a detrimental effect on general vision, unlike dark welder's glasses. Blocked also is the strong ultraviolet light emitted by the superheated forge gases and insulation lining the forge walls thereby saving the crafters' eyes from serious cumulative damage. (See also arc eye, also known as welder's flash or photokeratitis.) The usefulness of didymium glass for eye protection of this sort was discovered by Sir William Crookes.[when?]
There are a variety of sources from which you can purchase lampworking safety glasses. A simple Google search of didymium glasses will yield you plenty of options. I am going to tell you about the new glasses I just purchased because I think they are pretty awesome! I purchased my didys from Wale Apparatus.
If you are just beginning you can find some decent starter safety glasses in the price range of $60.00. I have been using the safety glasses I purchased when I began lampworking 8 years ago. I've dropped them on my cement floor a couple of times yielding scratches on the lens and recently a screw fell out and I have them held together with wire. It was definitely time for a new pair.
My over 40 eyes have been in need of cheaters for a couple of years now. I found some neat little bi focal stick ons for my didys a couple of years back but it seems the company that made those no longer stocks them. Unfortunate really because these were a nice, affordable option.
And you can also get these glasses in the appropriate strength to protect your eyes if you work with boroscillate glass. I mean just perfect don't you think?
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