A Magnifying Glass at Work: Movies demonstrating the amazing heat generated by our magnifying glass

How can sunshine melt glass? Take a look at this giant magnifying glass!

Here I am, demonstrating how a Sundrop is made.  I use a 31"x41" fresnel lens, which is made of 1/8" thick plastic with grooves in concentric rings, to focus sunlight.  Fresnel lenses were originally designed for lighthouses, to disperse light.  By flipping the lens over, it concentrates light instead.  On a clear day like in the video, the focal point can reach 3000°F.

Mothership Hackermoms Profiles: Interview with Tawny of Sundrop Jewelry by Heather Reilly.

A couple videographer friends from Mothership HackerMoms did a video interview with me about Sundrop Jewelry, motherhood, and running a business with kids... Watch below, or on Vimeo.

Melting glass droplets - close up view

Here's a close up view of red glass melting in the 3000°F focal point of the giant magnifying glass.

Melting two-tone glass - two colors at once

Wondering how I make drops with two separate colors? Here's the answer! I hold two colors of glass together with rubber bands and melt them side-by-side. High tech, I know.

Shaun making a Sundrop - silent movie

Shaun demonstrates how to make a single color Sundrop. He places a strip of purple stained glass in the focal point, melts a blob of glass on the end, and allows gravity to pull the molten glass into a perfect Sundrop shape.

When the glass gets too hot...

And here's what happens when I let the glass get too hot - dripping to the ground instead of cooling in the air.

Take a look at the Sundrop Jewelry YouTube channel for a few additional videos on what can be done with a giant magnifying glass!  Wood will easily burn, and a penny will melt, flaring as the zinc inside catches fire.