2003-01-04 Rev. 2003-06-05, -06-24, -07-02, -09-05, -11-23
2005-02-16, 2006-06-20, -07-22, -08-31, -09-30, 2007-01-31, -04-20, -06-08,
[Search on date pattern to find latest changes, more than one may be found.]
|V=Video NW=New Window NP=New Page|
|Third Arm - Working solo|
|Mass production hand made|
|Wood Mold Working - NP|
|Mark Boutte working a goblet|
|Colin Heaney working with wood sticks|
|Steam Stick & Air Cone|
|Ring Bubble, RISD Ring|
|Martin Blank - Huge solid piece|
|Merrilee Moore at Pratt, GAS 2003|
|James Nowak making a large platter|
|Karen Willenbrook-Johnson solid sculpture|
|Rollup demo at Eastlake Glass, WA|
|Flattening a piece with cork pads|
|Steps in blocking a piece|
|Changing axis of piece|
|Threading, Cane & Stringer - NP|
|Drew Ebelhare Makes a Weight -NP|
|Other sites with demo pages|
|Stephen Powell makes Johnson bag|
|Stephen Powell other techniques|
|Reticello & other Venetian|
|Using Pie Dividers & Calipers V NW|
Virtual Training Centre
for glass arts and techniques V NP
a tall thin animal's legs by making a squat
animal, putting a blob of clear and stretching
Davide Salvadore in Tulsa V
This page shows various pieces of glass created from furnace glass and discusses possible or actual techniques for making them. Some of the glass is commercial and therefore the actual technique may not be known.
|2003-06-05 Posted by MF to Yahoo Glass discussion
WORKING ALONE -Picture at right showing my bench and its third arm. [benches] The 3rd arm is a freestanding box with a ring into which I dump my hot punties and pipes, but it also has an adjustable height right angle that is matched to the arms on my bench. There is a pipe hanger which is a V fold of metal above the bench.
Transfer goes like this: Chill the jack line, reheat the bottom, hang the piece, grab a hot punty, gather the bit, marver, blunt and chill the end; lay the punty down on the middle arm with the bit to the left using the right hand while grabbing the hanging pipe with the left and pivot it down left to the piece is to the right. With the right hand, pick up the diamond shears and with tips, pick up the punty near the bit, sliding it to the right to get it out beyond the piece; use the left hand to roll the piece, bend over and spot the center and slide the hot bit into place; adjust the punty to center (you didn't think I hit center every time did you?); change hands with the shears and take the punty in the right, squeeze the jack line with the shears (wet or not), test the punty - I tend to be hot, so it has time to cool, set the jack line on the arm edge, tap the glass twice with the edge of the shears and whack the pipe about 6-8" down. When it breaks successfully, set the shears down while controlling the piece on the punty and if time, grab the pipe and drop it into the bucket under the 3rd arm. Simple, unh!
|ONE GATHER -
I keep working on thinner, etc. People who do pieces with 1 gather have
the following tricks - relatively cool glass in the furnace, a bigger head on
the pipe - some goblet makers use a 1.5" head on a .75" pipe.
If you recall my setup, my yoke has the transfer balls attached in a V cut in a steel panel which acts as a heat shield very nicely. But it also means that there is a flat surface on either side of the V, so I can lay the pipe in the V and roll it easily and lay a hot bit on a punty in one of the rough notches (it was torch cut when I was learning) on the top and roll it there. Thus I can reheat piece and punty for another attempt at transferring to a punty or I can reheat a color or clear gather being used to add a hot bit or stringer to the piece. With a standard yoke, I have seen solo workers cross the pipe with the punty, so the punty is laying on the pipe near the moile. This requires the door be open more or be bigger.
Where: CraftWeb discussion
Special Equipment: None
2002-09-21 In a discussion running on CraftWeb, guys who make goblets say that having the glory hole relatively cold gives more time for working the piece without the bowl collapsing.
2003-07-02 In another discussion of making goblet feet, several points are made. Four hours of just making feet on stems on a punty (no bowls) will insure perfection of whatever method is used. Besides the wooden footer, and the fancy tool from Emenese, one person is reported using a small (3x5) thin (1 sheet) newspaper pad with success. Several people form a gather made on the stem itself, no cookie. If using a cookie, reheat to the softest that can be handled and really squeeze it down while turning quickly.
These two sets of pieces were photographed at Elliott's
Hardware, where I work. Each is an example, I think, of the best
that can be produced by low cost, mass production hand made
techniques, unfortunately by low paid people. The colored vases require gathering a small amount of color and gathering a
larger amount of clear, and doing the initial forming. The bubble
in the bottom was almost certainly formed with a simple centered
mold with a blunt spike (because of its size and uniformity.)
Then another gather of clear over the indention to form the
bubble and final forming of the glass. Both of these sets of
pieces have ground tops, which means they are probably not
transferred to a punty and not reheated. The square vases are
clearly mold blown and have no bubble in the bottom. Another vase
like the ones on the left has a round top and four lobed base,
the base being formed by letting the hot glass flow between four
The pieces on the right were probably made in two sections, the top being mold blown and then inflated, while the foot and stem were molded and attached hot. Again, the piece has a ground lip. It was either annealed on the pipe or cracked off well above the lip line. 2000-11-06.
Notes on how a team might make bottles in production situation, written down for woman who was asked to make 12,000 750ml bottle twice a year. on CraftWeb
|TRIM THE RIM - I have been told that one of the most difficult things to do is to thin out the lip by pulling the lip and trimming if it is too thick. After freeing the piece from the pipe, the rim may be to thick if jacked in the wrong place or if not blown out at the jack line. If you heat the lip hot, you can take tweezers or diamond shears and pull it lengthwise in several places - this will give you a thinner, ragged edged lip, which you reheat. Then using cutting shears, you start cutting at the bottom, turning the bottom toward you, so the peel falls down and away from the glass. If you are quick, it can be done in one move, but more likely you will feel the glass harden under the shear blades, so you will turn and cut off the peel, letting it fall to concrete floor or metal pan and reheat the rim to finish the cut. On the next reheat the cut edge will smooth and if evenly done, spinning or shaping will be much easier than fighting with the thick glass. 2007-04-20|
Making: Classic bubble on bubble goblet
Making: Flat sided pieces
The sequence of images of the Marilee Moore demo (below) starts with a picture of her using cork pads to flatten the piece.
A piece can also be flattened or given multiple sides by letting it sag onto the marver, lifting and rotating 180, 120, or 90 degrees for 2, 3, or 4 sides, and laying it down again. 2006-07-22
|Making: Using wood and cork
flatten the sides of a piece.
Artist: Lino Tagliapietra
Where: Philabaum's, GAS Tucson
In the sequence, the first image shows the original shape of the piece before applying the blocks, which is shown in the next two images. Finally, below there is a picture of the piece showing its thinner, flatter appearance. 2006-06-20 Longer narrative on piece
"Steam pressure has been used for blowing or
re-inflating a piece on the punty. This is done either by pushing
a wet stick through the narrow opening of the form or by holding
the opening down over a damp surface, a wet board, or a pad of
"Air pressure, from either a simple mouth-blown conical tool or an air hose, is traditionally used to inflate a form. The conical end of such a tool fits a variety of openings, and when it is forcibly held against an opening and air pressure is applied, the form can be expanded. This process has been used both to inflate a form that has been broken from the pipe and to start a piece gathered on a punty. In 1962 Jean Sala gave me a tool similar to those I later saw used in Murano. Salas, however, had a simple right-angle bend to make it possible for him to use it alone.
"At Steuben the cone is made of wood and is
on the end of an air hose with a simple finger valve so that the
gaffer or head of the hand shop can use it without aid. There I
saw it used to open out the top of a high bowl. After the piece
was broken off the pipe and warmed in the glory hole, air
pressure was used to open up that thick area of glass near the
rim. Normally, such a form would be slowly opened out with the
jacks and the wall would never be pulled outward from the base.
But the entrapped, expanding air bubble pulled out and thinned
the wall farther and farther toward the base. This is quite a
different action from the stretching outward of the edge with a
jack or even the spinning out of a form with centrifugal force."
While taking the class in 2003 with Fritz Dreisbach, I learned that the steam stick or steam cone needs to be rotated with the piece to keep the seal. Therefore the handle to the steam stick should be small enough to roll with the fingers. Fritz used a ricer pestle that is smaller than I was able to find on several shopping trips so I turned one in cherry. Blocks Wood & Paper During the 2003 GAS, one studio shaped a large bowl form by putting a pad of wet newspaper on the floor and lowering the rim onto it, so the steam inside swelled the walls. It was not turned. MF 2003-07-03
Ring Bubble, RISD Ring
Posted By: Kurt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I turned at first to "Popular '50's and 60's Glass" by Leslie Pina to cross check, because I had been surprised at how much some of the commercial glass echoed what was done in the studio glass movement. On a closer look at the picture, I would say it could have been made in any studio from the 60's on. If you can date more accurately "many years" you might be able to raise its value by attaching it to a particular artist. I note that it is easy to make (pull the prongs then remelt to take off the pull marks) and it appears to be not particularly well made - lacking proportion and symmetry and being rather top heavy. Because of its size it might be worth a few hundred.
Depending on whether the inside is all white, and it does not appear to be, the piece looks to have been made by picking up several disks of color on the end of a gather of clear and blowing through them to form the lines of color. After a further gather of clear over the color, the bottom was pulled, distorting the color downwards, but giving a clear end to the toe. The bottom was squared off, perhaps in rod form, and the piece was transferred to a punty and the top reheated. The top edge was pulled, perhaps after cutting into lobes, but stretching the upper color as shown in the center front and left and the rear. The piece was reheated to round off the pulls and soften the tool marks, but little effort was made to form the pulls either inward or outward, to give it a base form. It may simply have been hung upside down after reheating and left to solidify before being placed in the annealer. This form would require hot gloves to get it safely in the annealer, I think. 2000-02-25
|Making: Very Large Solid Sculptural Pieces
Artist: Martin Blank
Where: His studio, demo during GAS Conference 2003
Special Equipment: Massive pivoting punty on yoke with large control wheel
Annealing oven with special door to allow piece on punty to extend out under closed door
Large shaping block with cross handles brought to work by two people.
The two assemblages of photos below follow the work of Martin Blank (in brown) and his team making a VERY large solid piece for his sculpture work. The glass is so big a special punty, clamped to a yoke, with a large wheel is used for turning. The shaping block is brought to the glass by two people (second row) and a large oxy-propane surface mix torch is used for punty heating. When the clamp is released to extend the shape (row 2, pic. 3), control is tricky. A heat shield guards the bearings of the yoke. Row 4 shows some finished pieces and the steps in flattening (with a lifted platform) and final shaping of the piece, with a pulled tip. The whole unit is inserted in the annealer to even the temp, with a slot in the door for the punty and when even, the piece is laid on the floor of the annealer. 2003-06-24 rev. 2006-06-20
Making: Large seashell sculpture
Making: a large platter with included color, rolled pickup, metal leaf, optic
Making: Rollup Vessel
|Making: Eagle sculpture, flower, sword
Artist: Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen
Where: Houston Studio Glass, special demo
Special Equipment: Garage to park parts
Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen's demo was on when I arrived "early" and this is a shot near the end of the completed eagle. The wings, folded on the back, were made first and garaged, then a textured rock was made and puntied and the eagle built up on the rock, with the head shaped at the end with details added with a torch and stringer. The torch shown in the picture got a lot of use, it is an oxy-propane torch, being hand held instead of bench mount. lots of heat.
|The second demo was done by Jason Willenbrink- Johnsen, making this cutlass style sword. The handle was built first then the blade and the two were merged by heating locally with a torch. The blade was then further shaped. Because the color of the blade comes from powder on the outside of the gather, when the tip was sheared, it showed the clear glass and had to be pulled and shaped as here, to get the color back to the tip.|
|This sun flower was Karen's second demo. It was built with a seed pod made by picking up frit. The petals and green outer leaves were applied as hot bits, each one being cut off at an angle, then cut in half lengthwise and shaped. In this picture, more green glass is being added to form the bud base of the flower (and later the stem.) Of course, the green glass glows red in the picture although the greenish colder leaves can be seen below it.|
Making: Standard hollow ware shape with blocks
In the top image, the end of a heated pipe has been pressed down on a chunk of color in the color oven. The remaining layer of glass on the end of pipe adheres the chunk which is then heated and rolled on the marver to shape. The color is dark here because of the chilling from the marver. It is checked for good adhesion.
In the second picture, a gather has been made over the color and brought to the marver for shaping, moving the glass up off the pipe and around the color and making it symmetrical.
In the third image, a second gather has been taken from the furnace and by carrying it pointed somewhat down while turning the glass has flowed to a cone shape. A block of medium size has been picked from the bucket of water and is being brought to the glass, the glass being turned constantly.
Next the glass is being blocked to shape, chilling the surface for blowing.
And lastly, after another gather the hot piece has been rolled in mixed colored frit laid out on the marver and a larger block is used to work the color into the surface. 2003-11-23
Giant murrini colored bag
Stephen Rolfe Powell other techniques
This YouTube video shows many steps in making a similar bag shape with a lot of team activity. The following images were taken by screen capture of some details I wanted to point out, including torches, draining, rollup, keeping cool, teamwork, special tools and where the gaffer can be found.. Stephen Rolfe Powell is the gaffer.
Torches appear at several points in the video, three of them are in the two
panels below. These large torches put out a lot of heat. The first image
below shows the torch used at the end of the process in front of the final
piece, while the center image shows Powell (in yellow) working two torches to
selectively heat the middle of the piece for further blowing out. Also note the
pipe end being lifted to let gravity assist the shaping and the heat blocking
panel held by the gloved hand to protect Powell's bare hands. The right image
shows glass draining from the core that is worked for the first part of the
video. It has been cooled considerably to hold its size and shape for the
rollup shown in the next panel. Imagine how big the furnace supply of glass must
be to dip this whole thing into the pool of glass. 2010-02-20
A key to Powell's design is construction of a matrix of
murrini that creates the net effect at the end.
This is applied by precisely shaping the cylinder shown worked in the first part
of the video so that when the rollup occurs its edges meet exactly. In the left
image the panel has been put on a hot plate and is torched along one edge,
perhaps because the hot plate is a bit cool there as he does not sweep the torch
or because the pieces are bigger. Note the yoke just behind the hot plate
which is used to support the considerable weight of the pipe and glass between
the draining and the rollup - the resting is actually hidden by a worker's body
in the video. The cylinder covered with molten glass shown draining above
right is brought to the edge of the panel and rolled to pick it up. The
narrow board is flattening the soft glass at the end. Notice in the
image on the left above that the end remains clear and is resting on a board to
support the piece and flatten the end for standing. 2010-02-20
The panel below shows several items related to cooling and team work but note
in the right image above that Powell is using glove and wears an arm guard while
handling the large mass with molten glass on the outside, but is bare handed
below. This is because he is using a wet paper pad for shaping and cooling
the glass and the wet glove would be a problem. In the left image the
woman in light yellow is both holding a panel to protect Powell's arm and using
a blow nozzle on the glass. The same nozzle is cooling the person helping
turn the pipe and blowing to inflate the glass watching Powell's hands for
direction. Near the end of the video a towel helps control sweat.
The two pairs of pictures below show special rigs and devices included in the
video. On the left Powell climbs the built in steps to the platform for
bending over and blowing the hot glass being carried as he climbs. The platform
is purpose made to do the job, unlike the stack of tables in the demo
above. Just below him is the steel sided box that
constrains the glass as he blows to make the bag shape. On the right an
assistant holds a steel plate with a grip on the back and follows the rolling of
the cylinder to flatten its end square with the sides. 2010-02-20
|Ryan Kells, in an image from this YouTube video showing another tricky use of air. The piece is being pulled to stretch the neck but just pulling will flatten the hot part. So the pulling is being done with a blow pipe heated and attached to the open end and the person on the left has in his mouth the end of an air tube end which runs over his shoulder and down to the end of the pipe to a pivot connection so the pipe can be turned with the piece to keep from twisting the glass while pulling and keeping pressure on the piece. 2010-02-20|
The basics of the the technique are that a piece is partially blown,
shaped and opticked if necessary and then is threaded placing many fine lines
around the piece in one or more colors. Further work may be done, but the
shape is still a roundish bubble. A hole is then made in the side of
the piece either by heating a spot with a torch and piercing as in the Petrakis
video or by blowing out the hot weakened spot. An alternate spot heating
method normally used before torches were common is to get a blazingly hot bit
and putting the blob of glass down on the piece, thus heating it very locally
and weakening that area so it can be blown out. The bubble or fragments
around the hole are knocked off and the piece reheated so the hole can be evened
up. Meanwhile, a pipe is prepared by doing a small gather and
blowing it out so it is a hollow ring (donut) on the end of the pipe. This
is reheated and flared if necessary to match the size of the hole in the piece.
The piece is necked and the new pipe stuck up firmly on the hole, more firmly
than a punty is normally applied. The first pipe is cracked off and the
piece heated and centered.
This page on an Australian site has a long series of drawings showing how the artist builds up the metal foil on the hot piece and then puts an image onto the piece Hiroshi Yamano glass blowing 2002-04-04
Google Video yields a number of video demos under a search of 'glassblowing' and 'glass blowing' including a video from dog house films of this artist Glass Art > Alex Petrakis's Gallery - Glass Artists.org with Alex Petrakis glassblowing Reverse Axis 2006-07-22
This general site also has a number of other technique pages, including Graal. Jon Baskett, computer aided design and decal manufacture
Afro Celotto firthm/celotto.htm 2005-02-16
Reticello & other Venetian There is, on this site East Falls Glassworks - Glassblowing Demonstrations an extraordinarily good set of pictures of making a goblet using the reticello technique that results in white cris-crossing lines in the glass. There is no narration so some knowledge of what is going on, but every photo will click to enlarge to give a clearer view. The small images at the top bring out 3 other demos with as many photos that also enlarge to show making a goblet, a snifter, and a pitcher. 2006-08-31
This demo at Philabaum's Glass web site Philabaum Glass (click on Glass Studio link at top, then on Making a Scavo Bowl) shows a nice neat way of presenting a collection of images of a demo. 2006-09-30
Woven Glass - There are two tricks to making the appearance of woven (such as plaid) glass, one of which can be done as warm or hot glass while the other is purely warm glass. The first is to make a thread pattern murrini by stacking and fusing thin layers of various colors. This makes one square of the weave. These sliced murrini are then laid down alternately so the threads go one way then crossways to that, laying out the plaid or the weave. This is then fused in the kiln, heated on a pastorelli, or otherwise heated and picked up or done as a roll-up. The alternative is to lay out on a kiln shelf bars of kiln shelf material as wide as a band of thread which are separated by the same width. Each bar should be twice the height (or a bit more) of the thickness of the glass. In step one, lengths of glass either plain or previously fuse ribbon patterns or stringer threads. These are taken up to sagging temperature so the section between the bars sags to the kiln shelf. After cooling, the bars are removed and the strips shifted so the rise in one is next to the drop in the next. Additional flat strips of glass are slid in the pattern, over the drop and under the rise. The whole is then reheated to fuse and flatten the pattern as desired with more or less texture to "fabric" 2007-06-08
Various Techniques: Rollup cane, drain
glass, stacking color, off beat mold, heavy glass.
Contact Mike Firth