Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Arisia Panel on Glassblowing techniques - 16JAN2011

Well, I thought it would be good to have a netbook at Arisia so I could upload notes to a blog.  I didn't manage to get to many panels, but here are my notes on glassblowing.  Not edited.  The panelists hid their name tags, but I recognized Suford Lewis, so she's the only one quoted here by name.

Mainly, I got the impression that glassblowing could get very painful.  Shards of broken glass endangering others.  Cuts and burns for the glassworker.  Expense. Always the danger of your piece blowing apart, cracking as it cooled.  Good for a violent-artistic temperment.  Also good for the geek, as Suford says near the end.  Chemist/Artist.

There did seem to be a simple less expensive path, not involving kilns etc. The old fashioned kind I suppose I remember from childhood demonstrations.  I'm sorry I missed the lecture on Renaissance Glass given the day before (when I was wandering the hotel looking for Zoe who turned out to be camouflaged in a corner of FastTrack where I kept returning and not finding her...)

Rough notes:

hot method
rebuilding furnace could take a month.
crucible: bricks and castable material. could take up to a week?month? to get going again.
natural gas, propane, newer electrical furnaces
own studio vs sharing: let someone else maintain equipment So expensive to run. Not practical to have own. Also not 'green'.
10 am to 10pm heavily utilized community studio.
teaching facility.
"renting studio time"
glory hole = furnace in which you heat the glass
friendliness generous
We Fusers are smallest group (Suford Lewis) at edges of really popular techniques. kiln formed.
$60 per hour NY vs $100 per month 10 year ago subsidized by state
innovations driven by 'can you top this' more than any other craft fields.
hot-head torch. $20 DeVardi - Imported Indian Glass. Sell soft glass gorgeos colors, $5/lb good to play with.. . 1 lb bottleof mat pro gas. $8/tank. spectrally correct safety goggles. metal sticks called mandrils. clay called beaded. marvels = graphite to play w/ . tungsten at craft store.
cool down slowly with vermiculite in coffee can.
Compatibility.  How many know about glass compatibility?  You can't take any cool looking glass, broken stuff etc.  Things need to expand or contract at same rate.
COE=coefficient of expansion
need to match or your stuff falls apart.
For kiln work use 90 COE or 96 COE. Can't mix.
With kiln work you do everything flat.  Then finaly last fireing is at lower temp, the slump, where falls into shape.
people on e-bay sell you stuff w/ wrongly labelled COE. Find out when falls apart.
Window glass is 72 COE. Cheap, good for practice pieces.
Soda lime glass 96 COE for furnace work.
goh josh melts his own blues & other colors but most people buy.
whether piece survives has to do w/ shape and what you're making.
solid paperweight more stable than something thin w/ different thicknesses.
Annealing beads in vermiculite ok.
Giraffes that are not continuous could be more difficult.
Slow cool down is essential.  If temperature too different in different parts of piece, then changes size at different rates and crack.
oxypropane torch and bar-silicate
Test COE by fire bead where full-fuse between 2 glasses.  View w/ normal polarized sunglasses and view the microfractures.  Haze arond the
Blow thin bubble with known and new glass.  If stable then same COE. If not then not. (pop or squish.)
96 glass by Bullseye are consistent. "insane about " QA.  Their freely available from the website handbook 7-10 part PDF is very useful.  Section 5 is bible for fuser. Guideline.  YOU stil need to calibrate the kiln.
kiln=annealing oven
"We wind our own annealing coils."
Suford: "I bought a used kiln." full sized 28" diameter kiln. I started w/ published recipes.  Things got overly melted or didn't go to full fuse. Spent ~ 4 months comparing pyrometer, what kiln was doing, until I developed recipes for my kiln that worked the wayI wanted it to.
Kilns are long-lived and not fussy but each seem to... most important that temp the same all around.
Ruth had flaky analog kiln that needed changing every 15 minutes. Partner built a digital controller for it.
Question on WArm Combing techniques: Heating glass up enough to move. Glass in kiln, fuse, once reach liquid state...I don't want to spend $200 on a graphite comb.
Suford: ONe of the joysof group studio is being able to buy such equipment. Fun to play w/ but didn'twork for my style. KIndof like a rake. Asbestos gloves. Going over bull fuse. Never take glass > 1750 F.  Fusing 1450-1550.  To do this techniqueyou ned 1650.  Manipulate colors on very soft fluid surface.  Hard since it is all glowing red at that superheated state.
Lamp work. Glass blowing. Fusing.
1) Goggles. Dihelium spectacles for lampwork. Emission spectra of heated
2) If doing .. need goggles for different spectra.
Some rely on peripheral vision, but very dangerous. Could lead to macular degeneration.  Also glass shatters and tiny shards fly all over the place.  Need goggles.
Also, expect to get burned and cut.  If that freaks you out, don't touch the medium.
Piece of red-hot glass shooting down your shirt.
Salem State has semester class. Somerville open studio coming up, too.
powdered stuff or enamel, need mask.
If you're generating particulates, you should wear a respirator.
powdered glass fusing onto metal substrate.  or directly onto hot glass.
Brass will do sparky terrifying things, but embed it into glass and get cool 3-d effect, bubbles, amber color.
Suford: be very careful incorporating non-glass into glass. Can fall apart.
Mi: Cu is compatible. e.g. josh simpson's copper baskets into which he has blown glass.
Won't work with iron. will crack.  Try google search.
Zinc pennies in glass not good.  NOt good to heat Zinc anyway.  I know someone who encases them into paperweight, but the piece can explode. Also Zn is hazardous.
Bathsheba Rosen with computer controlled 3-d files, astronomical,microbial, uses lasers to create microfractures inside glass block.
Suford: similar technique w/ controlling glass bubbles in block.
Deep depressions or even small, trapping little air as possible because it will expand.
Then add another piece of glass on top to trap the bubble.
Textured surfaces of some glass that is sold for trapping bubbles too.
Roll hot glass in Baking soda, burn it off.
Vase sample.
Step 1: made a shiny vase.
Step 2: masking material called buttercut. Drew oak leaves and laid oak leaf mask.  Used sander to edge away non-masked material.  Shiny leaves on rough background.
This technique could be used with mirror or window glass.
Photo-sensitive resist. Dry image. Scanned, photoshopped. Sandblast a photographic type image on your piece.
There is also glass that will make a reddish or amber color when exposed.
People etch beads or use copper painting for electoforming.  PUt painted copper with chunk of Cu in solution run electricity through and get Cu deposits. "electroplating gone mad." gnarly.
Suford: Edgings, tack fuse.  Using color-metallic pens you can write w/ then fire.  Chemical etching. Jars of armarage(?)  Contrast of shiny texture andmat.
Glass grinder - motor w/ spindle, wet setup-sponge touching edge of cyllinder.
smooth the edges or contour just right.

Bizarre extreme shapes or mosaic - get a glass bandsaw.  diamond. wet.
$300/machine $100/replacement blade

Blown glass piece.
grinding wheel to grind mark off bottom. PUnte attachment.  She tries to make them beatiful so don't have to come off. She put an insulating button on this vase. tucked in.
Josh Smpson glass downstairs is all ground and polished.
Pointing - where when it melts a little flows into sharp point. Grind through and put into kiln again to smooth where polished.
millini=millefiore like designs
you build a rod so that when you cut disks out of it, each has the image. e.g. fractal ferns. LIke with fima-clay.  Or get a mandril=thin steel rod with ...
It's cheaper to learn it in College.  e.g. MIT has faculty and staff glass-blowing classes.
Suford: Glass is the most wonderful medium for someone who wants to do artistic expression but also wants to be geeky about it.

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