TorchLife Glass Artist Community
IF YOU WANT TO SUBSCRIBE YOU MUST TYPE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS BELOW! THEN HIT THE SUBSCRIBE BUTTON.

Torch Life will not sell or distribute your e-mail to any other vendor or agency. By submitting this information you will not be put on any other mailing lists.

Read More Articles
The Future of Borosilicate 2010
Waste Stream Management
The future of Borosilicate
Degenerate Flame Off
Core Temperature
Competition & Success
Guidelines for Effective Dichro Use
Waste Reduction & Recycling
Universal Glass Concepts
Working with Color
2008 Eugene Flame-Off

 

Universal Glass Concepts

Glass has evolved to become one of the most prevalent materials in our world. Technology and classical furnace glass concepts are the foundation for true borosilicate masters. For this, boro workers owe and immense amount of respect and gratitude, to furnace glass artists.

We will first discuss and show a few universally present concepts. Then we will present the prep work maximization portion.

We acknowledge that there are usually many techniques in glass to accomplish the same desired outcome. We wish to Identify and verbalize these universally present concepts in the glass world. Based on your skill set and equipment you will determine the "best" technique to create your desired outcome.

I have come to understand the importance of verbalizing and discussing these ideals. One may have come to conclusions, and acceptance of concepts in ones own art. But the true power lies in having verified the existence of these universal concepts with peers and students.

A. When breaking down a case of tube or rod, when prepping blow tubes for a days work, when encasing color:

It is always more efficient to prep in large run amounts.

This means instead of cutting tube as you need them, you cut the entire case down all at once. I cut them into 12" pieces as a base unit.

B. It is always easier, and more time effective to make a large piece of tube smaller in length or width, than it is to gather a small tube larger in length or width. This is also true when stretching color rod for application. This concept is very simple to apply once one comprehends the ideals of gathering.

C. When heating an object from a cold state, weather it’s a rod, tube or fully decorated tubing section:

It is always best to heat from the tip of the piece through to the other end. This may take time depending on the thickness of the piece. If you try to heat the entire mass at once, about 90% of the time it will explode or crack.

D. Gravity is the cheapest tool you have, it is important to understand the influence of heat and gravity on molten glass.

Glass will travel towards the heat, and gather. It is directionally influenced by gravity and your spin. The thinnest part of the glass will always heat up first, and cool the quickest. The thickest parts will heat up last, and will also stay hot the longest.

E. Gathering glass is one of the most important concepts in glass artistry. Maintaining desired thickness is crucial while manipulating hot glass for design purposes. This helps to maintain the continuity of the interior of hollow forms.

In the process of gathering it is helpful to identify a few states of glass and note the level of reactivity while in that state.

State:
Color:
Reactivity:
Solid
Clear
Very rigid least reactive best suited for cold work,(i.e. grinding, polishing, grinding etching, sandblasting)
State:
Color:
Reactivity:
Gummy
Light pink
Slightly impressionable, no stretchiability
State:
Color:
Reactivity:
Gooey
Very pink-light orange
More impressionable, stretchable but still a little stiff
State:
Color
Reactivity
Liquid
Very orange to white
Very impressionable, moldable, very workable no stiffness, great stretchability
State:
Color:
Reactivity:
Boiling
White hot, sodium flare very bright white, bad for eyes
Hard to look at, glass actually boils, sodium flare, overly stretchable and blow able, it may easily get out of control, releases harmful gases

Email TorchLife

Site design by Mark Dixon
Site contents © 2008-2014 Michael Larson and Torch Life Glass Artist Community. All rights reserved.