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You Can Learn Glass Blowing (1938) (modernmechanix.com)
69 points by Tomte on Dec 2, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments



Does anyone else here melt their own glass formulations?

I've written a little software package that implements all of the common math for calculating recipes and estimating properties. I'd love another developer on it, because right now it's sufficient for my use, but is also optimized for...me... which doesn't really make it great for anyone else. Really,I don't need any technical help, but more eyes would make things less idiosyncratic and insular.


The awesome youtube channel Applied Science put out a 40 minute intro video to melting your own glass a week or two ago, going into the equipment, chemistry and recipies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUcUy7SqdS0 In particular, he talks about making your own photochromic glass that changes color in response to light.

I'd highly recommend his channel to anyone interested in science and fabrication.


My mentor in lampworking for the past decade is Greasy Glass, I will reach out and see if he would be interested. All his recipes are on paper. Shameless plug if you need funky color http://greasyglasscolor.bigcartel.com/


I have wanted to melt my own glass in the past, but I didn't find good information on making recipes. Do you have a github link for the project?


What do you melt your own glass for? I have a vague interest in almost all crafts, but can't see any obvious applications for custom glass?


When you want a color that isn't available. Or when you want a bulk of a color and don't want to pay the retail cost.


If you're in the PNW area, I recommend checking out the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. Not only are there beautiful works there, but they also have a live demonstration stage where you can watch high school students blowing glass as part of an art program they're enrolled in.


"With very simple and inexpensive tools"

Lampworking is the most expensive hobby I have taken up. Also my favorite.


This made me giggle. Some years ago, I decided to price out supplies to make my own beads. The lampworked beads (and other things) were always beautiful. I quickly learned that this was an expensive hobby to keep up with. I'll get back to it one of these days, though :)


Perhaps you should try soda lime glass on a bunsen burner with no kiln like the guy in the article! It would save a lot over my set up too...


What's your setup? I had a nice GTT lynx torch but I sold it when I moved, to my mentor in lampworking. He still has it among a dozen other torches. I would rather use his Carlisle though when I am feeling like burning some propane myself.


I have a GTT Samurai, but mainly i've been buying color like a maniac for years... and then using only 1/3 of it before buying more.


A while ago I took glassblowing course at Jim McKelvey's glass studio in St. Louis. McKelvey co-founded Square -- he was selling these amazing glass faucet spouts[1], and he lost a $2500 sale one day because a lady wanted to pay with her Amex.

He wrote an instructional book[2] on glassblowing that's pretty good.

[1]http://www.glassfaucet.com/

[2]https://www.amazon.com/ART-FIRE-James-McKelvey/dp/0978683110


Cover the top with sheet asbestos, or preferably asbestos board, and at the back provide a rack for holding your stock of glass tubing in various sizes.


Older scientific glassblowers i've talked to miss asbestos a lot. The various replacements are not as effective or convenient and some are toxic in a different way, such as teflon.


isn't asbestos a (notorious) health hazard? (why the other reply says older glassblowers miss it)


It is a health hazard. But it is also one of the best insulators. Much better than the cement board usually used these days around a torch.


The Romans used asbestos cloth to keep the ashes of their dead separate from the ashes of the funeral pyre. The ashes of the dead would be entombed with the asbestos cloth, which was extremely expensive. Occasionally a tomb will be found which still contains the asbestos cloth, and sometimes it will be a very long piece of cloth. Seems the equites splurged on the asbestos pyre cloths. Which isn't so unusual, considering how Romans spent for funeral costs.


Murano's glass blowers (Venetian lagoon) are the craftsmen that I admired the most. It's a pleasure seeing them at work. Immense skills and tradition. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murano_glass


The Corning Museum Of Glass has a great YouTube channel with narrated hour-long masters glassblowing demonstrations.

Ex: https://youtu.be/lQFBEk_mqp0


I highly recommend visiting the museum if you are in Corning (or passing through). They put on master classes of glass blowing which are great.


Thank you for posting this! I've wanted to dabble in it for a long time but never buy the Groupon. Maybe next time it comes around.


What groupon have you seen related to glass work?


In San Diego I have seen a lampworking course Groupon (admittedly this was a while back) at some place in North County for...I want to say around $100?


The magazine layout is gorgeous




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