Friday, December 10, 2010


Last Saturday Marty did a demo at the glass studio for Berkeley Open Studios.  He made a piece that is just gorgeous. I took 53 pictures of the hour plus demo. I cut it down to 14 for your viewing pleasure.  Below you will see Marty creating this piece of art.  Remember to click on the pictures for a larger image.

 Marty is heating the glass in the glory hole.  The  glass is at 2000 degrees in the glory hole.  The glass at that temperature is the consistency of warm honey.  The glass artist must keep the puntee moving at all times or the hot glass will just fall off. 
 Here he is letting the glass cool down a little.  He can tell from the color how hot the glass is.
 Here Marty is picking up pieces of dichro glass.  They are in a small oven that heats them so they will work with the glass he has on the puntee.
 Here Marty is using the marver (steel table) to shape the glass.
 Flo is opening the furnace doors so Marty can gather some more clear glass.  After several gatherings the glass can weigh 5 to 10 pounds.  Then you do the physics thing of weight on the end of a 6 foot pipe, and he is hauling around 40 or 50 pounds.  Some of the large pieces they make factor out to close to a 100 pounds on the pipe. Not an art form for wimps.

 Marty is starting to cut the piece in half.  Part he will pull into a Fleur de lis.
 Here he is putting the top he is cutting off in the little oven to stay hot.
Brendan is reattaching the part Marty cut off  now that he has shaped the Fleur de lis.
 Marty is hand shaping the piece with only wet newspaper between his hand and 2000 degrees glass.  Flo is shielding his arm with a wooden paddle.
 Can you say white hot???
 Marty is pulling the tip of the piece and shaping it for the finished look.
 He is twirling the puntee like a baton.  That will stretch out the glass.
 More twirling. He sure looks like he is having fun here.
Marty is knocking the piece off the pipe.  Brendan is catching it and will place it in the annealing oven. The piece stays in the oven for close to 24 hours.  It must gradually cool down.  If it cools too fast it will shatter.

As you can see, glass art is hard work and just a little dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. 

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