GlassCowboy86

Critique my half formed idea?

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Ok,

well first off, howdy all, my name is Ray. I am a glassblower from Fort Worth Tx, I've been blowing glass for about 4 years now. I decided to build a forge, a project I'm still working on, but I've done a bit of metal work, and I really enjoy it. So, as for my idea, not really much to go on I know, I want to use smithing with glass, I graduate with my degree in art, with a concentration in glass, in May. I'd like to see what y'all think of the idea and what y'all think would be cool as far as using smithing with glass work. A bit of background, I am a disabled combat veteran, my work is mainly abstract sculpture with idea being that each piece is made by me trying to put crazy stuff in my head into the piece. I'd appreciate hearing what y'all think of the idea.

 

~GC

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First off,Hi Ray, Thank you for your service. second, i'd love to see what you come up with. i'm sure in artistic forms you could add glass and steel in so many ways it could make your head spin. I know if I knew how to work with glass i'd be doing some sculptures with them both. need ideas where to start? think winged insects (butterflies/dragonflies) or flowers, but the ideas are endless. 

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Hi Ray.  Thank you for your service.  I'm new to smithing, so can't offer much advice, but as I've been teaching myself how to heat and form metal, I've also been wondering about learning how to blow glass and melding the two arts together.  There's no way I have the time to learn glass blowing, but I would love to see what you come up with.  In my mind, I was picturing something like garden sculptures, using the iron to hold glass globes and other dangly  glass things, but like Daswulf said, the ideas are endless.  Let your mind flow.

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Hi Ray, welcome to the site!

Both my wife and I have dabbled with glass blowing and it was great fun. We then tried  mixing the mediums and had limited success with copper . I'm sure one can get the annealing right with either time and/or luck on your side(we had neither) :) we tended to get things that looked great going into the kiln.........

Good luck and post pictures! 

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It has been done quite a bit already, so I am thinking there should be plenty of pictures on the web.

The ones I have mainly seen are for lighting projects. One was a big spiral that glass was blown into. The glass pushed past the rod some, and gave the lamp a very nice affect.

Post pics of what you try out.

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here are a few pictures of the things I've done thus far that use both metal and glass. Daswulf, appreciate the input, I know a guy who does these odd insect like creatures, but they are all glass, I have a small idea building off of what you said that would use glass and metal, but would also fit into my "theme" of PTSD and mental health, something akin to a winged insect from a Rorschach test (ink blot test). 

Heap, glad to meet another newb, and I appreciate the input, the only problem is see with dangly glass things is this: I tend to work with very large glass pieces, that are very heavy, whatever they dangle off of would need to be pretty substantial as well. Lol. If you look at the first two pics I posted you can see the heavy glass that I had to balance with a very heavy steel base to make it work.

ianinsa, glass is awesome, I hope you get back to it one day. Metal and glass aren't really good bed fellows when the metal is inside the glass, the cooling temps are just too different. With steel it cools so fast that it creates a thermal shock inside the glass, you have to have some sort of layer in between the two, copper works pretty good though, but it is a balancing act. You can see in one of my pics, the ones with the dark lines running through the glass, those are copper inclusions.

big gun, you are right, it's been done quite a bit, a lot of it is glass being blown into metal, which I've done. I know I'm not coming up with a new idea, but I'm looking to come up with an interesting way to make the two crafts play off of one another, I'm just not sure how I'm gonna do it yet. I'm not a huge fan of doing lighting type stuff, it always looks either too kitschy or too commercial, I've done it, and could do it again, it's just not my thing. One idea I've got rolling around a bit is forged torture type devices that I either blow or slump glass into or on. I want to do something huge, but of course I need to get my forge running first! 

 

Thank you guys for all the input! Keep it coming, no idea is too off the wall or crazy!

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I'm getting really tired of having posts disappeared!

Welcome aboard Ray, glad to have you and thanks for serving.

I assume you're familiar with Dale Chihuly and the Pilchuck Glass School?

Steel plays better with glass than most metals they both have very close to the same COE so a good slow cool and they do pretty well.

I've done a little slumping and melting most recently lamp work glass and frits. My forge is just too hot it cools well enough but just too hot. For as sticky as molten glass is it's very sneaky stuff and will  slip out the smallest holes. I don't know how many times I've had my forge area looking like a crazy cotton candy machine got loose.

Below is an early experiment with a noodle. The frit fills the void better if I don't actually melt it. It's fun stuff.

Frosty The Lucky.

568e20ef0e28f_Splitcrossredglass.thumb.J

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Ray, my wife played around with inclusions of copper leaf/foil and fine copper mesh both of which worked but the color changes due to oxidization lost the impact, we also mucked about misting the glass (while hot) with ferric chloride and it gave the glass an iridescent sheen. 

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I love what you have done so far!  Its a beautiful blend of rusty industrial (which I love) and the glass shapes give a touch of color and class.  I especially like the one that looks like a tongue melting over a wrench... maybe you weren't shooting for a tongue shape, but that's what I see. I think Rorschach would have a field day here.

 

Still can't offer any good advice... but just wanted to let you know I really like your work so far.  Get some smithing involved and I can't wait to see what you come up with.

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Hi Ray & Welcome to the site !

Interesting stuff KEEP it up !  Are you a lamp-worker or off hand Hot shop person or both ??

I have been playing  with lampworking its alot of fun !!! Nortel Sq head + topper  I want a CC someday :)

I also want to put glass & metal together !!!  I have been thinking of making a metal tree with glass leaves

for one Idea looking for other Ideas also

so do you have a torch if so what one ? I love to talk glass ! & learn ! -- you know of the melting pot = talkglass.com ?

Steve's Welding & Fab - Blacksmithing - Glass & anything HOT :P

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Heap- thank you very much! I really appreciate it. 

IronWolf- I am an offhand/hot glass/hotshop person, lol. I've wanted to learn torch work, we have a Carlisle and a smaller single burner torch at the shop I work in. We also have a metal studio available, but we don't have a forge, hence why I am building one. A metal tree with glass leaves would be super cool, I'd suggest using Hextal to glue the glass to the metal, once it's dried it'll be harder than the glass and near as hard as steel, plus it's archival. I am a member of talkglass.com, same name, the other one, I'll have to look it up, thanks for the info. 

 

Just for reference: the glass in the first two pictures weighs about 40 pounds, and 2 feet long. I made it while blindfolded, cuz I'm a little crazy, haha. 

The piece in pics 3&4 weighs about 25lbs and it took me about 35 hours to carve through it. 

The piece Heap called a tongue over a wrench, pretty accurate description, though not necessarily what I was going for, is about a foot long and a foot high and weighs about 20lbs.

the last pic is a close up of a large piece I stretched over a piece of steel.

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Cool stuff GlassCowboy. When you start forging, you'll have the means to form metal in ways you can't with a torch or welder. But when you add the combination I'm sure the ideas will flow. 

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Frosty, what post disappeared? I've no clue about that one. 

I think borrosilicate glass can do well with steel, I'm no expert, but I know it has a higher tolerance when it comes to cooling than soft glass does. But the glass I use, COE 96, doesn't play too well with steel. If there is no barrier, carbon or I use widby island mud, the steel cools faster than the glass and cracks. I know you can sometimes get away with using the 2 together if the steel isn't encased in the glass. Boro, what you referred to as lamp working glass, also known as Pyrex, has a completely different COE than the glass I work with, it's also got a different melting and annealing temperature. The glass I use is pretty finicky but tends to work better on the larger scale and in my opinion is prettier. I guess it all depends on what you know and how you learned etc. but that little cross is pretty rad, did the glass stick to it? 

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Frosty is commenting about the site bug we have here where you type out a reply and submit it, but the site doesn't record it and you loose all that you typed. It's an intermittent bug and doesn't happen all the time. It does seem to be happening again more frequently than it was. Comments like his are designed to let the powers that be realize that the problem hasn't gone away or been fixed yet.

 

Many of us are trying to be patient about these issues but still want management to understand that there are frequent frustrating problems.

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I copy the reply before submitting. If it fails, I just paste it back in, and try again.

I have noticed that here at home where my WiFi has slowed down for some reason I have problems, while at the library with their fast WiFi it works like it should.

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GlassCowboy86, you need to be aware that almost any thread on IFI can easily devolve into complaints about the forum software or an endless series of increasingly strained puns. As the prudent exercizer of the brachioradialis put it, forewarned is forearmed.

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cowboy I think you mite have the COE No#s  backward ??

IF I remember right ??? Soft glass is 104 COE & must be cooled in a Kiln or it brakes !!

Boro or pyrex is 96 COE you can let it cool down by its self THOUGH it will have High stress then

boro & copper are about the same COE I have formed boro on copper rods as a test piece No kiln & it stayed together = test leafs --- have to try a cross now that I have colored glass rods

one of my projects is to make a kiln this year !!!!!!

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fantastic work, I especially love the first item in your pictures. I gotta ask though, as a glass blower, is the glass always half full or half empty?

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Very Nice. I've worked with glass blowers and fused glass artist on some projects, but we were always in our separate studios. Always thought there would be a lot of " crossover" techniques working with iron and glass. But never had the opportunity to work with hot glass. Would love to try it someday.

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