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General Discussion / Re: new forum
« on: March 31, 2019, 07:02:10 PM »
Thanks! I hope it grows as well. I'd appreciate the word of mouth. I've been working on my opal phosphate recipes and combining them with the chalcedony coloration. It's working!!! The addition of opal phosphate white to the spectrum of chalcedony is a great contrast. I will share some results and experiences with this project soon. Lots of other ideas in the works as well. It's always amazing the way one new idea branches into a hundred others.

Techniques / Videos
« on: March 02, 2019, 12:37:40 PM »
Going to start a listing here of glassblowing technique videos. First up is a quick cane pick up cup from David Patchen. The source material is from Uroboros so to make these you would not even have to pull your own. Other glass makers also sell small diameter cane for lampworkers. Might be interesting to try a Moretti cane version with 104 COE.

See the video HERE.   8)

As a solo glassworker, I see the difficulty in making this as perfectly square as David. It is important to use the jack blades first to set the sides and then move to the jack handle to square off the top. Takes practice to move quickly between these and keep a good heat.

Techniques / More on stannous fuming
« on: February 17, 2019, 11:13:07 AM »
I found this little diddy in reading about overlays using stannous fuming.

Eric Miller:

Pete...could one just do an overlay of silver clear and reduce it, then gather over it for a simliar effect?

You will get a good deal of the effect that way. Silver in local reduction will be way too strong at normal concentrations. I would think that silver in oxidation( just put it in clear glass) would then reduce in the gloryhole under a reducing flame. It will be streaky that way but fairly light. it develops as you keep reheating it. You could also fume those same gathers with stannous chloride and case them.

Strontium in tin chloride would yield a reddish fume.

And a little typical VanderLaandian player hating:
"I suggest haunting the Rakow if you plan to go to GAS at Corning. The library is worth the trip alone. Screw the demos."   ::)

This strontium bit is interesting and jumped out at me. While I can't say for sure, it sounds like adding some strontium to a stannous spray will redden the fume. OR if the base glass has strontium the result is red? I'll have to try it. has been noted that other metal chlorides can be used as a metal fuming etch. Iron chloride works and is suppose to give a slightly different color. I've used it but didn't see much change.

Here's another fume spray possibility:
Terry Crider suggests...
Engelhard Corp. in NJ 800-542-6684 has an iron Thermo Luster (amber A 2612) that works great.

Techniques / Peacock Feather
« on: February 16, 2019, 11:10:10 AM »
Here's a question by Victor Chiarizia: I need to make a piece for a friend that has that tiffany style peacock iridecencent look to it. any ez ways to do it...and how about colors? thanks, vic

Google Image search: Peacock Feather Glass

John Van Koningsveld: Two contrasting silver based glasses, reduced and sprayed with lots of stannous.

Rich Federici:
Brilliant gold (K212) or Iris gold (218) threaded with cobalt blue. These colors produce that look really well. comb with a hooked pick, and spray as John suggests and there you go!

A nice extra element suggested by Eben Horton:

no frit.. use powder. you can go full monty if you make some murrain to simulate the center of the peacock feather... Id use gaffer's black luster for that..

If i was going to do a copy, id use R-218 powder- thread it with copper ruby wrap.. feather it and then apply the murrine.

And finally, a non-fumed version by Charles Friedman:
I have done a roller wrap with two or three colors, with one of them a striking metallic color, like R-215. Then rake up three times and down twice. No fumes.

Batch Recipes / more SP Colors and some for cullet too!
« on: February 16, 2019, 10:52:23 AM »
Jordan Kube offered this list of recipes given to him by a colleague.

Interesting discussion follows with important insights by Pete in terms of expansion and compatibility; also questions if these were for a 50 lb bag rather than 100 lbs. If you want to use these...perhaps look over some of the other Batch recipes posted here and see how much colorant was used for similar colors.

So I was reading an old thread about melting black and I realized I had some formulas lying around. These were given to me by a guy I worked with who said they were from a class at Pilchuck. I'm
going to copy these word for word. No I've never melted them, don't know anyone who has, can't tell you a thing about them. There aren't any temperatures given. I'm sure Pete will have some advice. Discuss below, Happy Birthday.

Formulas for Spruce Pine Batch per hundred pounds.
Formulated by Mark Joy using 87 plain.
Black: Very good. If too purple add 5% more black iron oxide, cobalt carbonate and 5% less manganese carbonate.

Atmosphere: Oxidizing, can use cullet for faster melt.


56 grams Chrome Oxide
120 grams Soda Ash
65 grams Black Iron Oxide
30 grams Cobalt Carbonate
56 grams Copper Oxide
900 grams Manganese Carbonate OR
500 grams Manganese Oxide
14 grams Nickle Oxide

Blue: Deep but still very transparent

Atmoshere: Oxidizing


100 grams Cobalt Carbonate

Zingy Blue: Blue Green

Atmosphere: Oxidizing


120 grams Manganese Oxide
50 grams Cobalt Carbonate
30 Grams Nickle Oxide


Atmosphere: Oxidizing


500 grams Manganese Carbonate
40 grams Cobalt Carbonate


Atmosphere: Oxidizing


1000 grams Manganese Carbonate

Blue Green: Cool. Strong deep color.

Atmosphere: Oxidizing


150 grams Black Copper Oxide
70 grams Chrome Oxide
70 grams Black Iron Oxide

Lime Yellow: Incredible.

Atmosphere: Neutral. Melt with fritted cullet, use quickly.


114 grams Uranium Oxide

Pale Green

Atmosphere: Oxidizing


150 grams Black Iron Oxide
50 grams Chrome Oxide

Copper Red: Strikes at 26 hours. Cranberry after 50 hours(run directly after Silver Blue)

Atmosphere: Reducing


150 grams Tin Oxide
75 grams Red Copper
42 grams Cream of Tarter

Silver Red: Slight reduction in melt and while working more striking when surface is worked.

Atmosphere: Reducing


250 grams Tin Oxide
60 grams Red Copper Oxide
120 grams Silver Nitrate
40 grams Cream of Tarter

Silver Blue: Same as Silver Red. Run this color then run Copper Red.

Atmosphere: Reducing


150 grams Cobalt Carbonate
130 grams Silver Nitrate
150 grams Tin Oxide
120 grams Soda Ash
30 grams Cream of Tarter


Techniques / Pineapple mold
« on: February 13, 2019, 09:43:57 AM »
I've been playing with this so referred back to this info:

Pete: lay in hot and suck back every so slightly before you pull the piece.

Kenny Pieper: Use a pipe with a pretty good size head and don't let the head of the pipe get too hot. Pete is right in that the glass should be good and hot going in and don't stay in long. You want to use that original heat as much as possible. The more you reheat after going in the mold the more the optics will melt out. If the pipe head is hot going in and the mold cools the glass then you have the glass around the pipe head hotter than anywhere else. Not a good situation.

Similar for Eben Horton: never ever ever give your glass a deep re-heat before you go into the mold.. I always give my moil a little marver to cool it and heat just inside the door before i stamp it into the mold. hit and run..... do not linger in the mold, as that's a big culprit for getting stuck.

And then lots of advice for getting stuck glass out...I will keep these anonymous here  ;)

If you get stuck, throw the entire mold into a bucket of cold water, let it cool down, and use an air gun to blow out the fritted chunks,the more psi the better it works.

After it is cool take a hot bit to the glass stuck in the mold. It will pop free. Please don't use the chisel.

Techniques / Threading Colors and Advice
« on: February 12, 2019, 11:20:15 AM »
Here's some tips from Ken Peterson:
I've found that coating the piece with a soft powder then trailing works well. It holds the trail together and keeps it from spreading. That also allows for chemical reactions. In true hippie fashion, try....... iris gold powder + cu ruby trail, or IG powder + red opaque trail, or IG powder + amber trail. If the trails are tight enough and you manipulate the surface enough you can get some really clean results. Groovy........

Want metallic dots? Put the parison in an optic before threading to get the effect.

Try these...Thank Jeff Hoover for this list:

I think I've used:
K-103 Silver Green (Reduces)
K-105 Silver Blue (Reduces)
K-44 Silver Dark Blue (Reduces)

Some other trans that reduce:
K-107 Sliver Amethyst (Reduces)
Q-136 Iris Green (Reduces)
Q-144 Iris Dark Blue (Reduces)
Q-145 Iris Blue (Reduces)
Q-217 Iris Gold (Reduces)

Some opaque reducing colors that might be good:
Q-54 Extra Dense Black (Reduces)
Q-92 Night Blue (Reduces)
Q-95 Opal Black (Reduces)

CraftWeb Rants / Let's bully a student!
« on: February 11, 2019, 12:39:08 PM »
Bradley Howes recently visited the forum with questions about making calcedony glass. Bradley is an undergrad at Alfred University. Here is his summary sentence:
"I understand calcedony is a fickle color but I'd like to know if there's anything I can do to influence it in future melts."

Reasonable. After just a few runs with trying to make this color he has come to the same conclusion as Pete who likes to use the phrase "hurding cats" to describe calcedony glass. I've done a fraction of Pete's melts but completely agree.

So, why did Pete get so worked up that he decided to throw out this dagger:

"Buy some books. There are a number out there with formulas. They are roadmaps if you can read them. Helmer, Thuringen , Weyl, Volf. Then, get rid of the statement you make at the bottom of your post until you actually deserve to make it. I try my best every day but I don't talk that way."

Holy shit! What a hemorrhoid! Pete, this is a 18-20 year old kid just getting started. Be helpful and encouraging not a raging lunatic. You may think you have learned the curmudgeon skills of Ed Skeels but Ed was genuine. You are random and just angry. There is something here that struck a nasty cord. Did you not get to go to Alfred. Do you feel lessened by the educated Elite? Hell, Bradley even apologized. For what, I'm not sure...the use of the work fickle? This glass is fickle!!! Deserve to make a statement. WOW. I didn't know that someone anointed Pete the decider of such things.

Has Mr Vanderlaan ever taken a moment to consider just how lucky he has been in terms of timing. He fell into the studio glass movement. People were sharing knowledge. It was a MOVEMENT for Christ's sake. He's like one of the shit for brains who lived through Woodstock and still complains about the rain or bemoans the fact that he didn't make any money off it. I've never had access to piles of colored cullet from the old Appellation factories. I've never walked into Pilchuck and seen Dante, Lino, Billy Morris and others having a god-damned glass equivalent of a jam session. GAS was a party among friends and now it's a freaking business convention. You were given a gift asshole and you can't even see it.

It's just glass.  ;)

CraftWeb Rants / It's just glass...
« on: February 11, 2019, 12:08:03 PM »
This is a saying I go back to when my muscles start to tighten and heart rate starts rising due to the ups and downs of glassblowing. I recall it was spoken to me by a very good young glassblower who seemed to have ice water flowing through his veins. He realized early on that to blow glass well was to be in the moment. Anxiety and judgement pulls you right out of that necessary mindset of understanding this wonderful medium.

But let's also see glass for what it is. It's not going to save anyone's life. It's not moving us forward as a society. It's has little benefit for humanity beyond looking nice and perhaps at its best might inspire momentary joy. The...wish I could do that feeling. I'm not going to even touch the carbon footprint issue which is NOT pretty.

So when I read Pete Vanderlaan get so serious about his and other batch engineers? mixmasters? glass bakers? ownership of glass formulas I have to shake my head and sigh. It's just glass.

When I was a young man I really liked to play golf. I had a strong work ethic that needed a direction and golf was challenging enough to satisfy my itch. I was watching a broadcast in which Jack Nicklaus was describing the details of putting a specific green. He went into such a incredible detail about the type of grass, the time of year, the recent weather, etc that I suddenly realized that this man had dedicated his life and intellect to something fairly meaningless. His success will be mentioned long after I am long forgotten but for what? I focused harder on college and tried to learn about things that could be considered important.

Glass is not important. The work we do and the trials we suffer are only important to you and your family and your client. To many, that is enough. Perhaps this is not easy to swallow but in reality I believe we are probably doing more harm than good. That's a long distance few of something that I absolutely love to do. I only get one life and this is something I am going to do. But please don't make statements about how great glass is and has been. Our greatest ambassador was a man who did not even make his own work. He thought so much of the medium that he tried to replace it with a plastic material.

Here is a recent post that annoyed me:
What I can't let the color issues, or clear formula issues devolve into is exposure of the initial formulas done by people who in fact wrote them and don't want to see them published more. While there is water over the dam, it doesn't mean I have an obligation to allow that to continue. It indeed does make the board less interesting in an "Aha" sort of moment.

In the same forum Pete argues that people should mix their own glass yet wants to prevent anyone from the resources to do so. It also eliminates the need for the potential glass makers to need him either in terms of Craftweb or future classes.

Here's a short version of something he has also said...
At this stage, I doubt I will do a book since the economics just don't work.

Money Money Money Money...The Apprentice theme song starts playing. It's just glass. 

Techniques / Reducing colors
« on: February 11, 2019, 11:27:49 AM »
Here are a few oldies from the Craftweb archives:

Will no one stand up for the old standby, K-215 (Gold brown)? I still love using it since you can achieve pretty much any effect you want, depending on the reducing atmosphere, and your timing. You can get silver, silver-blue, brass, or gold. I especially like the "swirly" teal you get when you reduce it too long. (Actually, I hated it, but then a friend told me to call it Antique Blue, and the pieces sell pretty well.

I layer silver blue and silver green with R-61 and stamp it into an optic mold. Lots of fun. POWDER!

Gaffer black luster is a nice one, but my all time favorites are Richenbach's iris gold, golden brown, and clear silver. try sprinkling a little copper ruby over that silver glass, or under it if your using frit. you can also use silver leaf in conjunction with copper ruby and get some wild reactions which stem from the fact that copper glass and silver glass will freak out when they touch.. Also, arsnic white(r-61) will react with a silver glass in very strange way, you'll get lots of greens.. just make sure that if you want the colors to react you must have them touch each other. If you gather over the silver glass and add copper to the next gather nothing will happen.

Techniques / Potassium Nitrate and Antiquity Glass
« on: February 07, 2019, 10:35:38 AM »
A little goes a long way. I add about 2g into 250g of powder. Others just sprinkle it on straight or roll it in a bit. The effect is dramatic and creates smoking and bubbling on the piece. Nitrate helps in the batch melt so consider this a catalyst or flux for localized glass melting. Silver nitrate also does this a bit but is obviously gobs more expensive. Very fun...I have overdone it and seen some cracking due to incompatibility. Everything in moderation  8)

Techniques / Fun with Gaffer Green Luster
« on: February 05, 2019, 05:28:13 PM »
Eben Horton: I like to do r-61 powder with gaffer green luster powder on top. The reactions look like pools of water on a white glacier.

After you apply the powder let the piece get very cold and then stick it into the path of your glory hole burner's flame. (Higher velocity round burners are best) and get it wicked hot. Pull it out, and marver it, then blow it out.  Don't use gaffer enamel white for this. It's too soft.

Eric Trulson: It has another good color reaction when combined with r-232 (cranberry). They form a nice straw/gold sort of color wherever they're given a chance to melt together.

Eben again: Take a sifter and dust the lightest coating of copper ruby power over the 2nd to last gather and then apply that green lustre over it. nice reactions.

Techniques / Simple color effects with Silver Blue
« on: February 03, 2019, 01:51:06 PM »
Thanks to Scott Novota for this tip:

Try Dark Silver blue(K), with a bit of Copper Ruby(K) red frit directly on it. That is always a crowd pleaser.

And another...the Silver blue luster does some cool stuff with #2 or 3's of K-20, whatever yellow that is.

CraftWeb Rants / Tough Love
« on: February 02, 2019, 01:21:06 PM »
I started spending a good deal of time on Craftweb when I started building out my own studio some 8 years ago. I've gotten great advice and found answers to a lot of questions which were just not available anywhere else. Along the way, I started considering making my own glass. Pete Vanderlaan is a huge proponent of doing so and has 40-50 years of experience doing just that. He has held classes on making color batch attended by many of the Craftweb membership.

It was at his suggestion that I became interested in making the silver colloidal glass chalcedony and optimizing it by using his base color formula. I have a small operation but I am committed to it and followed through by working with Jim Meyers at East Bay Batch to mix Pete's unoxidized clear. Pete wants a royalty on this glass which is modest but over time might actually amount to something. After I established this contact everything went haywire.

Pete has accused me of stealing his recipe (discussed here) which we agreed I could use and has been published on Craftweb. Jim was aware of the source of the formula...we called it Pete's unoxidized clear! Now, Jim Meyers will not speak to me and Pete has banned me from Craftweb. Would he do this to a bigger player? I think he is clearly throwing his weight around and when he realizes you are not going to make him any money he will sever ties with you.

I felt the need to warn other small studio artists and provide another OPEN SOURCE means to acquire this information. I know someone who actually attended Pete's class ($$$) and with a small (but growing!) studio found him a poor source of downstream information. It's a shame...the growth of this industry is the smaller electric furnace user. This website is for everyone who wants a better organized source of the wealth of information which is out there but near impossible to find.

Techniques / Technique of the day...Stretched Glass
« on: February 02, 2019, 12:49:57 PM »
I'm going to try and keep up with a goal of adding a technique to this board daily. More when I find a treasure trove of them. ;D The Craftweb General Discussion area is a bit of a nightmare to try and find anything. I have learned a few ways to search it and actually took a week to read the entire archive. I found so many nuggets shared in there that it seems a shame they they all stay hidden.

Here's a first...Stretched Glass or the Imperial Stretch discussed back in 2012.

Pete Vanderlaan: "Imperial stretch" is a technique of spinning a bowl after it has been fumed with stannous chloride. The spin makes the irridized fumed surface "stretch into a regular cracked fume radiating out from about four inches towards the center of the bowl out to the lip.

Important points:
- Stannous chloride is pretty nasty and highly oxidizing. Ventilation is important.
- Mix up a 30% solution in isopropanol (30g/100ml). Add some muriatic acid to help get it dissolved (just a quick splash).
- Get a Critter Sprayer with stainless steel components. This uses a Bell jar as a glass container and compressed air as the spray source. This stuff will break down aluminum and normal steel in no time. Stainless lasts but not refurbish kits to keep you spraying.
- When spraying get it out of your area ASAP. I set up a fan that gets it into the ventilation hood flow. If you are spraying near anything steel (MARVER!) it will rust.
- Stannous likes a reduced surface. Hit your piece with a fluffy, weed burner and then spray it from a few feet away. Flash and Repeat. Don't over do it or you will chill it.
- Usually stannous is performed right before boxing, but this technique requires continued working after application. Get it on the punty and spray it before spinning out.
- Heating a stannous sprayed piece for long times in the glory will remove the irridization to a degree. It will be most successful if you can limit heating cycles in the glory...perhaps spot heating the lip using a torch at the bench.

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