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Messages - vitroholic

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Tools / Re: Glass Calculator
« on: January 28, 2019, 12:44:32 PM »
I loaded up the calculator and fooled around with it a little.
I haven't done batch calculations since college, back when computer time wasn't easy to come by. I remember thinking it'd be cool to get the calculations put into my brother's programmable calculator to streamline the process, but of course I never did it.  :P
Still, Dave's calculator looks nice, and being open source helps with someone like me who isn't going to make any money off of my work for some time to come, if at all.
A couple of questions, though.
there's a lot of colorants left out of the tables. How hard would it be for a dope like me to add them?
I'm going to start out using SPB color base. I got the stuff so long ago, I have little info on what's in it. Without stepping on any large and sore toes, I wonder if there'd be a way to insert this formula in there? Maybe the batch calculator is something better to use with a fresh formula, or the one dave so helpfully included with the spreadsheet.
I'm still working from theory on all this, as I have to build a barn to house my studio before I can start melting anything.
If only the ground would dry up a little so I can start the foundation.
Still, I can start gathering up the knowledge and practice with formulation in the meantime

I can never be sure I'm not one of those jerks sometimes, if you know what I mean...
Yes, my teacher was very good at teaching  beyond mere glassblowing, which he readily admitted wasn't his strong suit. He was mostly self taught after getting a grad degree in ceramics.
One of the things I most cherish was that during my second or third semester with the class, the teacher decided he wanted a whole new studio, so we spent the entire semester tearing out all the furnaces and building all new ones from scratch. Tank furnaces, glory holes, annealers, everything. What I learned that semester propelled me further to becoming a glassblower than the other four or five semesters I was there. It allowed me to go out on my own and make a couple of really Fu***ed up furnaces with scrounged materials (vacuum machine for a blower, anyone?) and learn how to make one I could really use.
good times!

When I was first introduced to glass in the early 80s, my teacher had formulated the batch. It worked fine for what we were doing. He eventually got hold of the penland formula and switched to that for the optical qualities.
It was good experience to go through the batching process, going around and getting the materials, (I think the sodium nitrate came from a farm supply store) weighing everything out, mixing and shoveling it into paper sacks to throw in the furnace. I saw the teacher's thinking develop from using coarse materials to buying finer powders, and getting really nice optical qualities for the trouble.
I still think back to that original formula, though. The simplicity of a formula with less than eight ingredients. I recall it was very receptive to irridizing as well.
What I've been doing lately isn't all that optically demanding, and with all the hassle around sourcing batch or cullet, I think more about doing my own batch.
This is a roundabout way of saying thanks for posting this simple recipe that someone like me could use as a starting point.  I don't expect to take it and be in production with it tomorrow. it'll take some refining and experimentation to get it right.
  :D Your idea of starting a forum for open source information is laudable.  :D
I recall talking to a glassblower at an art fair once and asking if I could come see his studio. He said I could see the studio, but wouldn't be able to watch him work. The way he saw it, he'd spent a lot of time and money learning his techniques and he wasn't going to just give them away.
My first thought was what an ass the guy was. To begin with, I wasn't going to see some shortcut watching him and be in competition with him the next day, stealing his hard won technique. further, he stood on the shoulders of giants, like all the rest of us. His skill, which was considerable, didn't appear of his own virtue alone. I wasn't so much looking for a free class as much as some inspiration from seeing how far his work and learning had taken him.
That said, I'm not going to burn bridges by mentioning the glasshole by name.


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