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Create a Glass Wish Pot

Geoff Lee enhances his glass-blown pot with silver leaf.

Materials and Tools:

clear glass
colored glass
frit
silver leaf
blowpipe
punty rods
marver table
bench
knock-off table
jacks
diamond shears
cherry-wood shaping block
puffer*
glory hole
annealing furnace
electric kiln
hand-held torch
safety glasses
leather/Kevlar long-cuff gloves
bucket of water
UV glass glue
*A puffer is a cone-shaped device placed on the end of a blowpipe to open a hole in a bubble of glass.

Steps 1-2

1. To make the bowl, heat two chunks of blue-colored glass in the electric kiln. Gather the glass on a punty rod and heat it in the glory hole.

2. Gather clear glass on the end of a blowpipe and heat it in the glory hole. Shape and cool the glass by rolling it on the marver table. Blow lightly into the blowpipe to begin the bubble.

Step 3

3. Add the molten-blue glass from the punty rod to the end of the clear bubble and cut off the chunk using diamond shears. Shape it on the marver table.

Step 4

4. Take another gather of clear glass over the blue and heat it in the glory hole. Shape the glass at the bench with the cherry-wood block. The cherry-wood block has been soaking in a bucket of water so it doesn't burn. The glass rides on a bed of steam in the block.

Steps 5-6

5. Take the final gather of clear glass and shape it on the marver table.

6. Roll the glass over sheets of silver leaf so that it adheres to the surface of the glass.

7. Roll the silver-leaf-covered glass over red frit. The frit will adhere to the silver leaf. Reheat the glass in the glory hole.

Step 8

8. Gather red-colored glass that has been heating in the electric kiln onto a punty rod. Heat it in the glory hole. Apply a stripe of the red glass around the silver leaf. Cut away the glass using diamond shears.

9. Blow into the blowpipe to increase the size of the bubble. Use the jacks to shape the sides of the vessel while rolling it on the bench. Heat the bottom of the vessel with a hand-held torch. Flatten the bottom with the ends of the jacks.

Step 10

10. Transfer the piece onto a punty rod by heating the rod, gathering glass, heating it in the glory hole and pressing the rod onto the bottom of the vessel. Apply a couple of drops of water to the join of the blowpipe to the vessel and gently tap the blowpipe with the tweezers. The glass will release from the blowpipe.

Steps 11-12

11. To open the top of the pot, use a puffer (a cone-shaped device attached to a small blowpipe) placed in the top center of the vessel and blow into the pipe. Open the hole farther using the jacks. Heat the glass pot in the glory hole.

12. Take the glass pot over to the knock-off table. Apply a couple of drops of water to the join of the punty rod to the piece and tap the rod with the tweezers. The glass will release from the punty rod. Put on protective gloves, pick up the piece and place it in the annealing furnace for 12 hours where it will cool from 950 degrees to room temperature.

Step 13

13. To make the lid, gather some clear glass on a blowpipe, roll it in blue frit and heat it in the glory hole.

Steps 14-16

14. Shape the glass lid on the marver table. Blow a small bubble into the glass. Shape it again on the marver table.

15. Take another gather of clear glass and heat it in the glory hole. Give it another shape on the marver table.

16. Roll the glass over sheets of silver leaf — it will adhere to the surface of the glass. Roll the silver-leaf-covered glass over red frit. Reheat the glass in the glory hole.

Steps 17-19

17. Shape the glass at the bench using jacks. Flatten the bottom using the ends of the jacks.

18. Take the lid to the knock-off table and apply a couple of drops of water to the join of the blowpipe to the lid. Tap the blowpipe with the tweezers. The glass will release from the blowpipe.

19. Put on protective gloves and place the lid in the annealing furnace for 12 hours to cool to room temperature.

Steps 20-22

20. To make the finial, gather clear glass at the end of a punty rod. Roll it on the marver table to shape it. Roll the glass in blue frit. Reheat the piece in the glory hole.

21. Shape the finial on the marver table. Roll it over sheets of silver leaf. Again, the silver leaf will adhere to the surface of the glass. Roll the finial over red frit. Reheat the piece in the glory hole.

22. Shape the finial on the bench. Pull the glass into a long thin piece with tweezers. Hold the end of the piece with diamond shears and let it sag into a curved shape.

Steps 23-25

23. Heat blue glass on a punty rod and apply it to the center of the curved finial to join the finial handle to the lid. Cut away the punty rod using diamond shears. Flatten the blue glass with the end of the jacks.

24. Take the finial to the knock-off table. Apply a couple of drops of water to the join of the glass with the punty rod and tap the rod with the tweezers to release the glass from the rod.

25. Wear protective gloves to hold the finial and place it into the annealing furnace for 12 hours to cool it from 950 degrees to room temperature.

Step 26

26. Remove the three glass pieces from the annealing furnace. Apply a drop of UV glass glue to the top of the lid and glue the finial to the lid. Place the glass wish pot in the sun for a few minutes to cure the glue. Place the lid on the bottom glass vessel.

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