Tuesday, 2 August 2011

the trick is...

 We make marbles using soft, furnace melted glass. This approach resembles an Italian tradition of glass cane making; wherein glass colours are layered, heated and stretched out into long strips (canes) to be used in subsequent objects and designs. We mimic this process by stacking and arranging the hot glass colours to achieve the marble design we desire.

 in this way, colours are designed and built  from the inside out. We call it 'building stock'.

in most cases, clear glass is added over top of the interior colour construction.

The mass is then heated and pulled into a thick, uniform cane in which the design stretches from end to end.

In the next step we heat up sections of the stock to twist and form the glass by hand into these juicy, colour saturated, spirally spheres! 
However,..we just refer to that part as magic.

To complete each marble, a small stump of glass must be ground away and polished. The stump is the tiny point where each marble is separated from the stock.

First, two grades of abrasive belts get rid of the excess glass and makes the marble round.

then a cork lined belt prepares the surface to be polished.

Lastly, a felt lined wheel embedded with a polishing goo makes the marble all shiny.

Needless to say, each marble gets picked up and loved several times before it gets to sit with the finished bunch. 
This combination of techniques is our appropriation of traditional marble making. Its not the only way and there are many ways to do the dance. We like this way, its funky.

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