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Thread: From Texas: Yes I say y'all

  1. #1
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    Default From Texas: Yes I say y'all

    Greetings.

    Texas is a gorgeous place. No one really rides horses, you see that in Arkansas much more frequently. Yes it is very hot. Always. Winter barely exists.

    I don't blow glass (yet) but I am very interested in the chemistry behind making glass. I am currently going to school for chemistry and inorganic has always been my preferred subject. After I started dating a glass blower, I realized that someone had to be designing and making all the colors he uses. I've started looking more and more into the glass color industry. Ordered a few glass chemistry books. I've been looking into the thermodynamics of it all, some of the metals and compounds used to create colors.

    Unfortunately I'm not finding too much on the internet about how you actually get INTO the industry. It's my senior year so it's a little too late to get into any material engineering classes, or I would, and my school does not offer any glazing or glass chemistry classes. So I've been doing my best to find another school that does. Alfred University is far far far out of my poor college student price range. Corning seems to focus on glass blowing, not quite glass mixing (? correct me if I am wrong.) I'm trying to find some sort of technical certification perhaps.

    I talked to someone recently who pointed me towards this fourm. He also told me how most of the people in glass mixing/making are glass blowers themselves and most have originated from Northstar glass(? Looking for more info about this). I have a friend who has offered to give me lessons, which I am definitely taking her up on once I get the time. But for now I still want to do everything I can to learn more about the science behind glass colors.

    So, questions for y'all:

    (1) What kind of education or technical experience do any glass mixers you know have? Did they take a specific course/class? Learn from any specific school? Teach themselves? Basically, what can I do to gain the knowledge/experience to make myself more appealing to future employers?

    (2) Where do I need to go/who do I need to know to find careers in glass coloring? I know most of the companies are up north on the coasts, and I'm planning on moving out of Texas to be closer to them once I finish school and have some financial stability to throw around.

    (3) I know there are some actual textbooks for glass blowing techniques, are there any specifically written for making glass colors that I could buy and read?

    (4) I know of Northstar, Glass Alchemy, Sundance, Mountain glass. Can any one educate me on who runs these companies? Does just one person direct all the manufacturing for each? Or are there several people, each individually experimenting with colors for the company to sell?

    So yeah, that's it. I wood burn and have an IG for that, you can follow me @trippyfloors

    Thanks for your help and I look forward to an active and exciting future on this fourm

    -T.F.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: From Texas: Yes I say y'all

    Hey TF and welcome to TMP.

    Color batching recipes are closely guarded and there isn't much info available out there. I vaguely recall someone, maybe Brads, talking about a book once on here but I can't remember enough details to point you in the right direction. If you spend some time searching our forums you'll come across more info.

    Most our color makers have chemistry backgrounds so that's a good place to start.

    Our color makers are:

    Trautman Art Glass, Paul Trautman
    North Star Glass, Abe Fleschman
    Glass Alchemy, Thomas and Jody Grimmet
    Momka's Color, Momka Peeva
    Molten Aura Labs, Adam Weins (not positive he is the owner)
    Origin Glass Works, Elan Technology

    There are many others out there remixing color and making "new" colors, but this is not the same as batching their own recipes. The true color makers create the colors from raw chemicals and clear glass.

    Good luck with your adventures.
    ~Misha

  3. #3

    Default Re: From Texas: Yes I say y'all

    I'd check out Salem Community College.

    http://www.salemcc.edu/glass/programs/scientific.php

  4. #4
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    Default Re: From Texas: Yes I say y'all

    I think that some of the early borosilicate color manufacturers consulted with Suellen Fowler - she was hand-mixing colors before colors could be bought.

    In addition to mixing with clear, you can make soft glass colors by buying or making batch - no glass, just the raw materials. There are companies that will make tons of batch to your formula by request, then it's up to you to turn it into glass. I'm sure you can do boro the same, but it's not as cost-effective.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: From Texas: Yes I say y'all

    Yeah I checked out Salem before (I went to Wheaton and lots of people told me about it). But they teach how to do scientific glass blowing. This is frequently the problem I run into when I tell people I want to go into class chemistry, they misinterpret it as scientific glass blowing. I want to actually mix the colors, and while I would love to pick up glass blowing as a hobby and way to test the potential color batches I make, it's not exactly my focus.

    P.S. are you the real whateverforever?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: From Texas: Yes I say y'all

    I'll definitely look her up. I was told of a woman who did it originally but the person couldn't remember her name! Thank you!!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: From Texas: Yes I say y'all

    Thanks for your help! I'll look through some of the old threads and see if I can find a reference to any book. Do you know anything about their staffing needs? Do they ever hire support chemists or is it just one/two people per company and they don't need anyone else.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: From Texas: Yes I say y'all


  9. #9

    Default Re: From Texas: Yes I say y'all

    Oh I guess organic chemistry for glassworkers isn't what you're looking for... I coulda sworn there was a different chemistry class for glass. and no just a fan. Good luck figuring it out!

  10. #10
    ksglass Lurker

    Default Re: From Texas: Yes I say y'all

    Trippy, I'm blue-green color blind and I've noticed that some of the glass people love aren't that special to me and my favorites aren't the same to people who can see the full spectrum of color. I've got several different COE of glass. Mostly soft but just some boro ends and U Glass. I've been able to find some favorite sticks of color from 33, 90, 96 and 104 COE's and each color from each coe is different in it's own way. Some newer glass colors and some are OG. I haven't ever really liked much about the color of Red unless it's the color of my kids' hair. But somehow my favorite color is now a red piece of glass that I bought early this summer as a lot purchase. It's almost metallic but not quite but the thing I love about glass color is how deep the color can be. I can't wait to melt each color and see what it does. I've spent more time than I'd prolly admit to just looking at glass rods. I'd be interested to hear anything you learn and are willing to share. I keep hoping I'll be able to find a used vitrigraph kiln at a good price. If not then I'll find a crubicle kiln or figure another way to try my hand at a few colors.

    As far as education I remember reading a response to the Bullseye closing written by a professor at a college. He talked about the temperatures used for making glass couldn't cause cause the damage from cadmium which lead to the recent shortages. Here's a link to the post. I remember how exciting the science was to me and how cool I thought it would be to learn about the science in glass. I still can't believe that there wasn't at least one Scientist working at one of the glass plants getting shut down that didn't know enough of the science behind what he was doing to disprove the 'theory' or supposed 'theory'. You could contact that professor and see if he would give you suggestions for your education towards a career in glass. I'm still kinda new to everything but it seems much of the advancements in blowing glass have come from the artists via experimental trial and error and not scientists. Like Bob Snodgrass discovering fuming by accident. My guess is that there is a decent amount of chemistry that could benefit the artists on this forum through advancements in their tools, equipment and even their glass.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: From Texas: Yes I say y'all

    we ALL love to oogle pretty glass rods
    welcome to the forum!!
    You shouldn't be having sex for pleasure, only for reproduction.
    Thousands of people read my threads now. So Iím trying to not embarrass myself.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: From Texas: Yes I say y'all

    Thanks for all the responses and warm welcomes guys!

    BoRo, yeah it looks like all the big color makers started out on their own, with self-made companies. It's both inspirational and pretty freaky cause I don't know if I can just learn everything on the fly on my own.

    Whateverforever, well we can be fans together! And no worries, everyone I talk to gets confused about what I am asking.

    ksglass, I think the color blind perspective is very interesting. Most people don't think about how glass looks to different people. Most of us have different color perception anyway since some people can see higher into infa-red and lower into ultr-violet than others. Makes me curious if we could artificially create such perceptions. I'll check out the post you linked to. I might try educating myself more on cadmium and arsenic safety so I can have more knowledge about safety regulations and possible neutralization solutions.

    istandalone24/7, thanks for the welcome bro! Can't wait to stare at one I made one day <3

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