Glass Straws - WarmGlass.com

Glass Straws

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S.TImmerman
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Glass Straws

Postby S.TImmerman » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:36 pm

While I would LOVE to take classes from experienced folks I am unable, as I help care for an elderly neighbor. I have wanted to make my own canes and bought all the equipment, read everything I could find and finally did it last night. It was not hard! I pulled mostly pencil width cane in hues of blue and green - so pretty!
My question, after piling them and started nipping them I found about 15 feet of glass straws. I COULD drink milk with them! They are perfect with no holes. As fun and unique as they are (useless?) I would like to avoid making more. I've never heard of this, did I do something wrong? Thanks
Shereen

Brad Walker
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Re: Glass Straws

Postby Brad Walker » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:55 pm

You'll get the hollow tubes when you run low on glass. So next time you pull, just watch and when the murrini start to get hollow add more glass to the pot.

You can still use the tubes -- just fill them with stringers or similar small pieces of glass -- them make your piece.

S.TImmerman
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Re: Glass Straws

Postby S.TImmerman » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:17 pm

Oh Thank you! My husband was messing around with them this morning- drank his cereal milk with them. TOO funny. Great Idea about putting stringers in them. I was able to stick 10 in one!
Thank you VERY much!

Morganica
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Re: Glass Straws

Postby Morganica » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:35 pm

Actually, they work beautifully for straws, or for slicing up, filling with frit and stuff, and firing. I'm using them to make what amounts to furnace glass beads, and they're gorgeous. I'm getting so I'd almost rather have the hollows than the solids.
Cynthia Morgan
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S.TImmerman
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Re: Glass Straws

Postby S.TImmerman » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:36 am

Morganica wrote:Actually, they work beautifully for straws, or for slicing up, filling with frit and stuff, and firing. I'm using them to make what amounts to furnace glass beads, and they're gorgeous. I'm getting so I'd almost rather have the hollows than the solids.


Wow, Id love to see what you're making. When I use nippers to cut they crush instead of cutting -


I did more today and still got a ton of straws. I wish i was experienced enough to know when they are actually straws while pulling them. They come at the bitter end and it makes sense that the glass is flowing down the pot that's almost empty making them. I filled the pot with 4 pounds of glass and have yet to crack the pot - 2 firings so far.

Thanks
Shereen

Brad Walker
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Re: Glass Straws

Postby Brad Walker » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:17 am

S.TImmerman wrote:
Morganica wrote:I wish i was experienced enough to know when they are actually straws while pulling them.


You should be able to look at the ends when they're just pulled and see the hole in the middle.

Morganica
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Re: Glass Straws

Postby Morganica » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:55 pm

The weight and ease of pulling will tell you too--you're yanking less glass and after awhile you get a feel for it.

The walls must be fairly thick for the tile nippers to work. I have much better luck with the tile saw. I set up a jig on the saw (so they all come out the same length), gang up a few cane, and start slicing. As long as you've got a good blade on your tilesaw they cut pretty well. The ones that shatter are probably too thin (or stressed) to hold up in jewelry anyway.

Once you've cut them, put some wet-dry sandpaper on a padded board and run the edges back and forth a few times to soften them, then stick more sandpaper on a thin dowel and soften the inside edge (so it doesn't cut into the cord/chain you're using). That's pretty much it. If the edges are going to show, you can continue with finer grits and then polish, but I generally cap the ends with metal spacers or gem rondels, so it's not really necessary.

I like to make my own chain when I'm incorporating my cast pendants into necklaces, and the hollows are nice because they've got a built-in hole for the wire to go through. Cap each end, terminate the wire on both sides with loops, and you've got a nice link for your chain. Unfortunately, I've only got a really bad photo of one, but here 'tis:
Pulled-cane-chain.jpg


I took Nathan Sandberg's Venetian cane pulling class (it's an amazing (and very fun) class, if you get a chance to take it, you should), and was horrified to find most of the students' hollow cane going into the trash. I asked permission to dumpster dive for it and came away with an absolutely glorious collection, enough for a dozen necklaces. ;-)
Cynthia Morgan
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bob proulx
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Re: Glass Straws

Postby bob proulx » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:17 pm

Very nice necklace.
Bob

S.TImmerman
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Re: Glass Straws

Postby S.TImmerman » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:48 pm

Cynthia,
Thanks very much for your detailed explanation. I really appreciate it! Very nice necklace!

Brad, yes, I did notice it this time around, after the straws became thin I just made stringers.

Such wonderful help, I'm very thankful.
S

S.TImmerman
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Re: Glass Straws. Revisited

Postby S.TImmerman » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:32 am

May I ask one last question on this?

The flower pot has gone though 4 cycles of pulling canes with no cracks or problems. Should I let it retire and plant a Daisey and just thank the glass angels? Can I keep using it ? This is my first pot and I wonder, when they crack during firing does the glass go on the bottom (I'm using an old kiln shelf) of the kiln? Or?

Thanks
Shereen

Dairy Queen
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Re: Glass Straws

Postby Dairy Queen » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:19 am

The pot should only crack if you crash cool it. I've used all of mine many times, with only one - abused by me with a crash cool - cracked. I wrapped a wire around it, and was able to use it two more times before it poured out onto my kiln floor. Don't waste time on broken pots. Also, after 10 or so melts, the glass cane picks up tiny pieces of red clay. I'm pretty sure it happens at the hole.

I am currently working with Slumpy's Molds on a project. They gave me both of their pot melt pots to use for making cane. The bigger one holds about 5.5 pounds of cullet, and has a 3/4 inch hole. The little one holds about 4.5 pounds and has a 1/2 inch hole. They are both very good quality, and will surely last long beyond cheap clay pots. There are expensive clay pots ( $10) of better quality, but for the same price, Slumpy's white clay pot melt pots are my choice.
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