Thursday, 27 August 2009

Birth of a Marble; Picture show

I’ve not a lot to report at the moment, but I did try to take a few one-handed pictures of a 'galaxy' spiral marble; although some steps aren't shown clearly as I needed both hands for those!

It’s not tidy, but ready to work! The black ‘thing’ is a graphite marble mould, the marble is rounded out partly in the flame and partly by rotating in a mould that is too small to fit it – only the rim is used. Weird, yes, but it seems to work!

2nd step, getting rod hot ready to add the spiral

Spiral is made! I couldn't show this step very well as I needed both hands!

Added some glass to make a nice, and hopefully interesting, base!

I've melted more glass off the fat 10mm rod to make the front and attached a thin 4-5mm rod to the back to hold it - very much a two handed job that! The thin rod is a 'cold seal' so can easily be removed, although sometimes it can remove itself thus the pie tin in case it falls!

This now takes a lot of time to melt and get the shape right, also getting rid of as many imperfections in the front to make a nice crystal clear lens. At the moment it's more of a 'bulge' shape.

Getting there! Front now rounding out nicely, the back rod will be switched to front and back again as I try to get all parts even and smooth, using the rim of the marble mould to try and tame it into shape where needed.

Still rounding! This one I've popped a Gilson Opal inside, which would be done before adding the lens glass.

As round as I can get it, the supporting thin punty rod will now be removed, any scar left given a quick work over to remove, then it's into the kiln for a very long soak to anneal.

Hope you enjoyed that, obviously there are alot more stages between that I couldn't show, but hopefully this give you a bit more idea about how it all comes together from a few sticks of glass to a little ball!


  1. oh fascinating - I was wondering how you did that. Still can't suss out how you hold it and get it into the kiln once you have removed the thin rod though!

  2. I have some clamp things that I use for the big ones, and ballance, luck, speed and tweezers for small ones! If you click on the first workshop picture it brings up a larger picture, they are just under the safety glasses ;-)

  3. Aha.. now I understand. Skill in other words :)

  4. very very cool.. thanks for sharing

    mona & the gaffergirls