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Pete VanderLaan 03-20-2019 08:29 PM

Go ahead. I adapt on the fly.

Randy Kaltenbach 06-14-2019 07:40 PM

I'm considering buying an oxygen concentrator & compressor system from Salt City Glass + Oxygen out of Salt Lake City (about $1075USD + s&h). Does anyone have any experience with them as a supplier? - Thanks in advance.

Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig 06-14-2019 10:10 PM

Please show more boro work thats not pipes

Pete VanderLaan 06-15-2019 08:02 AM

Boro Pumpkins then?

Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig 06-15-2019 03:52 PM

So its all pipes then?

Pete VanderLaan 06-15-2019 05:02 PM

There is some remarkable work being done in Boro in fact. The pipes are frequently major works to be considered. I just don't encourage using Craftweb as a visual medium for the artwork, real or imagined. It's hard enough with the cope it currently has. I'm quite sure people can direct you to sites showing work being made.

Sky Campbell 06-15-2019 07:27 PM


Originally Posted by Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig (Post 144298)
So its all pipes then?

If you want to see borosilicate fine art google and find what you want to see. I have included flame worked pieces in my work for over twenty years. Take a look at my avatar. That piece was new when this glass forum first went live. Here in the states when you say your a glassblower you often here oh you must make pipes. That attitude gets old for the people that don’t make pipes. I personally have no problem recognizing a pipe as being a piece of art I’m not sure why some people do.

Tom Fuhrman 06-15-2019 10:32 PM

Bandhu Dunham has done some steam engines and marble raceway sculptures in boro that I find extremely interesting. Others have done some huge figural sculpture over the years that are amazing.
It's not all pipes. Some are making some amazing marbles that are highly collectible.

Larry Cazes 06-16-2019 08:16 PM

I make 3"-4" solid weights in boro that have dimensional landscapes inside. LOTS of work going on in Boro that is not smokables. Torch work is just so much more sustainable for a lot of us and boro is the premier material to work in.

Ted Trower 06-16-2019 08:33 PM


Originally Posted by Randy Kaltenbach (Post 144290)
I'm considering buying an oxygen concentrator & compressor system from Salt City Glass + Oxygen out of Salt Lake City (about $1075USD + s&h). Does anyone have any experience with them as a supplier? - Thanks in advance.

They get very mixed reviews on the Facebook Torch Talk page.

Lawrence Duckworth 06-17-2019 08:27 AM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig (Post 144291)
Please show more boro work thats not pipes

This is a cabinet I made to display my wifeís ĎBoroĒ wine stopper collection, very similar to my cigarette butt collection.

Shawn Everette 06-17-2019 10:35 AM

Torch Talk has shat on them a few times on the show too. Most of the complaints are around service life for full timers. They're about a 1/10th of the cost of the frog or high volume, so it wouldn't necessarily be a terrible starting point if you're not making a living off of it.

Shawn Everette 06-17-2019 10:43 AM


Originally Posted by Sky Campbell (Post 144306)
I personally have no problem recognizing a pipe as being a piece of art Iím not sure why some people do.

I'm pretty sure it's because of the stereotype of glass blowers that they managed to codify. That, and decades of "ermagurd it's High Art" as reasoning for making, rather than actually talking about the merits of the work. Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing objects being made, being able to smoke out of them doesn't make them better.

Pete VanderLaan 06-17-2019 03:22 PM

True enough but for people just starting out with adventures trying to burn themselves, a pipe was something that could be sold. That sale allowed the maker to get better. I could compare it to the art nouveau glass made well into the seventies. None was original, but if it was irridescent and had a feather pull, you could sell it.

The trick remains the same, Learning to speak with your own voice. When you really try your best to make things, the scariest part is having the work rejected.

Shawn Everette 06-17-2019 08:16 PM

I get that, but for me it comes to a point to where you try to distinguish your art from your product. I could try to embellish a pumpkin til it looks like a Faberge, but it's still gonna be a pumpkin. I'd much rather spend that effort into something I'm proud to make as an object, instead of focusing on sellable appeal based on "function".

Pete VanderLaan 06-18-2019 09:03 AM

And I completely understand that as well.

The artworld is a curious place and the pond filled with supporters is a kind of small one. When Dale began his push to have Glass recognized as a legitimate art form and not a lowly craft, the art community was very much against him. The purveyors of bronze and paintings did not want to see their sales diluted by this upstart group in tie dye. Dale did not want to see "The truck drivers of the art world at all which was part of his problem working with Fritz, the Jerry Garcia of the glass community. He went for a Billy Morris look with buff wax. He went with limos and models on his arm. More like Jim Morrison. He was always pointing in a different direction and to his credit, it raised the tide around everyone's boat. At the same time, Mark Peiser was making remarkable work with his able assistant Jaffa Sikorsky and pushed the higest prices of all. Then we had Jon Kuhn and the corporate client.

Why am I reviewing this? The artworld again is a curious place and it never took long for the galleries hawking this work to develop quite a glowing assessment of themselves and getting your work shown in them required the proper pedigree from the right schools. The galleries decided that they were the important ones. T.A's were bred to be the eventual professor in 1972. If you did not have the right degree, they weren't going to show your work. If you ever did an ACE show, you would never be invited to be in a Habitat show. That was the real world.

As the influence of the schools waned entering the '80's the exclusionary policies persisted but the schools had less influence. Private studios began driving design innovations, not the schools. It really became how much money your work would sell for. Ferd at Habitat at one point protested the pricing structure as pieces regularly hit 15K. Ferd stopped protesting when it all sold. Now, the trick place to be was in the navy Pier show for SOFA. That was indeed elite.

Time has marched on, the collapse in 2008 really messed with art and glass sales. It hasn't really recovered, it's just different. Major collectors have either died off or are no longer acquiring things. The tendency for studios to train their own employees makes for a lot of glassworkers with blinders on. Teaching classes on paperweight making and ornaments is what led to pumpkins in my mind. Old Flaming Thumb had asserted that "Even the Poor have to decorate" and there's enormous truth in that. You just need work that sells without starting a conversation about price.

So here we are today. Torch studios are affordable while furnaces cost $45K and no one seems to know how to build them , so why wouldn't boro be ascending? Expect more, not less and then hope that competition sneaks in even more and we see better and better boro. On the hot studio side, I just see more and more pseudo italian glass. Most blowers here can name every single cane trick by its Italian name yet they decry the Chinese wanting to get in the game. We sell crucibles now into Japan, Korea, Myanmar and China.

I'm sort of stupid about it. I'm not a very good glassblower by today's standards. I don't care if my work is thin, actually I prefer it thick. I just care about the color and the form. I might also point out that it sold far better 15 years ago. I'm relieved that I don't have to live off my sales anymore. I still enjoy the process.

Randy Kaltenbach 06-18-2019 10:42 AM

In the 25 years I've blown glass as a passionate amateur, I never made a bong or pipe.

However, I expect to make a number of them as I start down the boro path because they will be low cost great practice to reach the skill level I'd like to attain, plus I can give the practice pieces away to any number of friends. If I find I can express myself in that form, then I'd have nothing against making more.

Art is what I think it is. ... Whatever the hell that means...

Shawn Everette 06-18-2019 12:00 PM

I think a lot of that speaks to the fact that though some glass made it out to the realm of gallery art, much of it is still rooted in the craft tradition while simultaneously trying to claim high art status. Does something need to be made well to be art? Of course. Is something made well art? Debatable. I appreciate what Dale, Billy, Piser, and all the rest did, but generically we have been sequestered to "glass" galleries as a rule, ala Habitat, Hawk, Heller, Saunders, Echt, ect. SOFA, not Art Basel. Hell, they can't even fill SOFA these days.

I think most other galleries dismiss glass because we generally can't talk the talk, we talk glass. While some entities are willing to take the chance to boost sales and show someone well established, we're still mostly dismissed because they don't care about Italian techniques or how hard it is to make. I see more progress being made artists that are using glass intentionally as sculpture for its color and form in a more narrative sense. The same can be said for fusers, casters, and non traditional stained glass. Good, big, or blue, doesn't seem to cut it at this time.

I find it humorous that blowers get bent out of shape because Asia is getting better. If what's being sold at hobby lobby is competing with what we're putting out, we really need to up our game. I know that several of my former instructors have taken the trip over to teach. Information should not be segregated, and it's rather hypocritical for detractors to be making the venician tradition.

I too have taken advantage of the "poor have to decorate", it affords many toys. But I always try to keep it in perspective, and use it as a vehicle to make the work I want. I am also very fortunate to have gotten the tech and teaching bug, which has allowed me to maintain being gainfully employed in the field, but without being beholden to sales. Shows are my yearly bonus, and that leaves me plenty of time to brood over the things I need to make as an artist. It is a difficult thing to be genuine about something that you're making, often times more so than the skill of making it.

Back to the pipes. It's an object. Does the fact that it's a pipe contribute to it in any way? Yes, ok that's legit, but I've never seen it framed well in an argument. No, then it doesn't matter and doesn't need to be a pipe. I mean, where are all the artisanal coke spoons?

Sky Campbell 06-18-2019 12:44 PM

Artisanal Glass salt spoons started in the early 1800ís. Hell Corning has glass pipes in their collection dating way back. Just because it represents a functional form doesnít mean it canít be significant or considered art. I would bet any amount of money some of the pipes being made now will go down in the art world as being significant. I donít make pipes because they donít excite me. Even after the bad stigma subsides I donít have any desire to have pipes as part of my legacy. Thatís just me but I have no problem or I should say I have admiration for those that are pushing the boundaries in skill and art regardless of its form or function.

Shawn Everette 06-18-2019 01:26 PM

What I'm getting at is if function has no real reference to the form or intent, then it doesn't matter. It's not that functional items can't be significant, but that most of the time it's used as a crutch or a cudgel to try and justify it's significance as art. There are some ridiculous looking pipes out there, but would they be any less amazing if they weren't a pipe?

I brought this subject up to a ceramic colleague in reference to tea pots, and he likened their world to a venn diagram; those that make in the functional craft tradition, those that make nonfunctional (but referencing the functional object) sculptural art, and something in between. This isn't necessarily a yes or no subject, but I'd at least like people to take time to think about the full process of making and objectively talk about creativity, rather than just "cool pipe brah, think it needs another wig on that wag".

Travis Frink 06-19-2019 09:31 AM

I really like Kentaro Yanagiís work. Mad scientist kinda guy(moving glass gears, chains and jointed figures). Exciting work, Fun persona and a good heart to boot. I heard heís teaching a class at Pilchuck later this summer.

Shawn Everette 06-19-2019 10:05 AM

That is some fantastic work. Have people made planes and cranes before? Sure, but these have an easily identifiable personal aesthetic. Hell, he's making stop motion animation for them. I bet that class would be a blast.

Scott Dunahee 06-20-2019 02:25 PM

Funny thing...

Originally Posted by Shawn Everette (Post 144360)
Good, big, or blue, doesn't seem to cut it at this time.

When I graduated with my BFA in 2001, I did a solo show. It wasn't required for my degree which I thought was weird but I wanted to do one and I did. It was hard to put it all together too.

I called my show Big, Blue, Good

Good times.


Shawn Everette 06-20-2019 03:52 PM

Nice, blue still seems to work on occasion. Maybe now the new phrase needs to be blue, bong, or dichro.

Honestly I think a solo show should be required for a BFA, what the hell else are they teaching you to do? Certainly not to be a tech.

On an aside, how's the glass scene in Madison? Alma mater, miss the hell out of that place. Except the snow.

Pete VanderLaan 06-20-2019 05:08 PM

I sometimes think it should be in accounting with a minor in public relations.

We used to joke about function differently. It went like this: Make a nice piece, price it $250 dollars. Put a handle on it, drop it to $90.00. Put two handles on it: take it down to $25.00.

I imagine there is some point where the asking price should start going up again. Maybe, 30 handles, $75..00.

When I was apprenticing, we got $2.00 per gather.

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