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Old 07-03-2017, 12:29 PM
George Tessman George Tessman is offline
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caged Pieces

I wish to do some caged pieces. Other than copper what other metals do you have success with blowing into. My goal is to include the metal into the piece. as in a lamp shade. I use spruce pine Thank you.
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:30 PM
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Mike McCain Mike McCain is offline
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I've worked in shops that used steel cage frames that were sprayed with black grill paint. Thin enough gauge that the steel had some bend when you squoze it. The frames were at room temperature, and we didn't blow too far past the cage. If the bubble blew out too far, and started to wrap around the steel, it would break on annealing. If the glass bulged out a bit, which is the whole point, seemed fine.
Copper is the only metal I know of that can be cased in glass without much stress on annealing, but you gotta be quick to cover the copper if you want that sweet pink hue and not a charred mess.
What I like, is to drop a cookie on to some copper sheet (forget foil, go thick. Carbondale copper has many thicker gauges for your shopping pleasure.). Drop the cookie on the copper sheet. Go get another gather an make a post. Use your Dave Patchen patented tagliols and flip the cookie. Sandwich the copper and your on your way to making some attractive baubles.
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Last edited by Mike McCain; 07-03-2017 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:44 PM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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In Mexico they used tin cans that were first cut with a torch. THey were really pretty good at making different shapes with the bigger cans. I have no idea if they are still around. I would imagine they would be, You had only one chance to blow the mold and get rid of the thing.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:49 AM
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Greg Vriethoff Greg Vriethoff is offline
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I've experimented with sterling silver in the past. Thick castings, not blown. Silver doesn't hold-up structurally as well as copper. If I were going to explore this again I would try and use fine silver. Higher melting point. Probably wouldn't make that much of a difference, but who knows what'll happen. Gold can be used as well, but same issues as silver in addition to $$$.

Copper's pretty much the go to for cost, durability, and "compatibility." Steel is more a matter of technique. I've worked with some people that do some reckless stuff with steel and glass. It's a lot of "getting away with it" and I seriously doubt pieces with steel inclusions will stand the test of time.
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Old 07-04-2017, 10:41 AM
Tom Fuhrman Tom Fuhrman is offline
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In the 60's and 70's we used steel frames for making thousands of caged light fixtures. Sinclair Glass in Indiana, Super Glass in Brooklyn and many others. As Pete stated , many of the Mexican factories did the same. Frames were strip steel and spot welded in mass production situations.
During that era, "Mediterranean" theme/Spanish, etc. and Mexican decors were very popular so that was what was selling. I even used to have some large planters that were produced this way. About 12" tall X 14" diameter and totally open on the one end where they were cut off and ground. About 30 years ago I had hundreds of these fixtures I bought as an entire warehouse closeout and ended up selling them to a chain of Mexican restaurants.
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Old 07-04-2017, 11:35 AM
Dan Vanantwerp Dan Vanantwerp is offline
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I'm still kind of fascinated by the blown boro post and wonder what that glass can withstand...besides METEORITE incusions!
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:25 PM
Pamela Sherwood Pamela Sherwood is offline
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I have made fine silver cages. It's best not to work in the glory hole for a long time afterwards, but it can be done. And fine silver is much, much better than sterling.

For copper - you can use wire or mesh. Fine silver mesh too, but it's expensive.
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Old 07-05-2017, 04:39 PM
Jordan Kube Jordan Kube is offline
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KT Hancock of Spiral Arts fame has been doing a bunch of really neat blown steel cage work pieces. Her most recent work can probably be found on Instagram.
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:23 PM
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Spraying Stannous Chloride on Gold and Silver foil help those precious metals 'pop' and can help justify the price tag.
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Old 07-14-2017, 02:22 AM
Eric Trulson Eric Trulson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike McCain View Post
Spraying Stannous Chloride on Gold and Silver foil help those precious metals 'pop' and can help justify the price tag.
That is super fascinating. Do you usually dip/spray the stannous chloride on the foil beforehand, or do you apply it to the surface after it's been rolled up?

I'm assuming the extra shine comes about because the stannous chloride acts as a reducing agent and prevents the metal surface from oxidizing as much as it would otherwise. Not sure though.
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Old 07-14-2017, 02:30 AM
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I never thought of dipping the foil in a stannous bath. Could be cool. I just sprayed it, and the gold seemed to remain more than when on its own. Possibly the stannous 'filled the gaps' that come about. Interesting thought about the chemistry behind why it works. I don't know. All I can say is it makes it 'pop.'
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