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Old 05-02-2019, 12:30 AM
Sean Jones Sean Jones is offline
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Sugar glass

I want to make a big pot of sugar glass to practice gathering when the melter is off. I’m sure poor gathering is at the root of most of my problems. I don’t have a good mental picture of the dynamics of the process.
So I boiled up 5kg of sugar and water on the stove (when my wife was out) and kept going to evaporate the water. Jim McKelvey’s book says to take it up to 338oF for realistic glass like viscosity.
Well, I got to 280oF and the bubbles turned to foam with crystals in! I then realised I’d forgotten to put the cream of tartar in but it was too late anyhow. The whole lot suddenly doubled in volume, recrystallised and started to burn. What a mess!
Does anyone have any experience with this stuff? 338oF seems too high and what is cream of tarter doing in there?
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:36 AM
Charles Friedman Charles Friedman is offline
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Use honey instead. Going from warm to colder. Use a chop-stick or drinking straw to gather with. The colder the honey the bigger the gathers. Use a small bowl as the crucible.
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:47 PM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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I've never tried it. It strikes me as being an unlikely way to learn much about gathering. I know at Steuben they taught new workers to gather miscible oil before they ever let them near open pots. Steuben was never really big on gathering conventionally anyways.
Maybe STP in a cold container with something that sticks to STP, but Sugar glass? Really? Or, a pot of real glass in a small electric kiln.
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:19 PM
Greg Vriethoff Greg Vriethoff is offline
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Sugar blowing is a different animal. The material is stiffened first before being pulled, and manipulated by hand. There isn't any "gathering" as is done with glass blowing.

A friend of mine did this, and discovered how differently the materials behaves. Search the archives for more info.

I think Charlie's suggestion for an analog is the closest you'll get.
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:11 PM
Charles Friedman Charles Friedman is offline
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I forgot to say...place one bowl of honey in hot water and other in crushed ice water. You can even make a cut out of your furnace door with sill. This way you can have a sideways look at your gathering and see what is really going on.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:30 AM
rodman gilder miller rodman gilder miller is offline
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Sucrose glucose and fructose....I think that the real key is the ratio between glucose and fructose. That ratio determines when things go crystalline. In the stores, sugar is sucrose. Add a bit of acid and sucrose breaks down to glucose and fructose. Honey is almost any ratio between the two, dependent upon the species of the flowers' nectar. High fructose is what is usually heralded as the best for "blowing" sugar.

But "blowing" sugar is not very similar to "blowing" glass. A number of years ago, at a GAS conference in Seattle, I arranged for a demo of sugar blowing. It was a disappointment: not many blowers showed up and although the pastry chief was more than good, it really seemed of little relevance to blowing glass.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:08 AM
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Rich Samuel Rich Samuel is online now
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The one of the Chinese guy is the most impressive.

https://www.google.com/search?q=blow...hrome&ie=UTF-8
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:43 AM
Art Freas Art Freas is offline
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But the key question is - Did you get it cleaned up before she got back...
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:41 PM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is online now
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Offer to help a local glass blower for free.
Buy him or her lunch, brush his or her dog,
Bring beer for the end of the day, sweep the floor..
There’s your gathering practice.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:26 PM
Eric Trulson Eric Trulson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eben Horton View Post
Offer to help a local glass blower for free.
Buy him or her lunch, brush his or her dog,
Bring beer for the end of the day, sweep the floor..
There’s your gathering practice.
Seconding this. If you can assist another glassblower, especially one who's doing production work rather than large sculptural pieces, odds are you'll get a whole lot of practice taking first gathers quickly, and some verbal feedback on each gather (whether that feedback is obscenity-laden or not depends on the glassblower)
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:55 PM
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I've noticed that bringing a bottle of a nice single malt helps too.
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