For years now I have prided myself as the guy who made surface worked marbles. I felt there was honor in avoiding the lure of clear, vortexes, fuming, air trapping, and a whole host of traditional marble making techniques. This was coming from a guy who made a living selling paperweights with large amounts of clear and swirls of color for the first ten years of my life as a glass artist.
( honestly, a little part of it was dreading the search for the perfect clear, peeling scum, avoiding air trapping, the large amounts of cussing after an hour of work when you see the clear is flawed, etc.)
But….. When the first of the year rolled around, I found myself feeling the urge to do some experimenting. So I bit the bullet and ordered some large diameter, high quality clear from Double Helix. I ended up having so many ideas and burning through three pounds of clear before I knew it. Now I find myself with two rods left,( 6 pounds more is one the way) and wondering how not to waste them today.
I am finding I have way more surface area to cram full of visual stimulation, and I feel I am retaining my “style”., something I was worried about when I made the clear plunge. I am still going to make purely surface worked marbles, they are just way too fun to push aside, but… I feel a new world of designs has opened up.
There is still a lot of learning to do, clear is really a pain in the behind. The process of getting the clearest window can be time consuming and tedious. There have been more failures lately than I am used to having. I just remind myself that it is supposed to be about quality, not quantity and slowly gather that gather of transparent goodness.
I think a small crucible furnace may be in my future, we will see if I can make the expense worth the extra power and time to justify my little pot of molten dreams.
Let me know what you think of the new work, and thanks for taking the time to look!!
All of the new stuff can be found at Etsy ,and a short video showing this process can be found on YouTube .