Some questions about blowing glass with torch/lampwork?
I think glass art is really cool. Interested in possibly getting a torch or lamp or whatever you call it to play around with.
My question was are you able to use scrap glass like beer bottles, old glass home decorations, etc or do you have to purchase those tubes to work with?
Also, what’s the cost behind each item you make. I understand it probably depends on the complexity and your time is worth money but in terms of supplies to make say a small glass piece what are you looking at in terms of cost for gas used, if you have to buy those glass stems to work with, etc.
You can get some basic information here http://mikegigi.com/what-can.htm
and more at www.hotglass.com
today torch working (called lampworking from the old days when an alcohol lamp flame really was used) normally uses an oxy-propane torch although you can begin with a Hothead Torch and MAPP gas.
The problem with using odd pieces of glass, besides having to hold them somehow in the flame, is that different kinds of glass expand and contract differently and mixed pieces will commonly break on cooling, even the slow cooling required of glass (annealing) This is avoided by using one of 4 different ranges of matched glass (same COE) which are sold for the purpose.
The actual cost of a small piece is mostly the labor of the worker and the cost of fuel plus paying off the equipment, where a nice low end serious rig will cost about $200. A worker will normally price a piece at 2-4 times direct cost estimate of labor, glass, gases,and overhead.
steel Art Productions Alien glass coffee table (scrap art sculpture)
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