Let's Talk Tools
Letís talk tools. Having the right tools for the job is as important to the lampworker as it is for a carpenter. Luckily, some of our tools are a bit cheaper and do not require you to install a toolbox in the back of your truck.
Tools fall into two categories:
1. Tools the lampworker makes themselves
2. Tools the lampworker buys
Today we will be looking at some of the tools that Glasscraft carries and what types of flameworking the tools can be used for. The links next to the pictures will take you to that tool or section on Glasscraftís site.
In the area of Sculptural Flameworking, sometimes your best tool is a butter knife and tweezers. However, we think these tools are pretty beneficial too.
Tiny Micro Mashers- used to mash and shape hot glass. http://www.glasscraftinc.com/home/gla/page_24755_526/masher-_tiny_micro_mashers.html
Brass Stump Shapers- used to shape and move hot glass. http://www.glasscraftinc.com/home/gla/page_24710_515/brass_stump_shaper_2.5_x_1.8.html
Dental Picks- used to sculpt hot glass like clay. http://www.glasscraftinc.com/home/gla/page_29318_515/pick_-_angled_dental_pick.html
Tungsten Rakes- used to sculpt glass, create bales, and surface details. http://www.glasscraftinc.com/home/gla/smartlist_553/tungsten_rakes.html
In the area of Functional Art, there are a lot of glassblowers that make their own tools, but there are some very helpful tools that Glasscraft stocks as well:
Ground Joint Holder- used to hold either a male or female ground joint depending on the tool, so the lampworker can attach without holding their fingers too close to the flames. http://www.glasscraftinc.com/home/gla/smartlist_478/ground_joint_tools.html
Bowl Pushes- simply a graphite tool used to push bowls into pipes and other functional objects. Some pushes feature a stainless steel picks that help keep the bowl hole centered. Whatever your preference, we have a big selection here. http://www.glasscraftinc.com/home/gla/smartlist_488/pushes.html
Claw grabbers- this tool allows you to handle hot or irregularly shaped objects. http://www.glasscraftinc.com/home/gla/smartlist_528/grabbers.html?stpl=
When it comes to tools for marble makers, it's all about the molds!
Molds Ė used to shape and move hot glass. These come in a variety of sizes. Some molds have multiple sizes on one tool, while others are a single size. See our variety here: http://www.glasscraftinc.com/home/gla/smartlist_487/marble_molds.html
We have a very specialized tool for Goblet Makers:
Mickelsen Parabolic Tools (aka the Egg) - The Egg is designed to create perfect convex flares working directly in the flame. The ultra-dense, high-qualitly graphite will not degrade from repeated intense heating. The extra-long handle keeps your hand away from the heat. The parabolic curve allows you to push on every part of the flare from the lip to the center. It's the ideal tool for making goblet bowls.
Here is a video of Robert Mickelson demonstrating the egg.
Beads are another area of glass making with a lot of specialized tools. We carry a selection of those tools here: http://www.glasscraftinc.com/home/gla/smartlist_519/beadmaking_and_jewelry_accessories.html?stpl=
Fiber Blanket- is an alternative to vermiculite. Used to bring the temperature of your beads down at a slow rate.
Diamond Bead File- This file set is designed to assist in putting the final touches on hand made beads. Three file tips fit inside the pen-like handle for easy storage. http://www.glasscraftinc.com/home/gla/page_25091_519/diamond_bead_file_-_set_of_3_in_handle.html
Musings on everything flameworking- Art, Industry, and Culture.