WORK IN PROGRESS: PUTZ HOUSE ORNAMENTS UPDATE

So tonight I got to try out the mold I made to blow my glass putz houses. I didn’t expect it to work out on the first try  but was pleasantly surprised that my plan worked! I’ve still got some tweaking to do to the design but am very excited with how the first few turned out.

After pouring a wax of the original model I made a two part plaster mold that I could blow into.

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This pretty little piece of plaster coated inside with graphite is one half of the two part mold I blew into to make the house.

I tried the design in clear a few times. When my first attempts come out the annealer I can start to plan what to do differently to the finished pieces. As is the nature of glass the house ended up a bit more rounded than the original model. I like the effect but might try and find ways to make the angles of the roof show up better. I also need to decide what colors I plan to make the finished pieces in.

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Work in Progress: Putz House Ornaments

So in an effort to begin making more production glass I’ve started designing some ornaments. I’ve been interested in putz houses since last winter when I found a few and made a few more out of cardboard (I posted about that last year here.. They seem to have stayed pretty popular throughout the years and I bet they’d make great ornaments. I drew up a quick design in SketchUp of a simple putz house to print and take a mold of. I’ll take a plaster blow mold of it and see if I can make some blown glass ornaments using that mold. It’s going to be tricky because I’ll have to cut it off the pipe on the top edge of the roof and I’m worried about keeping the shape. When I get a chance to blow into the mold I make with this design, I might end up changing the design.

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I ordered lagoon, copper ruby and off-white glass color to make the ornaments with and printed a model of my house the other day. The 3D printed model is only needed long enough for me to talk a flexible silicone mold that I can pour wax into. I’ll use a lost wax process to make my final mold which will be made of plaster.

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To take a flexible silicone mold I use clear Silicone that you find at the hardware store. It’s a cheap and easy way to make a mold of many things. It picks up good detail too. To make the mold I spray the model with mold release then build up one thin layer with the silicone. Once that’s dry I add 2 or 3 thicker layers, a blob at a time. The way I was taught to do this involves squiring each blob out into a cup of soapy water and folding it around to wash out the chemical that extends the set time, making the curing process quicker. When this is set up in a few hours I’ll pop out the model, pour in wax and have a wax model I can use to make my final mold.

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Converging Media Art Show

This fall after moving to Indianapolis I got the opportunity to organize an art show. I’ve shown a few times since I got out of college, but never more than a few pieces and certainly not at a show I put together. To make the show better I invited 3 other artists who also work in glass or metal. From the show statement:

“Converging Media is about mixing media and techniques in unique ways to discover new ways of making. In this show steel meets glass, glass meets plastic, and metal meets paper. 3D printing is used alongside casting, and glassblowing is
integrated with metalworking.”

Since the show came together in about 2 months time, we were each able make a few new pieces to show alongside older work. In all there were about 15 pieces. Before the show we made pedestals, wrote a statement for the show, made postcards and advertised. Installing a show in a gallery downtown in a big city was a much different experience than any art show I’ve done in the past. All in all it was well worth it and it’s something I look forward to doing again.