Thursday, September 23, 2010

Stumpsucking Today

Today I am stumpsucking some glass! Okay, yes, that does sound funny. I agree :)

Above is pictured a sad and shocked little tiny frog that I made and tried to encase using a tool called a "Stumpsucker". This little guy was made years ago. Today I am dusting off the ol' tool and trying again! This makes me very excited. I had to blog about it!
Here is another sad sorry attempt at encasement with the stumpsucker. This orange lady looks terrible now and she is covered in bubbles. If the object I am encasing is too cold, bubbles will get trapped. Too hot and she morphs and distorts as the clear glass encases her.
This is what the tool looks like. The black piece of graphite with the hose coming off it is the stumpsucker itself. I attached it to a tripod and put some silver Kevlar stuff around the rubber hose... its a strange and annoying tool. Too small and too awkward to really get the job done. We'll see how it goes today! I'll be sure to take pictures and share afterwards as well.
The inside of the stumpsucker has a plate with holes... so you put your little glass intricate thing in the cavity and get a gather of glass and basically suck that hot clear glass down around your little object. Simple eh? Hard to master.
Previously I have tried to work with borosilicate when playing with my stumpsucker. Today I am trying softglass. Specifically 96coe. Here is a collage picture of my little handful of things that I made up to encase. The beetle turned out stunning (if I say so myself!) and a few things lost some legs... but you know. Its stumpsucking DIY time. The name of the tool is funny and the process is humbling... but I love making little intricate things, putting them into paperweights would be a dream come true.

Years ago when I purchased the tool I tried a few times and got frustrated. Put it in a box and walked away. A few days ago a friend from Aquila mentioned they were wanting to try this and didn't know anyone with this tool - I lit up at the opportunity and made some quick plans to give a whirl this afternoon. Very exciting stuff. I am meeting up with Brandyn down at Elements glass (where he teaches intro to glass blowing classes) to attempt to stumpsuck our little creations.


maggie said...

curious to see what happens!

Naomi said...

Ahhhhhhh! You described this perfectly last night! Awesome!

Erin said...

i like the orange lady :)