Arm work and glass

Having folks over for open shop nights helps them out in a pretty direct way, but it's also a little selfish on my part. The energy nudges me in different directions and keeps me looking for new things to build. Nicola's need for arms has led me to build new ones for myself despite the fact that my jupons hide my arms and the ones I have are functional enough. I pounded out a couple cops, articulated them. Tonight I rolled the edges on the vambrace and curled them using the new swedge block and the bracelet mandrel Max loaned me. The swedge still needs some sanding from the initial casting which is a lot of the reason the vambrace looks scratched up.
There's still a lot of fiddling to do on this, and the rerebrace needs to be built, but it's coming along pretty well. My vambrace patterns need some revisions. They're too big and I was trying to accomplish too much with the complex adjustments I made to the edges. I'd love to make a pattern that would let me just pound these out in a couple hours so we could have more decent steel arms on the field.

Over the weekend I got some time in Aaron Gross's glass studio. We made these three pieces:
The inspiration for the two bottles came from this painting by Taddeo di Bartolo in 1393 in the Cathedral of San Gimignano (very happy this puts the style so close to my 1396 target date!):
And this extant piece from northerny Italy estimated to be 14th to 15th century:
The major features I was shooting for were the optical swirl, the foot, the kick in the base (which you can only see in the extant piece), and the applied collar. I didn't get the necks elongated in mine as much as I should have, and the collars aren't as even as I'd like. I didn't get a great first gather on the smaller one which resulted in it being shorter than I was shooting for. It's about the size of a beer bottle as it is though, and it's comfortable to hold, so it's still a very practical piece.

The orange glass on the right was inspired by a 15th century German "keulenglaser" or club shaped beaker. Specifically this one:
We forgot to put the swirl in this one, it didn't elongate as much as I wanted, we didn't coordinate well on shaping the opening which caused an asymmetry and a more open mouth than the original. I used damp newspaper to sculpt the base which was much more difficult than anticipated. It turned out OK, but it was hard to stay focused on turning and really get the fullness of the shape. We got most of the way through a second iteration of a keulenglas but it broke in the furnace and we didn't have time to start over.

I found the coordination between Aaron and me to be much tougher on these more complex pieces. I'm handling more of the procedures than before which is great for my growth, but the end product is a bit shaky. Still, it's a lot of fun, and it's making me kick around the idea of saving up for a proper furnace of my own some day.

The research pictures all came from a great new publication, "Medieval Glass for Popes, Princes and Peasants" published by the Corning Museum of Glass. You can pick it up on their web site. It's a fantastic resource with a number of good articles and a lot of images I hadn't seen elsewhere.


Visigoth said…
Oh nice arms "looks like fun" and I love the period Glas work, I would some day love to work in glass as a medium.
Caladin said…
I'm so envious I've always want to learn to blow glass.
Cal- Check out Austin Art Glass down on Congress. A one shot class there costs $100 plus a setup fee.

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