Making Cane

Making cane begins with picking up a piece of color, in rod form, on the end of a punty.  This color is then heated and shaped.

Thanks to friend and photographer Jason Wertheimer for shooting this series as well as Making Murrine and Blowing Process.

While I'm heating up the white glass which will be the center of the cane, Michael heats up a larger piece of a transparent color.  Wrapping a transparent color over a core of white makes 'veiled cane' which is more time consuming to make but results in vibrant color.

When the color is molten, it's wrapped around the white glass.

By heating and shaping the glass on the marver the color is distributed across all the white and lengthened to prepare for the two gathers of clear glass that will encase the color.

When the glass is the correct shape and temperature, it's dipped into an a crucible of molten clear glass to encase the color.  After gathering clear glass, the punty rod is hot from being in the furnace so it's cooled in a trough of water.

After being encased, the glass is shaped and allowed to cool enough to maintain its shape through the heat of the next gather.

Back into the furnace for a second gather of clear glass.

After the second gather, the glass is heated and shaped to set it up to be pulled into cane.

Michael prepares a 'post' on another punty rod which will be used to stretch the glass.

When the glass is the correct heat, the post is connected to the end of the glass.

Once connected, the glass is stretched like taffy... we walk down the hall until it reaches the diameter desired. If the glass is too hot it would drip onto the floor; too cold and it would fail to stretch at all. This usually makes 15' to 50' of cane, depending on what type of cane we're making. 

Once the correct diameter and length is reached the cane is held taut for a few seconds to ensure it's straight as it hardens.  It is then set down on the wood ladders to cool.

After it's cool, the cane is cut into lengths to be incorporated into work. 

Next -> Making Murrine