Introduction: 3D Pulled Glass Picture Frame
This home decoration is quite a unique and eye catching concept. My glass teacher had made an absolutely stunning version of this in hot pink years ago & I always wanted to make my own, so here I am and I must say it's better than I ever imagined!
I'm not sure if you could find a way to do this without having the glass lamp work set up, but I'm sure some variations could be possible with glass scraps!
This Instructable contains potentially hazardous activity working with glass, gas and flame as well as extreme temperatures, so please ensure all care is taken to protect yourself and your surroundings prior to commencing any work. If you are not 100% confident, do not proceed.
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Step 1: Set It Up
- Glass lamp work set up (gas bottle and hot head)
- Heat resistant surface
- Glass rods (your choice of colours)
- Container of Vermiculite (it's used in gardening, so check your nursery); it assists in temperature control of the glass as it cools, so as not to crack
- 3D box picture frame
- Icy Pole Sticks (Popsicle sticks)
- Superglue & tape
Step 2: Make It Happen
Once your space is set out safely and you have all your tools and materials you'll need for the duration of the work, carefully light your hothead and reduce it to the lowest setting before it goes out.
Proceed to introduce a clear glass rod and your coloured glass rod (one in each hand) slowly from about a foot above the visible flame; if they are introduced too quickly, the glass may shatter and fly in any direction, it's not fun trust me!
As you're comfortable that they're warming up, lower them into the space 3 inches or so above the tip of the blue flame, rotating them as they'll need equal heat dispersion as they change consistency very quickly once out of the flame (still scorching hot, just not molten).
I'm sorry I couldn't get pics of this as I was using both hands at the time!
There's a video of some coloured glass turning molten on the end here (on my Instagram account): https://instagram.com/p/6bcfbNQfDG/
Once the coloured glass has around a thumb tip size molten end, 'kiss' it together with the clear tip and create a contact that will generate a strong and consistent string of glass as they're pulled apart. That might not make sense right now until you try it, and will most assuredly take some practice.
Once they're 'merged', take them an inch or two out of the flame, wait for the colour to change slightly (about 1.5 seconds) and start to gently & slowly pull the 2 rods apart until it stops flowing. You're left with a string/strand of glass.
To divide the two rods, simply place the clear glass end of the strand into the flame for a second or two and it will melt them apart. You can also gently sweep the coloured strand through the flame on the end to tidy it up as the glass will 'ball up' onto itself.
Place the glass rod either in the vermiculite container or on your heat proof mat to cool down.
Once cool, very carefully use the pliers to snap the glass strand at the base and place it aside.
Repeat with all other colours until you have what you need for your piece. Tidy the lengths up with the pliers and lay them out under the frame matting to ensure the size and layout you want.
Lay the glass out onto the Popsicle stick, over some superglue to hold it in place.
Once the glue is dry, carefully wrap some tape around the glass and stick to secure it some more.
I had to improvise a little with this frame as the stick was showing, so I cut some white card to extend the frame matting a little higher. The frame was also not really a 3D frame, so I used the securing tabs at the back and just bent the tips of them instead, to allow for the new room requirement.
Superglue the stick with glass strands to the frame mat (or in my case, the white card) and wait to dry.
Set the frame backing in place and you're all set to decorate! :)