Fireflies Field Trip to Public Glass to Watch Glassblower David Patchen

The lampworking group I am a member of, Silicon Valley Fireflies, recently traveled to Public Glass in San Francisco to see glassblower David Patchen at work. He made some murrine and a vase. It was fascinating to watch.

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David’s first step in making murrine was to make a variety of glass cane. Cane are colored lengths of glass made by stretching molten glass into a long rod (15 to 50 feet).  Cane can be a simple stripe of color or fine woven-looking threads.  According to David: “Murrine is made by precisely layering molten colored glass, then stretching the mass into a long rod.  Once cooled overnight, the rod is cut into slices, exposing the pattern in cross section, kind of like a glass sushi roll. ”

Here is David making murrine.

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David’s assistant, Ian, has the cane ready to be rolled around the murrine.

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He rolls and tapers it to get out all the air bubbles.

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The murrine is being pulled.

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Once it has been pulled enough David inserts it into a wooden box, cutting it into pieces.

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The murrine is slice with a saw. Here is an example:

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According to David, “Pieces are designed by creating a mosaic of murrine & cane (cold). Once complete it’s then heated for blowing.”

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David’s pieces are very beautiful and fetch high prices in galleries.

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About ingetraud

I make lampwork beads and jewelry. My other interests include traveling, reading, hiking, and collecting art and handcrafted items, especially pottery. I have always loved handmade things and have collected hand-thrown pottery since I was a teenager. I have done stained glass and weaving. I had been stringing beads into necklaces for a while when I attended a clay and glass show in Palo Alto. There was a beadmaker there whose work I fell in love with. I bought one bead to make into a necklace and decided I wanted to learn how to make glass beads. I took my first beadmaking class from Jackie Marr in Santa Cruz. After taking another class from Katie Stuart in Santa Barbara I set up my own studio and have not looked back. Beadmaking is like meditation for me. What has kept me interested is that there is always some new technique or color combination to learn or try. I have taken advanced classes from Sally Prasch, Marjorie Langston, Holly Cooper, Shirley Cook, Dolly Ahles, J.C. Herrill, Kristen Franzten Orr, Amy Waldman Smith, Claudia Trimbur-Pagel, Astrid Riedel, Amanda Muddimer, Melanie Moertel, Angela Meier, and Jennifer Geldard. I love combining my love of beadmaking and traveling by taking classes away from home. Last September I got to attend a bead symposium in Wertheim, Germany. I took a bead lining class and watched many demos. I am married and have one son, age 26. I live in the Santa Cruz Mountains between Los Gatos and Scotts Valley, California.
This entry was posted in art glass, David Patchen, gaffer, glassblowing, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fireflies Field Trip to Public Glass to Watch Glassblower David Patchen

  1. someseeawish says:

    Wow, would love to have seen that.

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