|@SIMPSON 1 (2000), BY CLAY JOHANSON|
CREATED AT JOSH SIMPSON'S STUDIO, SHELBURNE FALLS, MASSACHUSETTS, AUGUST 2000
MULTI-LAYERED HOTWORKED GLASS AND SILVER REACTIVE GLASS, 1 1/4" IN DIAMETER
When my brother Ward and I visited Josh Simpson in August 2000, we had an incredible time... Josh took us for a ride in his Piper Comanche (and even let me fly it for a while!), let us hang out in his studio all day with him and his crew of glassblowers, and gave Ward and I the opportunity to each create a small planet of our own.
Basically, the method used to create a planet of this size is pretty simple. A tiny gather of dark blue or black glass is dipped into an assortment of colored glass powders, silver, and gold leaf. A couple of other small implements are used to create lines and grids of bubbles. Then, a gather of clear glass is added to the planet. A wet wood block is used to shape the planet into a perfect sphere. Finally, a torch is used to melt any spur remaining on the planet from its time on the blowpipe, and the planet is placed in an annealing oven to cool down. The whole process of creating a small planet like this takes about ten minutes. (Not including annealing time, of course!)
My small planet isn't very spherical "on the inside"... the opaque section is fairly flat on one side. It includes a small grid of bubbles, some areas of gold leaf, and some green "forests". Not spectacular, but pretty good for a first attempt at planet building. I'm very glad and honored to have had a chance to create this planet.
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