These are just a few of the tools and equipment that I use on a daily basis to make everything from glass pendants, marbles, hearts, leaves, and anything else that pops into my head!

The Torch


 

Nothing can really happen without this! This is my Bethelhem Bravo, which is much bigger than my old GTT Lynx and a fantasic torch that I'd recommend to anyone. Here it is pictured when it arrived, in use I also have a graphite marver and a 'blast shield' which helps protect me from some of the excess heat and UV. Also I use a tiny Smiths hand torch for getting into small areas where spot heating is needed.

Graphite Tools

Most of the tools I used are made of high quality carbon graphite. This is a little harder than what you'd find in pencils, and can withstand very high temperatures. I use them a lot, they are idea for rolling, squashing and poking glass as they seldom leave any residue on the hot glass. 

 

Marble Moulds

Again these are made of graphite, the largest one is double sided with more holes on the other side. I only used the rims of the  moulds when making marbles, rolling a hot glass gather around  a rim smaller than the marble I want to make. This sounds odd, but it works!

Infinite Rim Mould

One of my more expensive tools, a lthough it looks like a normal marble mould it has weird sh aped conical holes which always provide just the right sized r im for the marble being made. It's a great tool, and really speeds up the initial shaping and final finish.

Poking tools

I use various tools to help push and poke the glass, the tungsten pick being my favourite. Although tungsten can withstand very high temperatures I still sometimes forget and leave it in the flame too much, blunting it as it melts away the tip! I also use a brass spear tool (designed and made in the UK!) pairs of tweezers, even a pair of sharp scissors! They are great for cutting glass, as it's just like cutting hot toffee when the glass is molten.

Mashers

 Basic, just a bit of bent sprung steel, but they do the job of squashing hot glass flat.

Glass rods

 

 I use clear glass rods surprisingly a lot as tools in themselves. I can use them to hold hot work by forming a 'cold seal.' This is a very weak bond that can be broken very easily with a quick tap. Also I use glass to move and stir glass, and to pick out contaminates and bubbles.

Hot Fingers

Where I can I hold glass with glass rods, using a 'cold seal' but for the final phases I need to hold them with metal tools, and these two tools do just that job. 

Kiln

After it's been worked in the flame, everything goes in there sooner or later! It's microprocessor controlled to raise and lower the temperate at very specific rates to reduce the internal stresses produced when the glass is created. This is the all important annealing of the glass, but I also use it to 'strike' red glass - when many red transparent borosilicate glasses are initially heated they go clear, and they need raising to about 580-585 deg C to bring back the red colours. The glass is annealed at 567deg C / 1050 deg F. 

 

The Dump Jar

Everyone needs a critic, and the dump jar is this! Normally I use an old coffee tin or gherkin jar filled with water, (they have wide necks and are nice and large) into which anything that isn't working is chucked into it in a cloud of steam! Also any bits of contaminated hot glass that has grot or bubbles is chucked in here until the jar is full, then I start another one!