15 Simple Steps to make a Boro Glass OctopusBruce Richardson
In our second glass course session with Penel from fire and beads I came up with the idea to make an octopus out of boro glass. I saw on an online shop this beautiful boro creature and ever since then I am thinking off buying it or DIY.
- 15cm of clear glass
- We used Boro Trautman Art Glass 33
- Long road of neutral colour (Opaque WYSIWYG) for body (500mm)
- Long rod of boro colour glass for body and tentacles (600mm)
- Rod of other colour to make the eyes (10mm)
- Any other colour you want to add to make it look more spectacular
- Torch & Kiln
- Peters Tweezers for the eyes
- Eye Protection
- Graphite Paddle
- Graphite Reamer
We used for our octopus boro Trautman Art Glass 33 colours. As a new glass distributor in Australia and lots of sample colours we were able to dig into glass heaven and use as many colours as possible. For the octopus you can use clear glass or colours.
- Put your eye protection on and start your torch. Take the rod and melt a big mass, around 20mm in the flame. Always make sure to keep the glass when melting in the flame around 70mm away from the burner that no glass get onto the burner head. I used for the body a WYSIWYG colour and melted it with a colour changing colour – Double Mai Tai. Colours look much more intense and exciting if they are over a neutral base rather than over clear glass. You can use a Graphite Paddle to form the hot mass on a heat resistant piece of material.
- When you melted a 20mm round ball cover it with a spectacular colour. For this take the colour road, make the mass and the road glow in the same red, yellow colour and melt the rod from the top to the bottom downwards. Heat the mass with the attached colours up that no more black shade is visible. The two colours have to be well melted together.
- Attach a rod of clear glass on the head of the octopus. The longer the clear rod the less heat your hands will be exposed. I suggest a long clear rod (30mm). With two handles now attached it is much easier to rotate the mass and heat it up.
- Heat the mass until you can form a long peanut shape. This works best when you pull the two handles softly apart.
- When you are satisfied with the peanut shape remove the colour rod from the bottom and keep the clear handle on the top / head.
- Heat up the bottom of the peanut shape until it glows and press it on a heat resistant material that the bottom is flat. Use the graphite paddle to flatten the bottom. Heat up the bottom until it glows and keep flattening it. In the next step we will cut the glass and attach the tentacles to the bottom.
- Heat up the bottom until it glows, take your pair of shears and cut the glowing flat bottom in 8 pieces. Don’t put the shears into the fire. After every cut the bottom of the mass has to be heated and glowing.
- After cutting the flat bottom in 8 pieces choose either the same colour rod that you have used before to attach the tentacles or choose another colour. For my second octopus I used for every single tentacle another colour, mainly to see the variations of colours that we have.
- Heat up the cut piece until it glows, same as the rod and attach it to the body. Pull the rod straight and make a twiddle at the end. Repeat this 8 times until you have beautiful tentacles attached to the body.
- Heat the part of the body where you want to have the eyes of the glass octopus, use your tweezers to make two holes. Take a rod in another colour, heat it up and melt it into the two holes.
- Now it is time to make the balance test for your octopus. Make sure it stands straight; otherwise you can just heat the tentacles up again and put them in the right position.
- To remove the handle on the head of the octopus, heat up the top until it glows
- Form the tentacles with your graphite reamer in the flame in the right shape that the octopus balances on his tentacles.
- Hold glass octopus with tweeters and heat up the spot where the clear glass handle is attached and melt it off.
- Quickly into the kiln.
In the video talented Penel made the boro glass octopus and I filmed her. Ryan and me were watching and made after that our own octopus.