Permalink
Browse files

Keep on tweaking.

  • Loading branch information...
Sam Jacoby
Sam Jacoby committed Dec 9, 2012
1 parent 1535a03 commit 6929b597d4488f7fe6b44824da02b334d59aaff6
Showing with 4 additions and 2 deletions.
  1. +4 −2 site/content/posts/posts/glass-lab-at-mit.html
@@ -7,7 +7,7 @@
---
A venture-some crew headed down to the [MIT Glass Lab](http://web.mit.edu/glasslab/) last week for a demonstration of [caneworking](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caneworking).
The Glass Lab is something apart at MIT. Less lasers, more 15th-century Italian glassblowing. I'd assumed that it was a hold-over from the days when chemistry departments blew their own glass and the like, but I believe it comes from the materials' science department, or some such. There is a much coveted lottery every semester, where a lucky dozen or-so get a chance to learn the craft. I've missed every opportunity, unfortunately. Alas.
The Glass Lab is something apart at MIT. Less lasers, more 15th-century Italian glassblowing. I'd assumed that it was a hold-over from the days when chemistry departments blew their own glass and the like, but I believe it comes from the materials' science department, or some such. There is a much coveted lottery every semester, where a lucky dozen or-so get a chance to learn the craft. I've missed every opportunity, alas.
{{ macros.render_figure('<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/samjacoby/8252047247/" title="High-Low Tech visits the MIT Glass Lab by s_jacoby, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8063/8252047247_dbf63a22e6.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="High-Low Tech visits the MIT Glass Lab"></a>', "The gang, skeptical.") }}
@@ -18,9 +18,11 @@
Erik gave us a quick demo--though the software is fairly self-explanatory, especially after you've seen the cane made--and we came up with a number of designs of varying degrees of practicality. The point, really, was to push the designs as far as we could go--and see what kind of things Peter, Marty, & Erik could put together. This is what I came up with:
Peter was pushing us to make 'unconventional' designs, as the last innovations in cane configurations were by an Italian dentist a half-century ago. It's harder than it might seem. Because the hot glass is twisted as it is pulled into cane, patterns converge very quickly on helices, no matter how loopy your layout. The only real tool you have, then, as a designer, is the distance of each color each color from the center.
{{ macros.render_figure('<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/samjacoby/8253121374/" title="High-Low Tech visits the MIT Glass Lab by s_jacoby, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8065/8253121374_f649ef3764.jpg" width="500" height="313" alt="High-Low Tech visits the MIT Glass Lab"></a>', "The [Virtual Glass](http://virtualglass.org) software and my squiggly design.")}}
The main tool that you have is the distance of each color from the center. When a piece of hot glass is pulled out and spun--I'm sure this process has a lovely Italian name that I don't know--the colors rotate around the axis in concordance to how far they are from the center. Colors near the center of the cane show hardly any rotation at all--a vague waver, maybe. Those towards the edge wrap around dramatically. In using a spiral design, the distance of the various canes from the center of the larger cane varied in a way that seemed pretty cool.
When a piece of hot glass is pulled out and spun--I'm sure this process has a lovely Italian name that I don't know--the colors are stretched in concordance to how far they are from the center. Colors near the center of the cane show hardly any rotation at all--a vague waver, maybe. Those towards the edge wrap around dramatically, pulled around the entire circumference. In using a spiral design, the distance of the various canes from the center of the larger cane varied in a way that seemed pretty cool.
{{ macros.render_figure('<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/samjacoby/8252050895/" title="High-Low Tech visits the MIT Glass Lab by s_jacoby, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8488/8252050895_964870d1d5.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="High-Low Tech visits the MIT Glass Lab"></a>', "Fearsome flame fires.") }}

0 comments on commit 6929b59

Please sign in to comment.