Travel with Bennett-Watt and learn about boutique marbles from Ed Seese, a glass marbles artist in Woodford Virginia part
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Ed Seese Glass Marbles Artist in Woodford Virginia Part 1/2
Ed Seese: Mostly I make marbles, art glass marbles.
Female: Why marbles of all I’m sure you can make out a glass.
Ed: The sphere itself is just such a hand formed work within. It’s solid and you just see many options, so many things that coming down inside the sphere. I tried making eggs in the beginning, they look that petty, they just didn’t feel right in my hand I like the marble nice and round.
Female: Is it hard to get them perfectly round?
Ed: It is hard but once you get the hang of it, you start making a lot of different designs and techniques but every more often what you make is round so make them round actually becomes the easiest thing after awhile. It’s that something you have to do to every one of them. Designing the marbles that’s usually the hard part, lot of the material is kind of expensive so you don’t want to design something that’s—you’re not going to like yourself. So you take a little bit of time to figure out what you’re going to make. Try to envision what it’s going to look like in the final product. Nicely the color schemes, put the colors together right. You spend about an hour every morning standing here, figuring out what I’m going to make today. Sometimes I do that in my sleep at night. I think I’ll make one of my globe spheres. It’s one at a time marble but I really enjoy making them, I think I’ll put one of these together.
These colors, these will give us coloring for this particular design. Now, since I want this paint to be half and half, I have to put the colors half and half. There is a photo of Ellensburg that made marbles and I’d watched him a few times and I just—I was so intrigue about it. So finally when they ask me if I can make marbles—or I think I started making eggs down there. It was the Ellensburg glass factory. Now, I just couldn’t really get interested in the eggs and he can’t watch when we make the eggs and I think he knew I’d a little bit of potential. And so finally one day, he said, why don’t you just make marbles so I made a couple of marbles and I was hooked on them all of a sudden it didn’t take long and then he helps me get started here. He helped me get some of my first tools put together. He helped me get round.
` This is my hot plate; this is what pretty needs all of the glass pieces so that they can be pick up. If they were preheated, they wouldn’t stick when I go to pick them up and they’d probably fall off or they could crack and I’d have a mess.
Female: How hot does it usually get?
Ed: I like for to get up to 1,025, some people use a pastorally to pre-heat the glass. They would put them on like a small shovel and reach back into the furnace and preheat it. But I like to be able to do everything by myself, so I built this here hot plate that way I wouldn’t have to hold them, I could just heat them up and then when I’m done I could just pick them up.
This here is the newest marble that I’ve been working on, may call it tratosphere, trato is a Latin word for four, and we’re going to four reverse Swiss on the marble. I’m going to start off with the white base coat. So I gathered some crystal glass out of the furnace and then I’ll roll up to some wide power to get it base coat. I’m trying to get it just in run amount of weight there so not to waste the bunch of powered glass. Yes, it’s actually glass. I like to get at least four pairs of the white, that way it doest fade out when it comes to the end. Keep it nice and concentrated. The glass has actually 1982 degrees right now. Now, I’m trying to get the dime or down to just the perfect size to where it picks up all the little rods evenly. If it’s too big, it will leave an open spot, they will come around right but if it’s too small, you will be able to get on.
The perfect pick up would be to get them all at one time.
Male: Do that happen very often?
Ed: Two out of three. The third time you have to go back and pick up a couple off eventually and place it in exactly the perfect spot which is tricky so I’d like to get them all the first place. I don’t believe I could have done any better. I’m really happy with that. The two different colored rods actually fuse together. That way it will look like of one of continuous line in the marble. My fusing down there the beginning is you have this probably effect a little bit. It helps them work together. And it’s very important to get all of the creases out it. If you have crease in the glass, when you go into hading it down a little bit, it will cause an air bubble and in this particular design I really don’t want an air bubbles. It looks like they’re all kind of get together nicely.
I’m going to preheat it one more time just to pound the fire quality just before I actually cover it. Heat some of haze out of the glass. And then I’m going to let cool for a minute and 20 seconds so that I’ll have better control when I go to cover it. If I will cover it right now, it will just kind of get sloppy and improper round. I really need to have good control on it, yes; it’s cool in the inside. So right now, we’ve got the colors laid out half and half; we’ve got purple on the top half and green on the bottom half. And in between each one is actually tri-coated, red, blue and green tri-coated stripes at the middle. I will go in and recover it and try to get the diameter down to 2 inches.
Male: So you’re picking at more glass?
Ed: Yes. Right there I covered with the bristle and then I’m marking it down to just about 2 inches. Now, I’m going to pick some excess glass of the burn. This little paste on the front can actually be recycled later on because it’s all clear, there’s no contamination there. What I’m going to do now is put an overall twist on the entire cane. Trying to get the cane setup so that I can start putting reverse twist on it, right now I’m getting it hot enough to move by. I’ve got to get the glass work and move. I like to get the start to twist up this a little bit and then open up and twist the rest of it with my hand. What I’m doing now is determining how much glass I need to keep and putting the reverse twist on the front end of it.