After three months of long hours and tedious details, artist Michael Hengler's "Buoy & Boat" project came to fruition. The glassblown buoy & boat sets varied in size from 1.5 feet to 8 feet in length. Each glass object starts off the same: as liquid molten glass pulled onto a metal pipe from a 2400 Fahrenheit furnace.Once there is enough of glass on the pipe, the glassblower then blows air through the pipe to create a bubble inside of the glass. As the bubble grows, the Gaffer (glass artist) shapes the object to his or her desired form.
In the above photo, Michael is shaping the piece on a metal table called a marver. The picture on the right shows him swinging the hot glass back and forth to create length. This cylindrical object is then placed in an oven to cool slowly and when it is cold it will be sliced in half with a diamond saw. Once cut, the two objects are placed back in an oven (the "garage") and bought to a working temperature of around 2200 Fahrenheit. At this point, Michael can add the final details and create the two boat forms he is envisioning.
For more information or to check out Michael Hengler's artwork, check out his website at michaelhengler.com The artist currently lives in Honolulu, Hawaii and teaching glassblowing at the University of Hawaii