Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Storm's Glass Seaview

Nifty glass Seaview, sideview.      The guy who made my glass Seaview is one of those traveling glass blowers you see at a lot of the craft fairs, the ones who make the funky little glass animals, flowers and such. Don't know the guy's name, but he lives (when not on the road) in Las Vegas.  His specialty is dragons - and they are beautiful.  He seemed to be pretty talented, so one day I asked him if he could do a submarine.  We bargained for a while on just what I wanted (I took him pictures of the boat from several different angles) and the style and he finally said he'd try it. Took him a week to muster the courage to tackle it. :)  The first attempt didn't fly.  The problem with working solid glass with a torch like he does is thermal stress. 

 If the piece is too big, it can't be kept properly heated (around 2000 degrees F) and if one part gets too cool, the piece cracks and can shatter.  The first try he made started with a solid glass rod almost 1 1/2" in diameter, but it was too big for the torch and the small kiln he had with him.  So he shifted to a smaller rod, about 1" in diameter and that worked out perfectly.  Took him over a week to do the piece, because he could only work on it five minutes or so at a stretch before he'd have to put it back in the kiln and reheat it.  He did the deck first, by fusing a small glass rod to the larger one and pressing it flat while it was still plastic.   (His only tools were various sized glass rods, a torch, a small kiln, a steak knife and a nail punch.)   He then did the bow, again by adding glass to the main rod and shaping it while still  semi-molten. 

    Nifty glass Seaview angle on.

Nifty glass Seaview nose on.     

It wasn't until he got the sail built up and shaped that people realized it as a submarine - and at that point a lot of them actually recognized it as Seaview.   It was then that a lot of them started staying to watch him work.  (Some of the early guesses on what he was making were hilarious - and waaay off the mark)  He sure cussed the stern fins - they took several days and multiple attempts. The last thing he did was to cut in the windows and flying sub bay doors.  By the time he was finished he was swearing he'd never do another one, because it was so challenging.  (But we'll see - if he comes back again, I may see if I can talk him into doing a scale flying sub to go with Seaview) Probably a good thing I'd gotten the price fixed in advance, because if I'd had to pay him for all the hours he had in it the thing would have cost a small fortune!

The finished piece has a main hull diameter of 1" and is about 9" long, while standing just under 6" tall, made of solid clear glass.

-----Taylor Storm

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