Help Needed - Glass Source

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Hey kids, I need some help here!

I have a probable commission coming up where I'm going to need some custom glass enclosures made for exterior lighting. At present it looks like I'll need twenty or thirty glass cylinders about 4" diameter by 16" tall, with one closed end. They'll probably be clear glass, or cloudy/streaky - I don't think we're looking at colors at this point, anyway.

My problem is that I don't have a glass blower in my area and I'm out of touch with the people in the States I used to know who might have been able to do this. Anybody got a good glass person they can turn me onto?

Thanks for the assistance!


Raspero's picture

check out flower vases.

check out flower vases. There are quite a few cylindrical sizes available from web florist supply houses, and they are cheap.


Rich Waugh's picture

Thanks for the suggestion,

Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think I'd be comfortable putting a cheap flower vase as the enclosure on a custom sconce that will probably sell for around $1500-1800. I'm also not at all sure that a commercial vase would have the necessary wall thickness to withstand a possible tropical storm or hurricane.

This is high-end custom work and the client will expect to see custom work all the way, no off-the-shelf pieces, so while I'll probably pick up a florist's cylinder vase or some such for the proof-of-concept prototype, it will never see the light of day outside my studio. Before the client sees it, the prototype will have a prototype of the hand-blown enclosure I propose to use.


don johnson's picture

In my experience, be sure

In my experience, be sure the glass suplier knows you are needing heavy duty. I have bought glass light fixtures that have broke if only held with one hand. This was from a shop that I watched live demonstrations.

Good luck,


Rich Waugh's picture

Thanks for that reminder,

Thanks for that reminder, Don. In my query letters to glass workers I have specified a wall thickness of about 3/8" and explained it will need to survive a tropical storm or worse.


eligius1427's picture

Having a 3/8" thick glass

Having a 3/8" thick glass cylinder of that length blown with a squared end might be a bit tricky. Can you make a bracketing system and have half cylinders slumped? you could easily provide a "mold" blank by forming a piece of steel to the correct diameter. The bracketing framework wouldn't have to be that stout as the 3/8" curved glass should provide a lot of structural strength and the glass panels could be held in place with epoxy or clamps of some sort. I know some of my projects got switched to slumped glass bc they blowers couldn't create the same thickness of glass throughout the piece when requesting a thicker wall.


Jake Balcom
Mettle Design
Lincoln, NE

Rich Waugh's picture

Jake, Thanks for the


Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think that slumped half-cylinders would work on this project. The client is enamored of the notion of a continuous, uninterrupted glass cylinder for the enclosure and the rest of the design is created around that main parameter, pretty much.

I have some query letters out to a few glass workers and we'll see what response I get.


Stephen Fitz-Gerald's picture

competent glass artists

Stephen Fitz-Gerald
Dear Rich,
I met this kid on where I have a sort of mentor role.He's sharp and talented.I contacted him and he said if he can't do it ,he knows who can.He's in the glass capital of the world too(Seattle)...

visitor's picture

check Blenko Glass co

check Blenko Glass co