Micro Planets

   Posted by: Joy Alyssa Day in glass

As we continue our orrery project, it is time to blow the glass planets. As the whole piece is only 6 feet in diameter, that means we have less than 3 feet to fit in 8 planets (they didn't want Pluto).  To get the planets to fit, be relative scale (impossible to be "actual" scale), and not clunk into each other, the inner planets need to be fairly small.

BJ modeled the entire sculpture in LightWave to get the exact sizing of every single element in the whole piece, and to make sure it would all fit together and work like it's supposed to. So I can take the printouts of various parts of his model and tool the pieces to those exact sizes. In blowing the glass planets, the model shows that the inner planets are all one inch or less across. We have the larger 3 of the inner planets blown now (Mercury is too small - it will be made like a bead with the torch instead).

While we're blowing planets, we warm up by blowing a few rocket ships. This photo is the last five days worth of our glassblowing sessions:

Lots of Rockets and Planets

Lots of Rockets and Planets

Lots of rocket ships, in some really great colors. The light green rocket is laying on top of a bunch of Venuses, and there is a set of Venuses off to the right that came out just too big. Here is a closeup of the swirled green rocket:

Green Swirled Rocket

Green Swirled Rocket

The Earths and Marses have some really nice clouds and polar caps. The Venuses just show the swirling clouds.

Here are the best rocky planets in size, shape and color in my hand for scale. Earth is one inch across.

Venus, Earth and Mars

Venus, Earth and Mars

They'll take a little cleanup work at the bases where they cracked off the pipe, but then will be attached to the carbon fiber arms of the orrery. We've moved on to Uranus now. The green rocket and piece on the far right of the upper images are our color tests. The colors of the rocket are just about right for Uranus, so we'll blow about 6-10 of those today and then move to Neptune if we have time today.

I send out tweets during our glassblowing sessions, and hopefully, the camera will be working today or very soon. If you'd like to follow me, //twitter.com/Joy_Alyssa_Day and please leave a comment here about our micro planets and rockets.



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5 Responses to: Micro Planets

  • BJ Says:

    Wow! Thos images are cool. Big, but cool.

  • Julia Says:

    It's so much fun hearing/seeing this project evolve!

  • Julie Jones Says:

    Beautiful pics. I can see some of those on wine bottles. (Did I say that again?)

  • Fl Says:

    Looking forward to seeing how this project progresses...sounds quite challenging and fascinating.

    Bummer about leaving out Pluto...even if they decided it's not really a planet, seems entitled to an honorary position after all these years. 🙂

  • Joy Alyssa Day Says:

    I agree about Pluto, but it sure made it easier leaving it off. My cabinet has a side for each planet with engraving telling the name, position and facts about each on the door panel. Making an 8 sided cabinet was about a billion times easier than trying to make a 9 sided cabinet to include a door for Pluto, so.... While I respect Pluto, I'm glad he isn't on this particular orrery.


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