Art, Boro, Design, Glassblower, Heady, Quartzglass, Technics
Art, Boro, Design, Glassblower, Heady, Quartzglass, Technics
I am a glassblower from Hanover in Germany, since 2007 I create artwork and scientific apparatuses with borosilicate and quartz glass.
I am a glassblower from Hanover in Germany, since 2007 I create artwork and scientific apparatuses with borosilicate and quartz glass. Read more
About this project
since 2006 I plan to transform my artwork into a profession. Since I was a school kid I am interested in chemistry, but as Germany decided to introduce tuition fees in 2006, I decided to firstly look for an education beyond the university system. I also wanted to do something different than what was offered in regular courses. Consequently I started some internships in the metal, dental industry and service but I quickly realized that this was not what I wanted to do. My grandfather worked for ThyssenKrupp and had a lot of technical knowledge, he spent a lot of time with me during my childhood. He decisively influenced my early education and he taught me important lessons on discipline and precision. He furthered my technical enthusiasm. We started building some bridges made of cardboards, that despite the seemingly weak material proved to be surprisingly resilient. While studying different kind of materials including metals and plastics, I finally got initially hooked on the material glass. I noticed how natural it feels to drink from a glass. As I used to smoke a shisha pipe I also noticed that the cheap glassware was not really comfortable to use and decided to spend some money to get a high quality handmade glass product. After some saving money I could finally acquire a unique high class shisha and was fascinated how clear it was worked. I was increasingly less excited about its function. I also thought that the design could be improved and at that time my dream to become a glassblower took shape. Next I did an internship as a scientific glassblower for two weeks in Quartz Glass Technik Bad Harzburg. As I got my first impression from the glassblower profession, above it all were the seemingly limitless possibilities of forming glass that hooked me. I decided to become a glassblower because the technical focus is always there and complex glass apparatuses are not easy to produce, it needs a high skill-level, precision and technical knowledge. I fanatically absorbed every video on glassblowing I could find online. I can`t imagine to do something other than glassblowing, it requires discipline and at the same time it is a diverse profession allowing a lot of creativity, regardless of whether to produce scientific glassware or heady art glassware.
I decided to start my education in Ilmenau to lay out the basis for my future self-employment. I applied for some Jobs and finally got one as a quartz glass maker ( a special kind of scientific glassblower) at the company RAESCH Quarz (GER) in Langewiesen (Ilmenau). During the education I had the chance to get my hands on a nearly brand new lathe and two older working benches for relatively little money because I restored them myself. They had been sold because we shrunk the education-workshop. After my initial education I got the chance to go to refine and extend my knowledge in Hadamar at the Erwin Stein Glasfachschule as a state certified technician for glass technique with specification glassblowing. I was lucky to be the last student that had been educated in this technique in Hadamar. During both education periods I spent all my money for Glassware, Bench-torches and Glass-making-machines up to the present day to increase the chances of fulfilling my dream.
Last year I had the chance to be at a closing sale in Ilmenau at their glass engineering facilities. Once more I could acquire some brand new torches, hand-torches and grinding-machines for a very cheap price. Hypothetically I could make own color glass joints and heavy walled clear glass joints. But unfortunately I currently lack the required high-voltage installations to power part of my equipment and a suitable place to set the machinery. Also I have some exhausts, glass-tube storage racks and quite some basic starting material like glass tubes and rods, however it does not suffice to work freely and without limiting restrictions.
Nevertheless I tried to make as much progress as possible. Last year I rented a small garage, in which I restored my lathe, the benches and the glass cutting machine, finally enabling me to practice my glass blowing art on my own. I rented some oxygen bottles (as of now limited for one year) and bought some propane bottles and pressure reducers to start up. Also I bought some first quality rod and some tools from Mountainglass in USA. The work in my shop is under hardest conditions, there is no heat and it can become quiet cold during winter times (with two propane heaters and full exhaust). In summer temperatures go to the roof sometimes exceeding 55°C. If it is 30°C outside, the roof gets 55°C because sun is shining directly onto it a whole day. Despite the adverse circumstance, by combining the different techniques I learned during my education time, I am confident that the level of artwork I am starting to create is outstanding.
But to really kick start the entire thing I need more color glass (rods and powder) from Northstarglassworks in USA, yet import custom fees are very high (makes about 60% more to the regular price with taxes and import fees). Also I have not enough space in my improvised workshop as it is now. And I also don`t have enough clients yet, to rent a bigger room. Furthermore, I need business premises to satisfy the policy of Germany for building scientific glassware.
This is why I got the idea to present you my art glassware to first check out what is most wanted. By doing that I hope to find an optimal business premise for building glass apparatuses. I will step by step upload some Pictures of my Artwork and offer rewards. That way I hope to evaluate what you really want to get and are most interested in. In many areas I`m confident that I could significantly improve traditional techniques and even transcend the quality of my former idols artworks. Like I explained during the introduction that I thought that could have made better.
I produce hand spun heavy walled glass that is more impact resistant than usual glassware made in Germany. The sealing is much cleaner, so that the glass is more relaxed as an irregular product. It is very elaborate to color tubes or to make vac-stack a unique technique for coloring tubes to get color glass sections. If I work with colors I process them how they should be used in the blow torch, so there are almost no bubble remaining in the final product and not a whole bunch of them like in other products. It is very difficult to get precise products because the colors are not painted colors with pigments. Color glass derives it`s characteristic by metal oxides that reduces the complementary light spectrum of the seen color. Like ferric it makes glass shining green but it absorbs the red light, so it is green colored glass.
It is very important that there is a glassblower who knows the function and usage of his artwork because only glassblowing skills alone would not create the best water pipe in the world.
This is why at this point I ask for your support. If you are interested to get some glassware or to get in contact with me feel free to do it, I am happy for every kind of feedback ;-)
Reward #2 Ruhki Shirt
Reward for your Support
All the rewards are produced specially for this Kickstarter Action. Each Product is Handmade and unique, the articles on my online-shop are similar, but not the same. Thanks for your support.
Reward #4 Ruhki Pendants
Reward #5 Ruhki Plug (middle)
Reward #6 Unique handmade Section Bowls Made in Germany
These bowls are made with 18,8 Joints and 5-6mm Walls. The colors are made by Northstar Glassworks. I worked the color glass rods with a vac stack technique to get a color glass tube of my choice. This stacked tube I twisted with wigwags and two endings to spirals. These kind of work is called heady glass. Each bowl has its own motive, so it is very individual and unique. To get 100%clear glassware without too much air bubbles it needs a lot of time and the right flame adjustment. Most other high quality glassware is not as perfect as this design objects. If you are interested to get yours, buy it now.
Making Off: One of the Custom Section Bowls
Reward #7 Ruhki 3.2 Beaker
Reward #8 Ruhki Straight
Ruhki & Phil Prism Glassworks - Collaboration 06/2017
Risks and challenges
Borosilicate Color glass is very expensive. It is not possible to build cheap Mass-produced goods. The high price of the basis material affords high skills for production to get the best results. The best result takes more time and mostly more energy.
Perfection is my dogma. Sometimes a glass lands in the bucket because the quality is not what I stand for. These high quality products take more time than usual glass objects. Time is money, so the price is high. Not everyone is able to get high classed glassware. It takes a lot of time and love to produce perfect artwork. It is my job to connect the art with the basics to give then regular guy who is not able to spent 500,-€ for a rig the opportunity to get a comparable unique glass object for a lower price. The market here in Germany is different than the market in U.S. , I plan to make scientific glass as well because it is my job and also my passion. The chemical industry is a constant area, there had been a huge boom in the 19th century but a big break in the late 80`s that unemployed a lot of glassblowers. The last years have been hard also because China is a big competitor. But today Scientific glass has it`s revival. Unique science glassware is rare and a lot of scientists need us glassblowers for custom made components. The industry finally realized that glass is better than plastic. Reactors are more and more glass made again to protect our environment. With the MHH (Medizinische Hochschule Hannover) and the LUH (Leibniz University Hanover) there are already two customers for scientific glass in my hometown. But I need references and I only get them with an official workshop in which I am able to build samples for these facilities under German policies. At the moment there are a lot of jobs for scientific glassblowers. But I have no workshop in a business park to do it official. Also material is scarce. It is very important to get a good location to do the science work for getting lunch and life costs paid and doing Art for hobby as well, till the market is ready for heady art glass in Germany. China is a big competitor. They do low quality glassware/ mass-ware for very cheap price, so a lot of people who have not so much money like students buy it, than prefer the local glassblower. It is a hard job, a lot of pioneer work, marketing and a lot of competition. But I just want to blow glass. It is a good and honest job and I have a lot of fun doing it, as it lets me forget everything around me. I can express myself with glass. I know there is no better job for me :)
Thanks for your attention.
Kind regards J. PillmannLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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