JavaScript is required for this feature.

Bing Tracking Pixel

Sorry, Spirit Pieces website does not work well on Internet Explorer. Please try another browser for the optimum experience.

How Do They Do That? The Making Of Our Airships

How Do They Do That? The Making Of Our Airships

How Do They Do That? The Making Of Our Airships

How Do They Do That? The Making Of Our Airships

September 02, 2016

Our flying airship with wooden keepsake urn - soar to heaven in style!

We get a lot of questions regarding how our beautiful airships are created so we decided to write a blog entry regarding!  Our airship (and hot air balloon) line are produced by Greg, one of the artists we work with here at Spirit Pieces.  See Greg below - he says hi!  Well, he really can't talk, he's focusing on creating one of our airships!

So Greg is looking very stylish with those red glasses of his.  However, it's not just a fashion statement, they're made from Didymium glass.  Didymium is used by glass blowers as it filters out much of the infrared and near-red light.  Without them, all Greg would see is a really bright light and not much else.

He also can't say hello as he's holding a blow tube in his mouth.  We maybe he can mumble 'hllllllloooo' but not much else.  As he needs both hands to shape the glass, having a suspended blow tube is super useful. 

Speaking of the glass, you can see in the first picture a close up of the starting glass tube which already has the rippled texture of the Airships.  The glass is fired under a propane/oxygen flame to 1800 degrees which gets the glass all melty.  Depending how long and hot the ultimate flame is, this can effectively turn our tube into taffy but here it's just enough to be deformed by a pressurized airflow (hence the blow tube) and shaping tools.

This glass is the same type of glass used to make lab equipment, specifically borosilicate glass.  The equipment is the same to blow lab glass; in fact Greg produces quite a bit of lab equipment as well when he's not producing memorial art for us.  So if you're a mad scientist in need of lab equipment, Greg can definitely hook you up!

(more below...)

Once the shape of the airship is set, the end is heated and then snapped off with a graphite tool.  Molten glass is very sticky (you DO NOT want to get it on you) but it doesn't stick on Graphite at all; hence most glassworking tools are graphite in construction.  Incidentally, this is the end of the airship which receives the solid brass fins.  They're handmade using both modern and traditional techniques.

(more below...)

 

Once the fin side is finished, the nose portion (a much thinner section) is shaped after the airship is broken off a feeder glass rod.    The airship is then put into an annealer where it is cooled down from 1800 degrees to room temperature.  The process of annealing glass acts to relieve all the little stresses that built up during the glass blowing process.  Remember, glass is ultimately a liquid so it will flow at any temperature (more at 1800 degrees than 80 degrees of course.)  The annealing gives the glass a chance to re-organize itself into a much more stable form.

Don't believe me?  Find some really old glass windows (i.e. in old 400 year European churches) and check them out.  You'll notice the top of the windows are much thinner than the bottoms.  Yes, the glass is flowing down the window!

Once the airship is cooled down it's time to add the color!

(more below...)

Shaping the fin

OK, unfortunately we can't show you how the color is added as the technique is proprietary but we assure you it's cooler than chocolate covered jellybean ice cream!  All we can say it's a special finish hand-painted on, then fired at 1160F.  The final step is to add the wire-wrapping holding the hand-carved wood passenger pendant for the ashes.

Pretty neat right!  If you're interested, you can find out more information about the airships below by clicking on the picture or simply adding it to your cart.  We hope you enjoyed this entry to 'How Do They Do That' here at Spirit Pieces.




Suggested Reading

Gifting Pet Cremation Jewelry
Gifting Pet Cremation Jewelry

June 27, 2022

Looking to gift pet cremation jewelry to a friend?  Read this quick guide to best honor your friend and their departed loved one.

Read More

Selling Cremation Jewelry on Amazon
Selling Cremation Jewelry on Amazon

June 24, 2022

An explanation of why we do not sell our infused cremation jewelry on Amazon.

Read More

Cremation Jewelry For Men - Buyer's Guide
Cremation Jewelry For Men - Buyer's Guide

April 02, 2022

Cremation Jewelry for Men is always a hard find so we put together a buyer's guide for men's memorial jewelry.  This includes cremation rings and cremation jewelry.

Read More

Top 10 Ocean Themed Memorial Pieces
Top 10 Ocean Themed Memorial Pieces

January 08, 2022

We explore the Top 10 Ocean Themed Memorial Pieces to honor memories of fun in the sun.

Read More

Types of Cremation Jewelry for Humans and Pets
Types of Cremation Jewelry for Humans and Pets

December 11, 2021

We review a range of cremation jewelry options for those looking for memorial jewelry.  This includes different types of cremation rings, cremation pendants, memorial bracelets.  Both jewelry with ash added by artists is reviewed along with cremation urn keepsakes you can add cremation ash to yourself.

Read More

12 Handcrafted Memorial Jewelry Items to Keep Your Loved One Close
12 Handcrafted Memorial Jewelry Items to Keep Your Loved One Close

September 12, 2021

We’ll share with you 12 handcrafted memorial jewelry pieces created by our talented artists. They use their craftsmanship to help remind those who have lost a loved one that they can always be with them.

Read More