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  #1  
Old 1st August 2010, 01:30 AM
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Question Solid Glass Jellyfish Paper Weight - How do they make this?

Solid Glass Jellyfish Paper Weight - This is all glass. There is no liquid inside. The bubbles are frozen in the glass. Can you give your opinion about how this was made?

1. It glows in the dark (this picture).
2. It is heavy and appears to be solid, clear glass.
3. Can not be put in direct sunlight (buy they don't say why).
4. Sold by the Smithsonian Museum (Mine is much taller than the one in the museum picture)
5. It can't be real. How does the manufacturer (Dynasty Gallery - Since 1951) make these? The label appears to say "Made in China" - Light yellow printing on a clear background, and very small print. It's kinda weird and I don't particularly care where is was made, but how do they do it?


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Old 1st August 2010, 02:47 AM
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Re: Solid Glass Jellyfish Paper Weight - How do they make this?

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Marc View Post

Solid Glass Jellyfish Paper Weight - This is all glass. There is no liquid inside. The bubbles are frozen in the glass. Can you give your opinion about how this was made?

1. It glows in the dark (this picture).
2. It is heavy and appears to be solid glass.
3. Can not be put in direct sunlight (buy they don't say why).
4. Sold by the Smithsonian Museum (Mine is much taller than the one in the museum picture)
5. It can't be real. How does the manufacturer (Dynasty Gallery - Since 1951) make these? The label appears to say "Made in China" - Light yellow printing on a clear background, and very small print. It's kinda weird and I don't particularly care where is was made, but how do they do it?
Wonder how much it weighs? To call it a Paper weight must be a sheer underestimation . I guess the Jelly is made with a Phosphorescent material.

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Old 1st August 2010, 02:58 AM
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Re: Solid Glass Jellyfish Paper Weight - How do they make this?

The picture is a time exposure so you're seeing it glow in the dark.

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  #4  
Old 1st August 2010, 11:02 AM
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Re: Solid Glass Jellyfish Paper Weight - How do they make this?

Frankly I wonder if the "jelly" inside was ever real or if it is made like most "flowers in glass paperweights."

Almost every flower or animal I've seen in a glass paperweight [versus one of resin - which works same way as amber encasing insects] turns out to be a sculpture of colored glass which is then encased in more clear or tinted glass. Bubbles in a glass or resin paperweight are like "inclusions" in diamonds - they reduce the value. Most glass factories like Murano in Italy destroy the "seconds" to maintain the collectible value of the remainder (like DeBeers sends poor diamonds to industrial use.)

When examined under high magnification, the cell structure of so-called "flowers and plants" contained in glass paperweights is found to be absent. I suspect similar physical "details" of jellies may also be missing. When I was in college nearly half a century ago, I recall looking at slides of hydra and jellyfish tentacles under magnification and being able to discern the nematocysts or cnidocytes (stinging cells) clearly present in the tentacles.


If the answer I have provided is the correct one, I apologize for destroying the mystery, but perhaps it will give a deeper appreciation for the art. I feel like Toto pulling the curtain away from the Wizard.

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  #5  
Old 1st August 2010, 11:09 AM
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Re: Solid Glass Jellyfish Paper Weight - How do they make this?

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Wes Bucey View Post

Frankly I wonder if the "jelly" inside was ever real or if it is made like most "flowers in glass paperweights."

Almost every flower or animal I've seen in a glass paperweight [versus one of resin - which works same way as amber encasing insects] turns out to be a sculpture of colored glass which is then encased in more clear or tinted glass. Bubbles in a glass or resin paperweight are like "inclusions" in diamonds - they reduce the value. Most glass factories like Murano in Italy destroy the "seconds" to maintain the collectible value of the remainder (like DeBeers sends poor diamonds to industrial use.)

When examined under high magnification, the cell structure of so-called "flowers and plants" contained in glass paperweights is found to be absent. I suspect similar physical "details" of jellies may also be missing. When I was in college nearly half a century ago, I recall looking at slides of hydra and jellyfish tentacles under magnification and being able to discern the nematocysts or cnidocytes (stinging cells) clearly present in the tentacles.


If the answer I have provided is the correct one, I apologize for destroying the mystery, but perhaps it will give a deeper appreciation for the art. I feel like Toto pulling the curtain away from the Wizard.
It occurs to me to add the comment there is a "cheap and dirty"way to put real flowers (dried) apparently in a glass paperweight - they are glued to a glass base and a dome of glass fused over to magnify and give the optical illusion of three dimensionality - depending on the shape of the based to which they are glued. Magnification almost always reveals the fuse line. I'm pretty sure this is not the case with the jellies from the
Smithsonian.

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  #6  
Old 1st August 2010, 11:24 AM
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Re: Solid Glass Jellyfish Paper Weight - How do they make this?

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Marc View Post

Solid Glass Jellyfish Paper Weight - This is all glass. There is no liquid inside. The bubbles are frozen in the glass. Can you give your opinion about how this was made?

1. It glows in the dark (this picture).
2. It is heavy and appears to be solid, clear glass.
3. Can not be put in direct sunlight (buy they don't say why).
4. Sold by the Smithsonian Museum (Mine is much taller than the one in the museum picture)
5. It can't be real. How does the manufacturer (Dynasty Gallery - Since 1951) make these? The label appears to say "Made in China" - Light yellow printing on a clear background, and very small print. It's kinda weird and I don't particularly care where is was made, but how do they do it?
From this purveyor of glass-encased jellyfish:

Quote:
Each sculpture contains the exoskeleton of a real jellyfish. (But to be more accurate we should call them "Sea Jellies.") These sea jellies are grown for exhibit at aquariums and have a lifespan of about 1-2 years.

You may be asking, "So how do they put the jellyfish in glass?" This is a delicate process because you're dealing with something that is mostly water. So a way must be found to stiffen the jelly enough to work with, and then to find a substance that will withstand 1,500 degree molten glass. So they start of by freezing the jellies in liquid nitrogen. This makes them strong enough to be coated with a polymer which preserves the jellies (like the Body Exhibit, which you've most likely heard about or have seen). Then the jelly is strong enough for the next step. It is then cast in resin. After the resin comes another layer of polymer to protect the resin and for the bonding with the glass. Then the molten glass is poured into the clay mold over the jelly. Of course the process is a bit more intricate than it sounds, but these are the basic steps.


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Old 1st August 2010, 11:50 AM
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Re: Solid Glass Jellyfish Paper Weight - How do they make this?

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Jim Wynne View Post

Interesting! So the process IS akin to animals and plants encased in amber - hence the intermediate step of using resin - probably ANY once-living biological specimen can be thus prepared.

(making biological microscope slides back in the "stone age" [when I was taking graduate courses in histological technique] required infusing the specimen in liquid paraffin, hardening it, then slicing it in thin slices with a microtome, then using a camel hair brush to lay the slices on a slide preparatory to staining.)

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  #8  
Old 1st August 2010, 12:49 PM
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Re: Solid Glass Jellyfish Paper Weight - How do they make this?

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Wes Bucey View Post

<snip> probably ANY once-living biological specimen can be thus prepared. <snip>
You could donate your body to see if it will work on humans.... Wes in a big glass ball!

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