Art Glass Marble Maker

An online friend hooked me up recently with art glass marble maker, Joe Schlemmer of madmanmarbles.com. Joe is a hell of a guy and invited me over to his glass studio to check out how he makes his art glass marbles. I love glass almost as much as stone, so I jumped at the chance. Joe is about an hour and a half drive from me just south of St. Joe, MI. He took the time to show me all his equipment and glass, then got to work. I had never seen anyone make a marble before and Joe is a real pro. He made two marbles in a little over an hour. It was fascinating for me to see the process. He made two different kind of marbles and each had its own technique. The first one, an implosion, was basically made in halves. He blew a bubble in the glass tubing, decorated the outside, then melted it to collapse inside the bubble. He then added more glass to the outside, decorated that, and then completed the sphere. I am way over simplifying the process here, but that is basically how it was done. The second marble was done quite different and I dare not describe the process as I would probably describe it incorrectly. The marbles had to cool in a kiln for many hours after completion so I did not get to see the finished product that day. Afterwards, Joe took me a couple miles a way to an awesome beach on Lake Michigan where there were plenty of rocks. Check out all the pictures below and see Joe’s work. A week or so after our meet, Joe sent me the implosion marble! How cool is that. You can check out Joe’s marbles at his website here: madmanmarbles.com