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Liner for champagne flute

I have a project that I hope will interest some of you with obscure
(to me) expertise. I made a champagne flute for Gallery I/O’s
exhibit of same , just concluded, and I’ve received my flute back. It
consists of a etched and pierced silver base which holds a sheet of
titanium which I rolled into an almost tubular cone, anodized with a
landscape, riveted, and inseted in to the base. I don’t have a
really decent image of it, but I’ll put what I have up on my blog, The problem is, it is not water (or
champagne) tight. I would love to figure out some type of liner. I
don’t want the liner to stick out the top beyond the titanium. Wha t
I imagine is some kind of thermoplastic that I could heat up, and
shape to fit. If it could be blown in like a bubble so it conformed,
hardened, a nd could be trimmed to match the titanium, that would be
perfect. Color is also important-- clear would be best. I don’t think
this could be done with glass-- certainly not by me, anyway! Ideas?
This may not be possible/ practical, but I thought I’d ask.


The problem is, it is not water (or champagne) tight. 

This form of silverware was very popular in 16th, 17th centuries,
especially in works of Dutch and German silversmiths. They were using
materials like ostrich eggshell, coconut shells, and seashells.
Nautilus was popular. Animal horns are used for this purposes as

Leonid Surpin


Do you have access to a vac-u- form? (Many art departments have
them.) The first thing that comes to mind if I were presented with a
project like this would be to fill the flute with a plaster, or
something that could easily be removed and sanded if necessary, and
mold the plastic around the plaster plug. The sanding would be just
enough to compensate for the thickness of the plastic. I would
assume that heat shrink plastic and hot air gun would work also, but
sense I purchased a small vac-u form several years ago to make bezels
and end caps for odd shaped stones like tourmaline slices and
crystals I am always looking for ways to use my toy.

Hope this helps.
Chris Arnett


I can’t see your dimensions, but there are standard
industrial/medical products that are already halfway along to what
you need, making re-fabrication to perfect size an easier task for

Filter funnels and powder funnels from laboratory suppliers (merely
an example ) are starting points in
glass, which have the conical shape, are open at the bottom but
easily pinched off. Large glass test tubes are already pinched off,
but not conical.

If you want to go the plastic route, you could start with clear
acrylic tube, melt and pinch one end, use low pressure compressed air
on the far end with a hot air gun to soften the necessary part of the
length, using your existing metalwork as the form. You can
lathe-finish the drinking lip.

For the full professional thing, a chemical glassblower would be
your best contact - but I suspect you can have fun with a funnel or
two, a couple of test tubes, a length of acrylic tube, first. What’s
a couple of burned fingers if you gain the satisfaction of personally
crafting the flute?

Mark Bingham

I would suggest talking to a glass blower, on the face of it (I do
warm glass, not hot glass), it sounds like a “trivial” blowing task.
Might take a bit of trial and error to get the shape just right, but
should be quite do-able.

If it hadn’t been anodised it would have been possible to blow the
bubble of glass into the flute (like using an optic mold) and thereby
get an exact fit, but I think this would destroy the anodising…

Cheers, Thomas Janstrom.
Little Gems.

Noel, I’m curious to hear what people might say about your brain
teaser, too. My suggestion is to use Ceramit or similar. The way that
Faberge and others made their eggs and things is to put the piece on
a crank - in our case it’s a slow speed motor, like 10 rpm. That is,
if you can come up with one for cheap (old 33 rpm record player
motor?). If you put Ceramit or enamel on a surface like a sphere or
the inside of a cup, it will of course just drip off the top and
puddle at the bottom. The solution to that is to keep it always
moving, and the top and bottom is always changing. With enamels you
need to punch a hole in the side of your kiln, with Ceramit you just
put it under a lamp overnight and let it run. It would still be
tricky, and you’d need to experiment with angles and make some sort
of dam for the top rim, but it will give you an even plastic coating
like glass. I wouldn’t worry personally about hygiene after it’s
baked, but I don’t know the specs of it, either - I’m sure that’s out
there, somewhere. Ceramit comes off easily with attack, BTW.

Do you have access to a vac-u- form? 

No I don’t, but it sounds interesting. What kind of plastic does it


My suggestion is to use Ceramit or similar. 

Interesting suggestion! However, as far as I can see, the stuff would
leak out the same openings the champagne would! The best suggestion
so far seems to me to make a cast of the inside, sand it down a bit,
and use it as a base to create a liner. Not sure out of what, yet…


I would guess you have two areas of leakage, along the seam on the
side and at the base?

I don’t know what the stuff is called but its basically an acrylic
liquid. Having never used it myself I could only hazard the guess
that you could lay down a bead along the seam, maybe with some tape
to keep it from running out the other side, then after that cures,
follow with a full coat on the entire inside of the flute for a
smooth uniform appearance. If the flute has any flexibility to it,
it might be good to add some sort of reinforcement in the bead, the
way we would add matting to strengthen fiberglass joints.

However, as far as I can see, the stuff would leak out the same
openings the champagne would! 

No, Noel, plug up the holes from the outside temporarily with wax or
tape or whatever seems right that can be cleanly removed later.
Clay… You could also use any resin you like - Neil suggested
acrylic resin, which I also thought of. The only thing is that
spinning it (slowly) gives you a perfect surface. It did occur to me
that it might not work very well depending on the profile of your
flute - if it has bulges or uneven tapers or what have you. It seems
obvious as monday morning quarterbacking - for the future… It’s
probably easier to make it watertight to begin with than whatever
needs to be done now… Doesn’t help Noel, but it’s something to think
about next time…


I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to plastic, I use mine to
burnout for casting. I do know dentists use these machines to make
mouth guards for athletics so they are food safe, and also come in
different colors. You could also contact plastic molding companies in
your area. I am sure that they would vac-u- form one for you for very
little cost. It only takes a few seconds once you have the form made.

Cheers I hope!