Friday, November 9, 2012

Bell Bottom Glass Didgeridoo
It was about 8 months since my last entry, I was quite busy then and now I’m back with some fresh articles especially to those didgeridoo enthusiasts out there. In my absence I manage to fabricate a glass didgeridoo with a little improvement than the one I made earlier. It is known as Bell Bottom Didgeridoo.

Didgeridoo Bell bottom are didgeridoos where the lower part of the didgeridoo is very much wider than the size of the whole length of the stick.  It is basically a didgeridoo with an added sound box. The main advantage of a Bell Bottom Didgeridoo is the amplification it generates, allowing you to produce more voluminous sound with less effort. Bass notes and lower tones particularly benefit from this, and playing techniques using voices and roars come out stronger.
Bell Bottom Glass Didgeridoo

In fabricating a bell bottom glass didgeridoo, the bottom end of the tube is heated up in a big and vigorous flame, when the glass has soften, the tube should be slightly pushed inwards and this will make the glass become thicker. The next process is flaring the thicker end of the tube. While still in the flame, a carbon rod is applied to the softening glass and by slowly lifting up the rod against the wall of the glass, a flare will then emerged. The glass becomes thinner while flaring is being formed. This is reason why the glass should be thickened before the flaring process. This technique is also being applied in the making of the base of flower vases and wine glasses.  The glass tube has to be rotated while flaming and flaring to maintain an even heating around the tube and will produce an even and well made flare. The flaring technique will produce a didgeridoo with a wider end and may look like a trumpet. Another technique is by sealing the end of the tube (to prevent air from escaping out) and when the glass has soften, blow at the other end of the tube until it swells up and becomes a big bulb. A hole is then made by flaming the tip of the bulb until the glass becomes really soft and a hard blow will make the glass to balloon and shattered out. Again, by using a carbon rod, flare is then made.  Easy ha.    

Fabrication of glass didgeridoo is not an easy thing to do. You need to have some knowledge and skill in glassblowing. I don’t have much difficulty in fabricating the didgeridoo because I had the opportunity to learn glassblowing from master glassblowers at University of Ghent, Belgium somewhere in the late 70’s.  To the master glassblowers, Rene, Hector, Etienne, Freddie and Jan, I thank you all.