Klein Bottle


Dutch glass crasftman Ramon Vink runs a studio called Poelgeest Glass. Using modern lampworking techniques and tools, he makes scientific apparatus and artistic pieces like this Klein bottle, the forming of which he has documented in a series of five YouTube videos. The videos themselves are pretty raw, with minimal post-production and no narration, but taken altogether they do a good job of documenting not just the general process of forming a Klein bottle from stock glass tube, but the specific tools and skilled manipulations required for each operation. If you were to just watch one of them, I think part 4, in which the interior portion of the bottle’s neck is installed inside the bulb, is probably the most interesting.

Klein Bottle Key Step

  1. Making a Klein Bottle pt 1/5 (bending the neck)
  2. Making a Klein Bottle pt 2/5 (forming the bulb)
  3. Making a Klein Bottle pt 3/5 (bending the interior tube)
  4. Making a Klein Bottle pt 4/5 (attaching the interior tube)
  5. Making a Klein Bottle pt 5/5 (attaching the neck)

Scientific glassblowing is not a skill that most people can pick up without a fair amount of practice, but if you have the basic tools on your bench and the basic skills under your belt, already, following along with Ramon’s Klein bottle videos could be a rewarding challenge.

Poelgeest Glass

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

  • Chmod labs

    Where can I find more awesome scientific based glass blowing and lamp work tutorials? They seem really hard to come by online other than books from Amazon.

  • Chris W

    It must be pointed out that a real Klein bottle cannot exist in our world since it can’t pass through itself. That said, nice work!

  • http://JordonGlass.com Vanessa Mumford

    Isn’t this difficult?!. :) Thanks for sharing. :)

  • Ramon

    Hey Sean,
    Just found your entry via google. Nice! Thanks for the ad, the more audience the better!
    If anyone is interested, I am much more active on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/poelgeestglass

    • Sean Ragan

      Hey Ramon! Nice to hear from you. Thanks for sharing this info, it’s rare!