Glossary of Tools & Equipment for Glassblowing

Rev. 6/23/94 6/25/99 12/2/99 2000-5-26, 7-2
Rev. ... 2003-03-14, -05-28, -06-26, -07-20, -09-05, 09-24, -10-23, -11-14, -11-22
2004-05-01, -07-13, -07-26, 2005-04-04, -08-19, -11-28, -12-19, 2006-05-06, -10-17
2007-03-20, -05-29, -11-24, 2008-05-20, -10-18, 2009-02-25, -07-26, -08-23, 2010-08-13, -12-22,
2011-02-16, -03-18, -10-05
[Search on date pattern to find latest changes, more than one may be found.]

A listing of useful tools and equipment for glassblowing and where to get them. The glossary is preceded by a brief description of a glassblowing session with links to the following alphabetical listing. Addresses of places mentioned more than once are at end. Additions and suggestions are welcome.
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A Session at the Furnace
with links to tool entries.
Link to a page of videos of a glass blowing session


Before the glassblowing session begins, the pot furnace or tank furnace must be brought up to temperature (about 2050-2100F) from the setting it held overnight (about 1800F to save fuel.)
(The process of melting batch or cullet to get workable glass is discussed here)
The glory hole for reheating must be brought up to temperature (~2200-2300F) as well as the controlled cooling annealers (~900F),  preheating color oven, pipe heater, and garage. Depending on equipment design, these steps take about an hour. During this time, the artist is normally setting up the preheating of color bar and laying out stringer, frit, and powder (linked below as discussed), arranging tools, and pulling the previous day's or afternoon's work from the annealers. Pipes and punties are arranged in the pipe warmer for use during the session. Water is put in holding buckets and crack off bins/buckets , if used. If hand torches are used, they will be lighted or set out.

Most furnace glassworkers use a team approach for making glass with at least one assistant who may be a partner alternating on the bench or a less experienced glass blower who gets some blowing time during the day.  A minority of furnace workers work alone (as I do) and some pieces are more difficult and some impossible when alone and different techniques are used to compensate.  Large pieces and production shops often involve teams of 3, 4, 5 or more working together.  These additional people may take the partially worked piece back for reheating, giving the gaffer a break; may make added bits like handles; may bring color bits to a nearly molten state for application; may prepare and hold the punty as mentioned below; and may suit up to carry the finished but still hot piece to the annealer. [2010-12-22 add.]

The creation of an object commonly begins by making or taking out a drawing so that all involved know the piece to be made and the steps involved. In a production situation there may be metal templates or calipers to gauge heights, diameters and shapes. Building the object begins by taking the pipe from the pipe heater where it has been pre-heating. A pipe that is cold will simply push a hole in the molten glass instead of gathering or the glass will chill around the small hole, preventing blowing from happening. Upon opening the door to the furnace, the pipe is tipped at an angle into the pool of glass and moved across while turning the pipe and pulling a gather of glass. If left in too long, the pipe get so hot the glass flows off.  Pulling the pipe, the door must be closed and the pipe turned to maintain an even shape of glass.  The glass worker most commonly goes to a marver to roll the gather into a blunt cone against the flat surface. Using breath, a small bubble is started in the center of the glass and enlarged to the size the worker desires. (The primary glassworker is called a gaffer from an old word for grandfather, but I am not using the term here because when a team is working glass, any of the workers, not just the gaffer, may marver and otherwise work the glass.)  If the pipe end is too cold, the glass will stiffen immediately and the bubble won't start.  If it is too hot, only a thin shell of glass will be picked up, wasting time.  The exact temperature of the glass in the furnace will depend on the preferences of the gaffer and the need to gather glass in thin or thick layers as higher temperature glass is thinner.  [rev 2009-08-23]

Chilling the first gatherWhen the glob glass, called a parison, is shaped, it is allowed to cool further. This both assures that the shape will not collapse when more molten glass is gathered around it and increases the amount of glass that can be picked up in the second gather.  A pipe usually has a small hole in the end with a thick rim around it. It is possible to blow glass with an open pipe (straight wall thickness) but it does not support the piece well.

Many pieces start with an additional step. The worker heats the end of the pipe, but rather than gathering the glass, a chunk of color is picked up as a short cylinder preheated in a color kiln. The old skin of glass on the pipe is usually enough to stick the pickup. The color is softened in the glory hole and marvered to shape as described above. As other glass is gathered over it, the color forms the inner lining of the piece and colors the whole piece. When desired, two or more chunks of glass may be worked this way to form layers. If the color chunk contains lead or other heavy metals and the object will hold food or drink, the color may be picked up after the first gather and smoothed over it so the inside of the piece is a thin layer of clear with color over it and more clear (later gathers) over that. Some studios melt colored glass which may be used for the first gather or for adding details later but most studios melt a large pot/tank of clear and use solid color.

After the second gather, the worker normally has enough glass that a change of techniques is required, although returning to the marver to shape the second and third gather or even the whole piece is used by some workers. Most workers will go to the bench and use wooden blocks or a pad of newspaper to block or shape the glass. A team member may blow while the gaffer turns to shape the glass against the block; a solo worker may use an extension air tube. If further gathers are to be made, the object of blocking is to control the shape of the piece including the thickness of the glass. Again the piece will be worked and cooled to stiffen the shape to permit more glass to be gathered. During gathering, steps may be taken that are part of the design, where the design calls for color within the glass. This may include threading, picking up cane, or adding bubbles. The bubble inside the glass may be enlarged during the gathering. The glass may be selectively chilled (on the sides or the bottom) to cause more glass to be gathered there or to encourage the bubble to move into the hotter area. Following gathering, the worker may drain excess glass just gathered into a water filled bucket to form a thinner smoother layer around the piece.

At some point enough glass has been gathered to make the piece. The next step is normally to use bladed jacks to narrow a neck on the piece near the end of the pipe. This is the line where the piece will separate from the pipe. The piece is taken back to the glory hole for reheating. The glory hole is usually maintained at a temperature higher than the furnace, so it reheats the glass quickly. The heat transfers from the walls and air of the glory hole, heating it all around, supplying more heat per second than a torch would. Because the glass near the pipe is behind the rest of the piece (in the shadow of the heat) it may take several reheats to jack the line properly, so other work may be done as the jacking proceeds. The gaffer must work to keep the glass centered in line with the pipe.

During this stage, the worker may use other jacks, other blocks, the newspaper, the paddles, and the marver to form the piece. A co-worker may kneel at the end of the pipe on the bench and blow in the pipe as it rolls (a fun task), blowing while the gaffer applies shaping pressure with the paper, etc. (A gaffer, especially working alone, may also use an air hose over the pipe mouth piece to apply air pressure while the pipe is on the bench, using breath or low pressure compressed air.)   Air or pads may also be used to selectively cool the glass so that when it is reheated, other parts will begin at a higher temperature and get even warmer and softer than the chill parts.

Gravity and centrifugal force may be used. If the pipe is pointed down while turning, the piece will tend to lengthen; while pointing it up will shorten.  Some caution is required when pointing up as hot bits of metal corrosion may be in the pipe which must be cleaned out.  If the pipe is swung back and forth or (spectacularly in demonstrations) swung completely overhead the piece will stretch and thin, doing more so near the neck (because more glass is pulling from further out) or where the glass is hottest.

Diane working outdoors at Kittrell-Riffkind, gathering small lampworked flowers.The worker is mostly working on the lower half of the piece. Steps the worker might take include using an optic or other mold to impress a pattern or shape on the glass and using various techniques to add color including threading and rolling the piece in frit or powder which may be in a scoop shape or laid out on the marver.

The last step before taking the piece off the pipe is finishing the bottom where the punty will be attached. Normally this involves flattening the bottom and adding any foot or feet desired. It may also involve adding a pad of glass (cookie) to keep the bottom from breaking out when the piece is puntied.

If glass is being produced as quickly as possible and a polished rim is not important, all the following steps are ignored and the piece is cracked free and taken to the annealer immediately. The top of the cooled piece is sawn square and ground to final shape. Low cost vases and garden decorations with added caps may have this shortcut used as well as pieces blown into metal forms.

Hugh Irwin and son working a piece at Hickory Street Hot Glass, placing the punty.The most critical step in working the glass is getting the piece off the pipe and onto the punty. The problems are rooted in the desire later on to remove the punty with little scarring and as little cold working as possible. The artist or assistant gathers a small amount of glass on the punty and quickly marvers it to shape, usually a blunt cone. The glass is then usually touched to some surface to chill it and pattern its surface. The goal is to make a good enough but not TOO good connection to the glass. If the connection is not good enough the piece will fall off the punty. The first and perhaps most likely time for this to occur is when the pipe is rapped to crack it free. If the connection is too good, it may crack the bottom of the piece at the end of the session.  In production situations, it is common to have a mechanical punty (a gimmick or sabot) that encloses or grips the piece to avoid the risks and time of the hot punty process.)

If the worker has successfully jacked the piece and properly tempered and attached the punty, when the pipe is rapped with a hard tool, the piece parts cleanly and without much shock. Many glass workers put water on the joint with tweezers to cool and shock it. If the punty glass is too hot, there may be a bit of frantic turning and twisting of the punty to keep the piece centered and in place. Most commonly, the gaffer places the punty tip with shears while an assistant holds the punty level. The gaffer then raps the pipe when everything seems right and the assistant catches weight of the piece and goes immediately to the glory hole. (If the piece has not been properly puntied, or the neck not properly narrowed or chilled, rapping on the pipe may result in both ends of the piece breaking free, resulting in a "floor model" - a broken piece.)

Commonly, in a small studio, the gaffer follows the assistant and takes the punty while handing the pipe to the assistant who puts it in the crack off bin while the gaffer turns the piece in the glory hole. In a larger operation, a team member other than the gaffer will reheat. Notice that the end of the piece going in the glory hole has been determinedly chilled for the past several minutes so it will crack free and now it must be heated up to soft working temperature while keeping the rest of the piece tepid or at least firm.. It is possible that the end has gotten so cold that it cracks in error, so it should be eased into the glory hole.

When the piece is pulled from the glory hole, it is time to work on the rim and upper body of the piece. If the piece has been necked severely, the inner hole may be too small and it must be worked open with pick or tweezers. In more ordinary work, the jacks are used with the blades parallel to form a broader working surface to turn the rim open. Many glass workers next pick up duckbill shears to trim away excess glass and shape the lip. Trimming is normally done with very soft glass and at the bottom as the piece is turned horizontally, so the scrap falls toward the floor and does not mar the piece. On goblets and thin pieces, the goal may be to remove the thicker or uneven glass at the jack point. On a pitcher, the goal may be to provide the profile that will yield a projecting lip. The cut glass normally falls on a metal tray provided for the purpose.

Frequently these days, a lip wrap of contrasting color is added. Continuing work shapes the top of the piece, perhaps the size being gauged to match a lid previously made or to allow for a stopper. With an assistant or alone, additional bits are added for decoration and for handles. During this time, the worker will return the piece to the glory hole to keep it from cracking.Torch being used on Eagle sculpture A torch may be used to apply heat to the bottom of the piece and/or the punty glass when trying to heat this area in the glory hole would soften the rest of the piece too much. A torch may also be used to heat a spot where a bit or garaged section is to be attached.

When the piece is complete, the next critical step is to remove it from the punty, which requires that the punty glass be removed without taking a chunk out the bottom of the piece. If the punty was applied properly, removing the piece is merely a matter of chilling the join, usually with a thin knife edge. If the worker has any doubts about the separation, a number of tricks/techniques exist to encourage the break to occur in the punty glass and not in the piece. They must be applied quickly as the glass is cooling rapidly and unevenly.

The piece is normally removed with a sharp rap to the punty. What happens to the piece depends on the worker and the piece. Some pieces can be placed in the annealer by holding the punty vertically, lowering the piece to a fraction of an inch above the annealer floor, and rapping. Gloves are available which will withstand the 800-1000F heat for a short time. The worker may hold the piece over a padded drop table and crack off onto that and then use gloves to move the piece into the annealer while positioning it as desired. With an assistant, the gloves can be used to catch the piece (usually above the crack off table for insurance) at the rap and carry it to the annealer. With large pieces of glass, the assistant will be garbed in full silver fire fighting reflective gear. Handling the piece permits the option of setting it on its bottom or side.

With the piece in the annealer, it is likely that members of the team and any audience will applaud the success, especially if it is a large, tricky piece. Water, etc., is drunk, a snack eaten. The various tools and pipes are arranged for working the next piece and it begins again. The piece will soak in the annealer for an hour or more (often to the end of the day) and then will be annealed (cooled slowly) so the glass is as free of stress as possible. For ordinary art glass pieces, the temperature is reduced from about 900F to about 600F over 6-8 hours in a controlled way and then allowed to cool to near room temperature over 3-4 hours or more. Thicker pieces including castings may require days for proper cooling.

Depending on the time taken for the piece, the production nature of the shop, etc., the people involved may take a break, drink fluids, etc., before continuing the piece.  In a factory, the team works for a couple of hours, making a piece every few minutes, before breaking, some people sitting all the time, others carrying the glass.  In a production studio, the gaffer may work at the glory hole or remain seated.

At the end of the session, the glory hole is turned off, the furnace turned down or recharged, the annealer is set to begin the cooling process, water is thrown out, tools picked up or lined up, the floor swept, and trash thrown out, ready for the next session.

Kile Glassworks Renaissance style



Alphabetical Glossary Start
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Air, Natural Air
Most glass workers use air from the mouth to gently form glass on the pipe and after. A common sight is an assistant kneeling by the bench moving with the end of the pipe mouthpiece blowing while the gaffer shapes the piece. Solo workers use a blowpipe hose extension, where surgical tubing (a very soft light amber color) is used with an elbow swivel that allows the pipe to rotate when the hose is attached. Besides the hose, an adaptor is needed to fit over the pipe mouth piece. I made mine from short pieces of clear soft vinyl tubing, which I forced inside each other to change from the small tubing on the swivel to the large diameter of the pipe. The puffer is often natural air. 2004-07-26Chilling the first gather
Air, Compressed
Since high pressure (120 psi) air is useful for running tools and sand blasting, many studios have compressed air at the bench where it is usually very low pressure (5 psi or less).  The two most common uses are cooling selectively and with the puffer.  Many shops have doors operated by compressed air cylinders.  Created with a central or local air compressor. 2004-07-26
Air Gun or Nozzle
A tool with a trigger for releasing moderate to large amounts of air which is placed on a compressed air hose convenient for cooling glass selectively. (right) 2005-08-21
Air Compressor and Air Hose
A motor driven device using pistons, diaphragms, or rotary vane pumps to increase the pressure of atmospheric air so that it can be stored and distributed to do work or provide a blast of air.  Usually electric in shops.  Commonly the pump unit is mounted on the storage tank which may be on wheels or a larger upright cylinder.  Small compressors without tanks are available, usually for painting.  Distribution can be by reinforced rubber hoses or metal piping.  PVC pipe is strongly discouraged for this use as it breaks with time and fires across the shop.  Many shops have quick connect fittings located above head height at each work station.
Air driven, or pneumatic, tools are widely available for automobile work and include low and high speed grinding, hammer scaling and cutting bits, socket drivers, etc.  The tools are much lighter than electric (no metal windings inside.)  Some use a lot of air and require bigger compressors and tanks than many shops have.  Tools are high pressure devices, usually 125 psi.
Controlled temperature oven, usually electric in art glass studios, for cooling glass at a controlled rate to relieve strain that will break glass cooled quickly. Usually built by worker as volume is needed and temperature range is relatively low (900-500.)  Needs controller. See lehr, fire brick and ceramic board, fiber & blanket ANNEALER.HTM
A mixture of chemicals, mostly sand, to be melted to make glass. (see cullet, BATCH.HTM)   Batch can be mixed by the worker or bought.  Today the most commonly used bought batch is from Spruce Pine Batch Co. although several other companies have appeared on the west coast: East Bay Batch, Gaffer. Mixing batch requires care as many ingredients are poisonous or lung damaging. Cooking batch requires higher temperatures than melting cullet and takes more total energy.
Batch Trough
See Trough
a wooden paddle used to flatten portions of a bottle as it is being hand blown. IGCB
Bee's Wax
Used to lubricate jacks and other tools. From fabric stores or use a candle. Carnauba wax is harder. Lubricant is also called mud and mixes for making it work are legendary in the industry.
Bell Kiln
Industry term for a glass fusing kiln where the part that opens is a box facing down (like a bell hangs) over a flat surface that may roll to one side, giving complete access to the work surface while retaining heat in a way that a lid or a door does not.  The box is usually counterweight loaded so it rises and drops smoothly. has one that is 4x8 feet. 2007-03-20
Bench and buckets at Texas Hot GlassA glass worker's bench is most commonly a steel framed long armed chair with a wooden seat that extends beyond the arms on both sides. Below the arms are metal shields to protect the legs of the worker from the heat of the glass. The pipe or punty is placed on the arms and rolled out and back to keep the glass in a smooth round shape while working it. On the extended seat [or on a small table the same height] are placed metal tools, which may also hang on nails driven in the edge, and behind the seat are often buckets of water holding blocks and wooden tools.  Since sliding tools must be waxed (jacks) and gripping tools must not (tweezers, shears), the waxed tools are placed tips to one edge, the unwaxed to the other. 2004-07-26
Drawing of standard glassblowing bench
A bench is a personal choice and may be built from wood with steel rails or may be built with sloping arms.  Having a bad back, I stand all the time rather than getting up and down, so I use one that I stand before with the arms at waist level and the tools underneath the arms I also find it easier to get around the end of pieces and place the punty. Some workers omit the bench and its arms and work glass on ball bearing rollers.
Marty Johnson prefers a bench with a higher and angled seat so she can get on and off it quickly, her heels do not touch the floor when she is seated. 2003-11-14 More benches
Bit Iron
See Iron
Common form of blocks, picture from Harvey Littleton's bookBlocks are chunks of fruit wood, most commonly cherry but also pear and apple, which are carved to a shape useful in forming glass and then soaked in water until waterlogged. The steam from the water and the carbon that forms on the surface makes a durable tool to produce smooth glass. Usually will crack if allowed to dry out therefore kept in water or in plastic bag when traveling. Wooden rods and paddles are also used the same way. Walter Evans makes blocks for many studios. OLY ** Image at right from Harvey Littleton's book
"a wooden dipper-like device cut out on one side and used during free blowing to give symmetric form to a bottle in its early stages". IGCB Paper & Wood  Blocks in use. 2003-11-22
Blow-back mold
a full-height mold with a bulb-like formation cut into the neck of the mold to facilitate severing the completed bottle from the blowpipe. IGCB
see Pipe
Blowpipe Hose Extension
The extension slides over the mouthpiece with a 90 degree swivel connector attached to a 6 foot piece of latex tubing that is equipped with a mouthpiece. The use of the extension will enable you to work a piece at the bench or glory hole without bringing the pipe to your mouth. The thin tubing also makes clear how little pressure is needed for blowing properly heated glass. SIWS Blowpipe Hose Extension (0.5, 0.625, 0.75, or 1.0 inch) $25 Wale Apparatus, basic mech.+vinyl tubing
Bench and buckets at Texas Hot GlassMost studios have a number of buckets around, with or without water in them.  There are four in the image at right, two black ones on roll around stands holding blocks, one stainless bucket further back and one just peeking past the corner of the bench seat.  These hold the wet tools, wood here, including a paddle sticking up at the left edge of the photo and the paper folded over the edge in the middle. 2003-11-22. Crackoff Buckets
Burner, Burner Head
Most furnaces and almost all glory holes are heated with natural gas or propane driven through a burner head backed up by plumbing that may be more or less complicated and include safety features. See BURNER.HTM  The burner head is a matter of commercial contention and may be an open pipe, a ceramic construction or a similar metal construction. A head with many holes is designed to be quieter and offer a greater range of turn up and turn down. A ceramic head is designed to keep iron bits out of the glass. See Ribbon Burner


A divider or compass like tool of two arms off a pivot but commonly with curved arms that hook in or out and primarily used for measurement or comparison.  Outward curving arms are used for inside measurements while inward are used for outside.  When used for measurement, the distance across the tips is put against a scale.  When used for comparison, an existing object is matched to the new one.  Image  Lid Calipers 2008-05-20
Cane Marver
A marver plate with grooves for spacing cane evenly to pickup on hot glass. Hard to make without a metal milling machine, usually bought: Steinert $60 Aluminum, $95 iron for heating.
Car Kiln
More often seen in pottery work although casting places may use it, one end and the bottom are on wheels (the car) and the unit rolls into the other four sides forming a box, with a channel of sand to seal the bottom edge.  Allows complete access to bulky stuff while not trying to move the insulating box (and burners in the case of pottery.) Kiln, Bell Kiln 2007-03-20
Casting Ladle
The casting ladle is made of high grade cast iron and is designed to be welded to a handle made of 1" schedule 40 pipe. The ladle is 6 inches in diameter and will hold up to 7.5 pounds of glass. SIWS - Casting Ladle $96 A smaller ladle can be made welding a dome cap to steel tube. see Gathering Ball OLY
Ceramic fiber blanket, board & paper
Modern industrial high temperature insulation to replace much more dangerous asbestos. Available in several forms and several temperature ranges. Blanket is usually sold in 100 "board foot" (which is 1 foot by 1 foot by 1 inch) rolls, so the price given is probably for 1" thick. The first roll I bought was 48" wide, 2" thick, and only 12.5 feet long. For the National product, I have paid well under $100 a roll according to my skimpy records.. For annealers and most kilns, the lowest density and the lowest temp rating is all that is needed and this makes for lower cost. Refractory
Alternate name, historically, for a bench - where the gaffer sits.
Alternate holding technique for partially worked glass GL5K Gimmick, Sabot
Clay Pot
See Pot
Cold Working
The general name for sandblasting, grinding and polishing the glass. While many artists use the procedures of cold working as part of their artistic creation, most would prefer to avoid the labor intensive process of grinding off punty marks and polishing the result. Glass must always be worked wet, otherwise heat builds up rapidly and damages the tools and causes cracking in the glass. Grinder, Polisher, Another page
Color bars
Glassblowers using moderate amounts of color in their glass buy bars of concentrated colored glass about 1" in diameter and a foot long. This is cut in smaller chunks and melted, crushed or pulled. Sold by the kilo for a full bar, cost is effectively $1-3 per inch ($17-48 per kilo.) Those using more color tend to melt their own to reduce cost and control color values. OLY Color Page
Color crusher
Usually a heavy-walled steel pipe with a close fitting thick steel disk with a handle. Chunks of glass are put in the tube, the disk placed on top and the handle pounded with a hammer or just used like a mortar. Produces dust or small chunks (frit.) A great tool for making your own glass powders. SIWS - Crusher $80
Color cutter
To get color bar into usable sizes, a cold chisel and hammer will work, often scattering expensive sharp pieces. A commercial cutter is a guillotine like frame with a holder for the glass that tries to keep things under control. Home built in a variety of designs.
Color oven or kiln
Any small kiln (or corner of the annealer) used for preheating chunks of color bars to allow pickup without cracking. Copper enameling supplier or build, needs very simple temperature control. Usually has a blackboard near it to plot layout of various colors which may look identical.
A tool with two straight arms from a pivot, used today with a marker on one arm for marking out a circle, but historically in the manner we now use a divider. 2008-05-20 Image
See Air Compressor
Pointed tapered tool (cone shaped) Typically 7" long, 3" dia., with handle, Paoli $30. Wood or graphite, for opening glass shapes and providing a variable sized round tool for working the glass.
A relay-like device used as a noisy power controller or as a safety cutoff because of leakage through SCR's. Contactor
When glass has to be held at a specific temperature or ramped slowly from one temperature to another, some kind of controller is used. These days it is usually digital, but mechanical and analog solid state controllers have been built. Controllers are available as small boxes under $200 that will ramp and hold and as more complicated systems that will control up to 5 or 8 units. Most continuously used studios will have the furnace under a control along with at least two annealers and a color oven. Some may have additional annealers and perhaps small units used as garages for parking hot glass.
See Pipe Cooler
"Tool for shaping wraps into round and half round." Jim Moore tool Handled tool with a long U-shaped channel that tapers narrower toward the end. Another Source
Cork dust
is used on metal molds to give a carbon surface.  Adhered with baked linseed oil or special paste sold for the purpose. see below.
Cork Paddles
Soft way to massage hot glass for flattening or indenting sides of blown piece. Unlike most thin paddles, these have thick round or oval pads of cork and I would be tempted to call them cord pads if the sellers did not label them otherwise. CGS $70 to $90 Site link  Or per suggestion on CraftWeb - Alexander Adams - "Next time you need to make cork paddles or need cork dust, buy a 24" x 12" x 4" cork slab from McMaster-Carr. In the index it is listed as Cork Insulation and the item number is #9354K44. It costs about $18.52 not including shipping. Run these through a clean table saw to make the cork paddles. Depending on how many cuts you make on the table saw, you will make plenty of cork dust. If you're picky, you may want to sieve out the dust that is too big. If your crafty, you can make extra paddles to sell on E-Bay. Banister Rail, Plywood, Deck Screws and Gorilla Glue are the only other supplies you will need." 2003-08-07 used with permission  An alternative is Yoga Cork $9.95 - 9 x 5.5 x 3.5 inch to make two. 2005-04-27
Cowl Board
"A wooden face mask used by the furnace tender to protect him from the intense heat." Collectors Encycl.of Am.Art.Glass p.225 [MF: In factories, fixed shields used in art studios.] 2008-05-20
Crack off table
See Drop Off Table 2004-07-13
Crack off bin/bucket
At the end of each use of pipes and punties there is usually a collar of glass around the end. This glass will normally break and shatter off as it cools, perhaps fired with enough force to hurt people. Therefore the tools are left in metal (heat proof) buckets or dry bins that capture the glass. Normally punties have less glass and are placed in water filled buckets (stainless steel food service buckets are especially nice). If a pipe is placed in water without sealing the end, the steam inside almost instantly makes the pipe too hot to hold, so pipes are put in steel barrels or flat bins. All crack off catchers are also used to dump mistakes, broken pieces and scrap glass. For larger containers a barrel is commonly used. Often clear glass is separated from colored for reuse. Stainless steel buckets are very nice, but expensive ($70-85); stainless steel soup pots are thinner and much less expensive ($6-12)
1. A tweezer like tool with metal pads on the ends that have a pattern. When hot glass is squeezed between the pads, the pattern is impressed.  A leaf crimp is perhaps the most common, but ribs, circles, shells, etc. are available. MOORE 2003-06-22
2. A special tool for making Millville rose type paperweights, it provides the shape of the petals. Color is picked up onCrimp for making roses the bottom of clear, heated, and the crimp is shoved through the color. After the tool is removed, the base is jacked to taper the rose bottom and remove the source color, the shape then being puntied at the base and further encased. If two layers of color are provided, the tips of the petals shade from one to the other - pink to red, white to yellow. Crimps are usually hand made and reworked by the gaffer. Brass is soldered, the solder protected by plaster of Paris. Thin brass will melt. [Description and use compiled from several sources, including GGNJ, Corning Museum Rakow Library notes, and personal experiments crimp.htm.]
3. Crimper "A wooden form that is used to give a bowl or pitcher a crimped rim." Collectors Encycl.of Am.Art.Glass p.225
Broken glass, which melts easier than batch. Can be remains of previous work, bottles, or purchased. The latter two may need chemical additions to make more workable. Available from Gabbert Cullet and other sources. More here
Cutter, Color
An ongoing problem for blowers is cutting the color rods, which are usually about 1" in diameter and are often used in chunks about an inch long. They are very hard and very brittle and some of the methods used scatter color chips far and wide. Guillotine arrangements, cold chisels, etc., have been used. People who have one may use a cutting saw. More


Diamond Shears
Tools on the marver.Special pliers with a sharp diamond shaped opening for cutting Hot Glass Bits and, usually, a round opening at the tip for controlling punties, pulling glass, etc. Shown at second from left at right. From Steinert $90. See also Shears


Sample cheap tools on the marver - no jacks shown.

Dip mold
a one-piece mold open at the top. IGCB
A tool consisting of two straight arms attached to a pivot.  Used for "walking" off distances on charts or for construction as an alternative to scaled measurement. Greeks doing math would call them a compass. Lid Calipers CalipersImage 2008-05-20
Dowel, Wood
Wooden dowels can be used alone or in large tweezer-like handles. From woodworker supply catalogs in cherry 1/8" to over an inch. Wood
Drill, Drill Bit
A tool for putting round holes in cold glass, the drill actually being the thing with the motor while the bit is the variable sized added piece that does the cutting. Covered in Coldworking including drilling & cutting glass
Drop Off Table
When working glass, it is nice to have a partner, assistant, etc., who can glove up, take the piece while on the punty and carry it to the annealer.  Some people (me) working alone will take the piece on the punty, having chilled the join, and place it just above the floor of the annealer, rap it off (note it is upside down, instead of sitting on its bottom as it would if a gloved placement were used.)  After one has seen a piece pass between the hands of the assistant and crash on the floor, one considers a drop off table.  This is nothing more than a rimmed table top, perhaps 18" square, padded with an inch or more of frax blanket, vermiculite or fiberglass. It may roll around and store gloves, knock off tools and other stuff underneath.  A metal prop may support the punty if the table is wood, not metal.  The glass is rapped off the punty onto the table and then carried to the annealer by the gloved blower working alone or caught above the table by the gloved assistant.  2003-09-05, 2004-07-13
A tool or piece of equipment which applies pressure to a bulk of soft material to force a relatively thin rod or tube shape out a small opening shaped to form the rod. Used in industry for food (pasta, filling casings), plastic, metal (aluminum window frames, etc.) and clay (bricks,  pipe), in art the primary use is clay where it can form the bulk of a shape or provide a hollow body for further work.  Small homemade extruder Use in glass is limited due to the high temp and free flow of glass which drops off as blobs. 2011-10-05
Eye Protection
Dark shield used by Mike for observing glory hole.Every glass worker should have several levels of eye protection. At a very minimum break resistant glasses to save the eyes from glass fragments. Furnace workers, according to tests, should be using at least a #3 and preferably a #4 welders shade to observe the furnace and glory hole. I do this with a relatively low cost ($25) plastic shield on a Jackson 170-S (not the newer 170SB) head band with Glendale Irex (Blue Diamond) 862 shield stocked in #5. Grainger offers the Sellstrom 39150 Shade 5 face shield complete $23.09, their # 1N785 The full face shield is also nice in holding off the heat, but I got the idea from a couple in Michigan who cut off the lower half of the shield so they don't have to raise it to blow. Some workers wear welding clip-ons or use a flat piece of welding glass in a frame at the yoke to look through. According to tests, UV is not a problem, IR is too high and protective choices should be made. Many glass workers use sun glasses or nothing.
Ferro, Ferritti
The flat plate and short rectangular bars used for heating cane in a glory hole in Italian work. Plate carried with a Pastorali
Most glassblowers have at least a couple of files around, often rusty from being too close to the water used with wood tools. A file can be used to notch the glass of a heavy neck on a piece to increase chances of it coming off cleanly. Normally, only the corner of the file is used on the glass.
Fingers Hot Fingers
A form of gimmick for holding small glass objects including marbles, more often used in torch work but can be made larger. 2008-10-18
Fire brick
A brick made to withstand high temperatures, costing more the higher the temperature, from $1.50 to $25 a brick. Usually very hard and heavy, a poor insulator. Available in many shapes. Used for furnaces mostly. See also Fire brick, Insulating. From A.P.Green, Mexico MO and local offices, National Refractory, see Refractory in Yellow Pages. [8-1-2000 Recently A.P.Green was purchased, so name changes are in progress.]
Fire brick, Insulating
A very light, soft, easily cut, high temperature material than can form structural walls for kilns and backup hard fire brick. It is possible (carefully) to pick up with the hand an IFB that is at 1000-2000 on one side - I always use gloves because of other heating effects, just in case, but I used a brick for a door on a small glory hole, moving it with a leather gloved hand to get at the hole.Refractory
Flame Sensor
A safety device used to insure that a flame actually exists when the equipment wants one. Two forms are a Purple Peeper that looks where the flame to sense the UV in a flame that does not exist in a hot wall, and a thermocouple like device that sits in the flame and detects both the heat and the conductivity of the flame. Part of the combustion train.
Footer,  Footing Tool
Footer tool from Harvey Littleton's book (see biblio.htm)Tool for shaping the thin flat foot of a goblet. Most commonly a pair of thin (1/4") fruit wood (cherry) boards about 3" by 4" (75mm x 100mm) hinged on one long edge with a slight semicircular dish sanded/cut into the face of one board along the opposite edge from the hinge with a notch cut for the stem. The wet tool is gripped in the palm of the hand and brought up to the hot glass foot gather and the boards closed around the glass. The dish forms the upper side of the foot, the flat board opposite the bottom of the foot. Footer at right, with three different sized cutouts, from Harvey Littleton's book. Also made with handles and with graphite pads, costing about $250 Artco, OLY gls-tech.htm#GOBLETS
Footsitter Shears
A term used in a query to MF, something I have not seen to my best recollection, for a tool doing the same thing as a Footer (above.) Essemce ? [apparently not, makes a footer, but not shears form.]
A long handed tool for placing and handling glass in the annealer and garage, typically with the fork rods covered with frax or fiberglass to reduce thermal shock. Can be welded from rebar. CGS sells 7' forks in 3 styles for $40 each.
Chunks of broken glass the size of raisins to grape nuts; bigger than powder. Can be bought.  For smaller quantities usually made with crusher if color bar is on hand.
Fuming Chamber
A barrel or box with an exhaust fan and filter, used for applying chemical effects to the surface of the glass, when the fumes or dust are potentially poisonous.
Place for melting glass, built of several kinds of high temperature (refractory) materials to hold the glass and hold in the heat without breaking down during the several months that furnaces usually run. See also Tank, Pot Furnace, and Refractory. Furnaces


A tool for holding the foot of a glass, so a punty does not have to be used, speeding work. (GGW) a tube with three spring steel "fingers" that extend. May also be a special tool for a specific shape, as inside a production vase for footing (GGNJ) Gimmick
Garage Glass Garage
A gas heated garage for holding piecesDuring the working of glass, it is sometimes useful to park the glass at or above the annealing temperature (about 900-1000F), until some other work is done. While this can be done in an annealer, having a smaller space with specially designed doors can be useful in that it avoids damage to glass in the annealer and can allow glass still on the pipe or punty to park in the garage, the pipe extending through a split door. Notes on my garage

Gathering Ball (Rod, Iron)
Gathering ball and Scoop - artist made.A hollow ball on the end of a punty rod used for gathering more glass more quickly than can be picked up on a punty in two or three gathers. Used for small casting gathers and for cookies. Can be bought or welded from small dome caps. The image shows opposite ends of a 6' long 1/2"square tube with a large dome cup welded to one end and a ball of small dome caps on the other end. OLY, Putsch $25-45 Shells and solid iron balls available from King Architectural Metals.
Gathering Ring
A clay ring floated on a large tank furnace. Once the crud is gathered from the area inside the ring, it keeps other surface crud from floating in to the space. Normally not used in crucible furnaces because of the smaller surface area.
Gauge, Gage
A tool, often of fixed shape, for measuring the size of something, like a cutout of sheet metal the matches the opening or shape of a production goblet. Also a dial displaying temp, pressure, etc. Also a measure of thickness or diameter of metal, as 16 gauge metal, based on an indirect measure, such as weight per square foot or a hole in a plate made in 1860 (as wire gages are.) Caliper Dividers
A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter is a safety device on high voltage (120-240 volt ac) circuits, causing an interrupt when the current out differs from the current returning by more than a small amount, which is assumed to be leaking through a human body (but which may be leaking through water soaked insulation.) Electrical/GFCI
A device made to assist in making a piece, usually for holding glass instead of a hot punty, but may also be a neck former, lip shaper, etc., that performs a special purpose function.  Sabot, Snap 2003-07-01 gripper.htm Mechanical assistance to a greater or lesser degree may also be used. This video page shows a major device for handling a large amount of glass along with several additional devices including and automatic gaffers bench, rotary kiln and pneumatic molds. This page shows a large team handling a mass of glass with a large wheel on the pipe and a pivoting yoke. 2011-02-16
Glory Hole Glory Hole and Yoke in use at Zero Gravity, encased furnace in background
A place for reheating glass. In commercial shops may be part of a large multi-pot furnace, but in small shops is usually a separate structure. Usually hotter than holding temperature of glass furnace and shut off overnight while furnace is cooking. Usually shop built from a barrel with castable or fiber or framed with bricks. Uses more fuel than furnace, shut down when not in use. At right, small Glory Hole and Yoke in use at Zero Gravity, encased furnace in background. Link to image of huge old (1850's) one and page with several sizes of glory holes.  Also referred to as a reheating chamber because gloryhole is a sexual reference for some people. 2010-08-13 The Oxford English Dictionary cites a first use of the term Glory Hole in 1849 "The large goods receive a final reheating at the mouth of a pot heated by beech-wood, and called the Glory Hole" Pellatt Curios. Glass Making p.65  "Beech wood is an excellent firewood, easily split and burning for many hours with bright but calm flames." Wikipedia Beech 2011-03-18
Hot shops normally require two kinds of gloves: leather welding gloves for handling ordinary hot materials and ceramic fiber/Kevlar for handling hot solid glass in the 600-1000F. The latter are fairly fragile, should be preheated to drive off moisture and reduce thermal shock, and should not be used for tough jobs. They cost about $60 a pair. Leather welding gloves are padded all around and have long cuffs and only cost about $8-10; when heated they will get stiff. Leather palmed work gloves may also be useful for handling cold glass with sharp edges. Overmitt  Old gloves are a common source for tips of grippers (the fingers) and for pockets for setting down glass. Discussion of gloves 2010-08-13
Cold working equipment for shaping glass roughly before polisher is used. A grinder may be a flat disk, a vertical wheel or a belt. The first is used with either grit applied with a water supply or a diamond disk or pad, while wheels and belts have attached grits. Glass must always be worked wet, otherwise heat builds up rapidly and damages the tools and causes cracking in the glass.
Hanger, Pipe Hanger
Used to hold a pipe/punty vertically with the glass below, to center and cool glass and act as an extra hand. A V-shaped slot at about head height. Most pipes and punties are provided with a shaft or hanger collar around the shaft near the handle. The hanger must have a tapered shaped opening for various sized pipes and project enough from the support so a large piece will not hit. Cooling of paperweights in particular, so the surface will not be scarred by handling or the annealer, may take five minutes or more. Homemade from scrap.
Hanger Ring
See Hanger
When the eyeballs seem to have a baking sensation. In Texas at the end of August 2000, when the air temp gets up to 105F and no wind is blowing. In glass work when too much time is spent looking at a 2250F glory hole without eye protection.  In NOAA weather forecasts, when the temp hits 99F.


Apparently British usage, Blow Iron, Bit Iron, Punting Iron The National Glass Centre - Glossary Steinert uses Bit Iron for a punty with a small shaft (1/2") and a larger head (3/4" or 1") which would be convenient for a larger gather when it did not have to be used on the bench (where the step gets in the way and the small shaft is hard to turn.)  Steinert's are the same length as punties (54").  I have learned that Finnish glassworkers use a shorter (1m) tool that translates as spike for bit gathering. 2005-08-19
Using Jacks at Zero Gravity (left-handed is a bit unusual)A hairpin shaped tool that springs open and when closed has long blades that are parallel about 12-15" long used for shaping glass. All parts of the tool are used by skilled glass workers, but the blades get the most use: closing in the narrow neck of the piece on the pipe and working the opening of lips. Blades may be nearly knife edged or rounded. Jacks are also made to hold round (replaceable) paper or wood "blades" - pacioffis another image
Jim Moore is considered to make the best in the US, about $150; OLY; the Italian Dino is supposed to make the best in the world, $250, buy through Pilchuck.
Kanthal (Nickel-Chromium Alloy, 80% Nickel/ 20% Chromium)
A higher temp version of nichrome to be used when a box must be taken up to fusing, casting and melting temperatures. Beyond Kanthal (a brand name), silicon carbide rods (and higher voltages) must be used.
Kiln is an alternate name for oven. A color kiln or annealing oven may be referred to with the other name. In the glass studio it is usually electric. While an annealer usually can't get much above the annealing temperature (about 1000F), a kiln is usually expected to be able to get to fusing temps or higher (1500F) The most common forms resemble chest freezers with the door on top and refrigerators with door on the front although sliding lids have been used.  see also Lehr, Bell Kiln, Car Kiln 2007-03-20
Knives, Knife
Most glass workers have an ugly old knife of some kind, perhaps "borrowed" from the kitchen. The thin edge and the point are used to reach in between the punty and the piece to chill small points to start separation of the piece.
Knock off table
Drop off table
Glass working lathe with matched rotating headsA lathe is a horizontal motorized turning device. There are two kinds of lathe involved in glasswork. One is a large bedded device with two rotating heads used mostly in scientific glass working and handles tubing, especially large tubing, keeping two pieces turning and aligned while they are torched for joining. The other is the more delicate tool holder used for copper wheel engraving.  2005-12-19
Lehr Leer
A mechanized annealing oven that is at high heat at one end and air temp or nearly so at the other. A conveyer carries glass pieces the length over the time needed for annealing. Saves the energy of reheating and the wear and tear of a heat/cool cycle that an oven requires, but only cost effective in a heavy production shop. Sometimes lehr is used as just as a name for a cooling oven. In an old time shop, the pieces are moved by hand from zone to cooler zone. [2003-10-07 When a person asked by e-mail, I went and looked for lehr and annealer in the Oxford English Dictionary microprint edition that I own.  Lehr does not appear, while anneal and related words get a column with references back to the 14th century all related to heating and burning china, glass, or metal.  I am now guessing that lehr is a jargon term out of the last syllable - as "Put that glass in the annealer" becomes "In'th lehr"]
Lid Calipers
Used for gauging an inside diameter against an outside diameter, as in a lid that must fit inside or fit outside of a bottle or jar. Usually X shaped with inwardly curving tips on one side and slightly outwardly curving tips on the other, the tip contact points being the same distance from the pivot. Available from ceramic suppliers. Calipers Dividers Gauge
Stephen Powell using marver to pickup colored murrini on hot glass at GAS Conf.Metal, marble or graphite plate, most often steel, used for rolling glass to a cylinder or cone and chilling the surface to firm it for blowing. Should be large enough to roll largest piece over a more than one turn (over 2' for 8" piece) Some marvers are mounted at an angle or are adjustable to an angle which makes for easier work when many pieces are to be made with a tapered shape. A marver may have textured surface (see also Cane Marver . ) Homemade $10-35 from steel scrap yard, or Steinert $75 textured 16" long.
Stephen Powell using marver to pickup colored murrini on hot glass at '97 GAS Conf.
Mashing Pliers
Pliers with pads on the end to shape glass, see crimps
A wet or dry form for shaping glass. Dry forms can be metal, plaster, clay or wood. Wet are wood or metal. Dry forms may have carbon (from acetylene flame) on the inside. Molds - Wood & Metal
The most widely used molds are thick cherry wood bowls, often with handles, used for providing the primary shape when blowing and for paperweights. Since the bowl size constantly changes as the wood burns out in use, small bowls become larger. Other fruit wood may be used. BLOCKS
A variety of other molds are used for blowing into, usually they are on the floor and the worker stands over them, then are split to open and remove the glass. OLY CMS
wax mixture used to lubricate steel tools to keep from marking glass, may include carbon black and various waxes, mostly bees wax and carnuba, a harder wax.
a small furnace. IGCB used for baking painted labels and probably for heating, preheating and garaging  In ceramics, a burned fuel (non-electric) kiln with indirect heating, therefore a muffle wall to block the flame. MF  A place for heating materials without direct action of the fire. GL5K 2005-11-28
Murrini Cutter
Like a color cutter used for taking slices or chunks off a rod, but with murrini there is a need for more precision to preserve the image in the murrini and the losses must be low.  Thus devices are air driven for a snap action with opposing hard shape edges. 2005-03-09


Used for shaping glass when formed, wetted and held in the hand, to replace a marver, mold or block. Most often made from 4-5 sheets of full page newspaper, folded first in thirds, then the long ends are tucked into each other and the corners cut  for flexibility and drainage. The result is flattened and water soaked then drained just before use. The water keeps the paper from burning and the shape is controlled by the shape of the hand. Paper marver is used for cylinders and glass rolled in place, not along it. People who like wood blocks often hate newspaper while those who use newspaper think wood is inflexible and expensive. Around Seattle in 2003, people seem to like very thick pads, not the 4 sheet version.  According the legend, the paper of the New York Times is especially good at not turning to mush. Wood & Paper V-Block
Nichrome (Nickel-Chromium Alloy, 60% Nickel, 16% Chromium (Balance Iron) )
A wire especially made for heating elements. It withstands the red hot temperatures without oxidizing to nothing and without melting. It does, however, get brittle when heated so it is fairly easy to break a coil. The size of the wire and the closeness of the coils determine how hot the element gets and therefore the heating point of the element. Thin wire has more resistance and gets hotter for the same current (at higher voltage.) Coils close together reach a higher temp than those stretched out. People who work with the wire wind coils after figuring the total wattage needed and the length of the space for them to be installed. Eagle used to make 1000 watt replacement coils, but has stopped and all the stock is at Elliott's Hardware in Dallas, Texas. Many people use electric dryer heating elements for annealers, which is fine, but Nichrome can not be taken up to fusing and casting temps (1450-1650F) without sagging and losing it. Kanthal A-1 or equivalent must be used.
Nichrome can also be used embedded in glass for hangers, more often fusing than blowing, but it is compatible.
A cylinder, open or closed on the bottom, with even ridges and groove around the inside, used to produce optical effects and air stems. Chills glass which can then be twisted, etc., and pattern remains in glass. Also used for applying threads of color, which are carefully laid inside the optic before the glass inserted. Usually aluminum, almost impossible to home make, Steinert offers two dozen varieties at $45-100. Almost anything with an even pattern inside (a spline in a gear) can be used. An optic for shaping glass only, not holding stringer, can be made by welding rods or plates to form an inner cone or other shape. One example of a plate version can be seen at
Ornament Holder, Pocket, Bowl, or Scoop
When hand making ornaments, the hanging loop can either be wire added later, like commercial Xmas ornaments or it can be a glass loop.  When making the latter, one cracks off the ornament from the pipe, applies a hot bit, blobbing it a bit to seal the hold, pulls, cuts, and loops the bit to touch the blob.  Tweezers can be used in forming and shaping the loop and once it is firm, they can be used to pick the ornament up to place it in the annealer.  So where does the 1100F ornament sit while the loop is being applied?  Usually in a nest made of a piece of frax fiber in a bowl the right size.  But it may just rest on a drop off table or be placed in scoop from which it can be rolled into the annealer. 2003-09-05
When Kevlar gloves are used to handle hot glass, they both get damaged and over heat, prompting the user to peel them off as soon as possible.  One way to avoid/reduce this is to pull on a mitten shape that adds extra thickness and takes some of the damage, but makes the hands more into paws.  But then, when used, one is usually just clutching glass at 1100F or so, so fingers are less needed. 2003-09-05
Oxygen Generator Concentrator
A device which uses electricity to extract pure oxygen from water or air.  In the former case, may also supply hydrogen. In the concentrator form, tanks of chemicals absorb the nitrogen in the air resulting in a higher concentration of oxygen. In both cases the quantity is limited by the watts available and since these are used to reduce the dependence on tanks, normally they are used for torch working (as well as health needs.) 2009-07-26
PaddlesSamples of used wood paddles in Harvey Littleton's book
Boards with handles, fruit wood, usually cherry, sometimes graphite or metal. Used for flattening glass and for shielding gaffer's arm. Homemade $5 stock at hardwood/woodworkers shop. A.R.T.Co $8-14, Paoli $15. Graphite: Moore $40, Paoli $35. A Tagliol Paddle is a metal handled, thin metal bladed handle used in traditional Italian work, especially for cutting and shaping sculptural work. $55-70. CGS sells 4' handled flat rectangular paddles for moving items in a garage and also sell thick cork paddles. Image at right is some well used paddles shown in Harvey Littleton's book.
Pacioffis (Cutting Edge) Parchoffi (Moore, Palmer) Rod Tongs (Putsch)
Wooden tipped jacks used to open pieces without leaving jack marks on the glass. "I made some a couple of years ago. They are soaking in water somewhere in the shop." Terry Maxwell. MF uses cherry wood dowels from woodworking catalog, as singles, not pairs, various diameters. Image
Paste Mold
A metal mold that has been treated with a baked on compound, special or linseed oil and cork, so that it has a soft finish that can be soaked in water but is much more durable than wood. 2003-08-20
Pastorale, Pastoralli, Pastorali
"An Italian term for the metal tool on which pieces of cane get preheated in the glory hole or furnace. Don't have one of these. If I'm going to pick up canes or inclusions I usually place them on a cane marver and heat them with a torch. Another alternative is to set the cane marver on a hot plate and let it heat up." TM Steinert refers to heating iron cane marvers. Video showing use
"Confused Boy [says],  This came from Dick Marquis in person. The forked thingy is the pastoralli and the plate is the fero. He has forgotten more than I know so I would take his word for it. Peet "
A flat steel or ceramic plate used for heating bits in the glory hole, along with a tool to carry the plate and often a mounted head to allow setting down the plate, turning it 180 and picking it up to evenly heat. Used for preheating and partly fusing cane and other elements for glassblowing. Metal is traditional.
Pastoralli Carrier - 5" x 8 3/4' x 5' overall length, $200.00
Pastoralli Carrier 3" x 6"x5' overall length, $165.00
Small Pastoralli plate, 5" x 9", 5 grooves per inch, $120.00
Large Pastoralli plate, 7" x 13", 5 grooves per inch, $130.00
PLATE SPINNER, Makes setting hot pastorelli plate down easier. $200.00, HUB
Correll agrees, spelling the "forky thing" pastoralli and crosses the fork prongs, so the end is a rectangle, while calling the plate a ferro and the bars for holding the glass a ferritti.
Pastorali, 6' $130; Ferro 6"x12" $75, 8" x 18" $95; Ferritti 3 1/2" x 3/8" set of 6 $15. CGS
Apparently a British term for paddle
Pi Dividers
Sketch of Pi DividersUsed to measure a straight length that will wrap around a circular shape. Usually made as a pair of curved jaws on one side of a pivot with straight divider arms on the other. When the curved jaws touch the outside diameter of the circular item, the straight arms are 3.1415926... as far apart. Photo of Jim Moore's version Video showing use Calipers Gauge
Most glass workers have a sharp pointed pick, often bent at a right angle at one end and straight at the other. It may be a commercial scribe or be hand made. It is used to open tiny holes nothing else will get in and to draw threading in the feathering technique. Beadmakers use a titanium pick, hard and stands heat.
Pipe Brush
This tool can help eliminate the problem of metal flaking in the head of your blowpipe. Use this tool on a cold pipe.
Pipe, blowpipe
Used for blowing glass, tube with mouth piece on one end, used for picking up glass on other end, originally of iron/steel, usually today made of low conduction stainless steel although in 2003 there is a revival of carbon steel tubes claiming more stiffness and better grip, also cheaper, still with stainless heads. All pipes flake iron oxide to some degree, SS does it less, bits can get in glass and burn lips when pipe is raised to blow. Can be as simple as 1/4" IPS pipe, but usually is a thin wall 5/8"-3/4" tube with a tapered metal or plastic mouthpiece and a nearly solid flared pickup end for better glass support.
While most of the pipe is thin wall tube, the end that takes the glass is usually turned from heavy rod or thick wall tube to a flared shape with a small hole (thus being very thick walled at the end) to provide support for pieces and to make it easier to form the initial bubble. The other end is usually a tapered metal or plastic mouthpiece with moderately thick walls and a small hole. Pipes are commonly made with wall thickness of 0.062, 0.090 and 0.120 inch.  The most common outer diameter is 0.75", [0.540-1.0"] with 0.75" or 1.0" heads [.75-1.5"]  Commonly 54" long [52-58"] Product Ref.  $20 homemade to $150 Steinert. Custom length and head size are fairly easy to get.  2003-07-07, 2007-05-09
Pipe Hanger
See Hanger
Pipe Cooler
Wooden cooler trough with brass rolling guideA method of quickly applying water to a pipe which has gotten too hot to handle often from gathering low glass in a furnace. Can range from a wet rag to a dedicated spray tube with a foot switch, but the most common pipe cooler seems to be V shaped box with holes in the bottom, notches on the bottom of the ends to fit the pipe, and a handle across the top. It is sunk in a barrel of water to fill, removed, the pipe laid across the barrel, the cooler placed and moved back and forth on the pipe until the water drains out. Wet rags or tubing with pumped water can also serve. Homemade
Pipe Warmer Pipe Heater
Hickory Street Glass pipe warmer, separately fired from burner at left end.Molten glass will not stick to cold metal. While it is possible to preheat the pipes and punties at furnace or glory hole, most studios have a rack to hold them in position in a dedicated flame or the exhaust from furnace or glory hole (or at the glory hole door in cheap situations.) Ideally, the warmer has a range of temperatures so placement of a punty with glass color on it will neither drip or chill to cracking, so the gather of color can be reused. Must have something to allow for glass cracking off pipes/punties placed in it - a tray, etc.
A wheel, belt, or disk used for putting the final finish on glass during cold working. A tool called a reciprolap is a horizontal and semiautomatic grinder and polisher of flat bottomed paperweights, etc. where the disk goes round and round off center and the pieces turn as they touch the padded edge. Wheels for polishing are usually felt, fairly large in diameter and used with cerium oxide, pumice and other fine abrasive compounds to leave a clear finish. Glass must always be worked wet, otherwise heat builds up rapidly and damages the tools and causes cracking in the glass.
A ceramic clay bowl shaped holder for molten glass, usually removable for replacement when eroded or cracked.  Must withstand weeks or months of sustained heat while not losing chunks onto the glass or dissolving too much. Pots with these features are brittle and require slow heating and cooling to prevent shattering.  In older factories, lower technology pots were replaced weekly and making new ones was a considerable function of a department of the factory.  A pot may hold from a few dozen pounds to several tonnes of glass. Glass weighs about 150 pounds per cubic foot and doubling the dimensions of the pot increases the capacity eight times. 2008-05-21
Pot Furnace
A furnace using one or more crucibles (pots) for melting glass. (see also Tank) In colonial American and equivalent European factories had six, eight and ten pots in the furnace each holding hundreds of pounds. The pots were made and fired in the factory and replaced by removing a section of the hot furnace wall. Pot furnaces are used now in art studios and some factories and for melting small (10-20#) to large (150-250#) quantities of color. Pots are always batch mode: cullet or batch glass is added (usually in the evening) and must be melted before working can begin. Pots may be invested by casting insulating material or free standing in the furnace. Homemade with crucibles purchased. Furnaces
Powder Cup, Powder Box
Colored powder is applied to hot glass by rolling the glass in a layer of the color. The layer may be on the marver or in a metal pie pan, but many artists like to use a brass or aluminum molded color cup to hold the powder (and move it out of the way) and shape the glass. One interesting alternative is to use the heavy metal scoops used for ice and other institutional food products; one artist used insulating castable to mold several hollows in which to set the scoops and allow them to be changed out. A powder box has ventilation to suck away stray powder (keep it out of the lungs) especially when color is shaken over the glass.
Pucellas [Origin: said to be < It procello]
"Pincher-like iron tongs used in manipulating and shaping blown glassware." Collectors Encycl.of Am.Art.Glass p.226 2008-05-21 Jacks
Puffer Cast aluminum puffer head
An aluminum cone drilled to fit on a straight or bent blow tube, used to shape and open bubbles of glass. Steinert $50; Moore $30, 45; Homemade cast from aluminum cans with copper pipe $10. May be used with breath or low pressure air. This is my second cast puffer head, much smoother than the first. Commercial heads are hollow behind. Aluminum is tapped for 1/4" water pipe (about 1/2" OD) and the fitting shown allows the copper tubing for blowing. A reducing fitting 1/4" to 1/8" allows screwing it onto a standard air valve for a shop blower.  Later a quick connect fitting was screwed in with hose slipped over that as more convenient. 2003-10-23 Sofietta
Most often a solid tipped rod, with hollow or solid shaft, to take glass piece from the pipe so the lip can be worked but also used directly for paperweights and sculpture. Also used for gathering glass for hot bits of various shapes. Usually 54" long like pipes, 1/2" tip most common. Homemade from surplus solid rod $5-8. Product Ref. Solid: A.R.T.Co. $26. Hollow: $65  May also have a special shape grip or container on the end for production work. Sabot, Snap - also links to punty page.


A machine for semi-automatically grinding the bottom of paperweight, vases, etc.  Requires preliminary flattening and a rubber ring around each piece.  The lap consists of a plate that rotates or vibrates and has an abrasive plate or pad or cerium oxide on a soft pad.  Consensus is that Jack Rose industrial machines are the best choice.  Lots of argument about diamond vs. various grits vs. pads. 2003-07-20
Any material that withstands the high heat needed for melting glass, the two most common being clay and ceramic fiber substances. Special clays fire up to form bricks that do not deform in the heat. If previously fired clay (grog) and organic material is added to the mix, insulating firebrick is created by the empty spaces in the fired clay. Ceramic fiber is a result of space research and insulates well. Two other refractories, known to gardeners, and sometimes used as insulation are vermiculite, which is expanded mica from volcanic regions and Perlite, which is made by heating crushed natural siliceous rock so the combined water makes it pop like popcorn.  refracto.htm
A device for controlling pressure, most often gas pressure in the glass studio.  Gases used are stored or delivered at pressures too high for use, so a mechanical regulator uses springs to balance the pressure and control valves to supply useable pressures.  May require two devices in series for very high pressure gases (oxygen, 2000 psi) used at low pressure (10-20 psi)  2009-07-26
Device for controlling power in one circuit with another circuit. Controllers and Controlling Electric Power
Ribbon Burner
A ribbon burner in furnace work is a block of refractory with a couple of dozen holes set in the side of a glory hole. It is quieter (lower velocity flame) and more even heat - uniform from front to back. Most furnaces use a blast burner with the air and gas entering at fairly high velocity, which can be noisy. Many glory holes are heated the same way and some people like the torch effect. See Burner (There is also a ribbon burner in lampworking for heating a length of tubing for a long bend made of a pipe with holes in the side.) For a picture see Henry Halem's page
Many shops have a set of rollers somewhere. Sometimes these are mounted on the bench arms, sometimes on a stand or on a flat plate. When on the arms or on a stand, the most common use is to simply work the glass in place, turning the glass in place instead of rolling along the bench arms. This may be gaffers choice, as a convenience to the person supplying air, or for use of an automatic air supply. When on a flat plate, the common use is threading. See also yoke
SabotSabat tool for holding glass rather than sticking it with punty.
Apparently a cup shape made with prongs, probably covered with soft refractory, used to hold base of bottle for final working. Shown in IGCB gripper.htm
Sand Blaster
See cold working abrasive blaster COLD WORK.HTM
Scoop, Batch or Cullet
See Trough
Scoop, Molten Glass
At the end a blowing session, if the furnace is to be shut down, the last of the glass must be removed to the bottom of the pot to keep the glass from freezing in the pot. The real problem is not on cooling, but on reheating, when the glass commonly Gathering ball and Scoop - artist made.expands more quickly than the pot, before getting molten, and cracks the pot. A scoop allows removing glass quickly. It is normally dipped in water to chill it before going into the furnace and allowed to drip off into a bucket of water or be plunged into the bucket. This one is rusty from being outside, unused, for a while; I normally reheat the end and dip it in motor oil to carbon treat the end. It was made by welding the domes sold for capping off steel pipe to 12" square tubing. MF
Scoop, Color Powder
One method of holding color powder for rolling molten glass in it. Take a couple of aluminum ice scoops and set them in plaster or concrete so they can be lifted out to return the powder to the container. Powder Cup
Shaft Collar
A thick (3/8"-1/2") washer with a set screw in the side that allows locking it on a pipe or rod. Most commonly used in glass for hanging the pipes and punties for cooling the glass. Made originally to keep a shaft from moving through a bearing, so sold with bearings. Come in hard steel and softer (zinc?) versions, the latter needed if drilling out is needed as it is for water pipe which is not exactly 1/2" or 3/4" OD.
Mostly like tin snips (but see Diamond Shears), available with various shaped cutting edges - straight, duckbill, etc. - used for trimming the lip and otherwise cutting away glass. Putsch $32, Steinert $85, Moore $50 Littleton states that tin snips have a blunt shearing edge, which chills the glass too much; glass shears must have a sharp thin edge. OLY

Protection from heat.

Most glass workers who do not use long sleeved shirts pull a cotton sock with the toe end open over their arm when working bigger pieces. Kevlar sleeves are now available. Wooden paddles held by other workers and full fledged flame gear are also used. Many workers put some kind of upright shield at the glory hole for body protection and to control ventilation and may shield yokes and hand tools. (the shield at far right has a window, a marver shelf and hangers for the rods to open the door.) Most benches have a metal panel under the right arm to shield the gaffer's leg. A plastic shield may be used for physical and optical eye protection. OLY At two studios in Seattle a large shield the shape of a ping-pong paddle (right) with a slot opposite the handle blocks the heat from a large gloryhole when wide open, the slot going over the punty/pipe. 2003-06  Both the standing shields at right have shelves for resting tools.  The one in the center also has a shaded insert viewing shield.  The one in the center is cut away at the bottom to overlap the track. 2004-09
SnapSnap for holding bottles by neck and base to apply neck ring instead of puntying. SnapcaseSnapcase drawing from Bureau of Land Management.
A kind of punty for working the neck on bottles, with a cup to take the base of the bottle and arms with curved grip ends to hold the neck - shown without padding in IGCB gripper.htm
This very good site from the Bureau of Land Management has an image of a snap which holds the sides of the bottle.
Italian name for puffer GL5K 2005-11-28
Steam Pad
If soggy newspaper is dropped on the floor and a puntied piece is lowered so the rim touches the paper, the steam formed will inflate the piece, forming it. Seen at GAS Conf 2003 Demo. 2003-06-20
Steam Stick
Glass may be "blown" without using breath or even a pipe, by using wet wood to both block an opening and produce steam inside the opening to inflate the piece. Such a piece of wood is a steam stick. Steam stick and neck shaperThe steam stick must be rotated with the glass to keep the seal, therefore a cone shaped wood with a smaller handle is useful. [right]  A ricer or mortar pestle is formed right if one small enough can be found. I could not, so I made one. 2003-06-20 MF it seems likely that a deep hole should first be made with a metal rod, unlike my attempts to make the hole with the wood. [confirmed on the net] Commercial model 2004-05-01
When wrapping glass, as well as other times, a simple support is needed to keep a punty steady, so a couple of T supports are handy to have around. Homemade $10 If ball bearings are added, easier to turn, like a yoke.
Tagliols made by Jim MooreFlat metal blade with heavy handle, used for flattening and grooving into hot glass. 2003-10-25 Examples by Jim Moore
Tank Furnace
A furnace for melting glass, usually starting about 300# and going up. A tank is usually rectangular and is lined with hard high temp fire brick which is sealed when the glass flows into the cracks and chills. A continuous tank has a barrier and two burner areas; raw glass is melted on one side of the barrier and flows under the barrier for pickup, leaving surface crud behind. See Pot furnace. Furnaces
Tank, Gas
Commonly, a metal container built to withstand pressure to hold gas at room temperature. Depending on the storage pressure of the gas may be rather thin walled (propane, 250 psi) or very thick walled and heavy (acetylene, oxygen, 2000 psi). Usually noticeable by domed/hemispherical ends to withstand pressure.  Supplied with valves and fittings to attach pressure regulator and plumbing; these are shaped differently for each kind of gas for safety. 2009-07-26
A device for measuring temperature using an effect where a voltage is created in a material when the temperature varies along its length. Thermocouples are usually two kinds of metal wire. The effect is also used in one form of flame sensor. Different metals make different kinds of thermocouples, by far the most common in glasswork being Type K and N because in large diameter wire (16 gauge or more) the temperature range extends up to 2300F where most glass is thoroughly melted.  Type S and R thermocouples use platinum alloys and are more accurate and accurate longer, but costs much more, $200-250.  Another platinum measuring device, an RTD (Resistive Temperature Device) uses a Platinum resistance coil but can not get as hot. Most mini-controllers will work with a couple of platinum RTD's and several types of thermocouples. More on thermocouples
Threading Rollers
Four bearings mounted on two brackets on a flat plate to allow quickly spinning the pipe/punty and the glass on it to run a thread of color around/along the glass. Brackets can be twisted before bolting down to spiral thread around the piece. Homemade with bicycle axles or bearings, $20, Steinert $95 Threading
Torch being used heat moileMost glass studios have one or more hand held torches. At the low end are propane braising torches.  Some studios use an oxy-gas or acetylene torch (much hotter) for melting work and have spaces piped for gas. The top of the line torch (which can cost over to $200) is a high Btu flame thrower that is used for heating parts of the pieces (especially the punty gather) during a long working session. There is a picture of Josh Simpson using an oxy-acetylene heater head on one of his huge glass worlds. TORCHES.HTM
Lampworkers and neon tube benders use a variety of bench mounted torches, some with several heads, the most accepted of which have fine controls and runs off propane and oxygen. When a furnace worker has one, it is usually used to make the bits that end up in paperweights or paperweight style blown pieces. (More info at Arrow Springs)
Trough, Batch or Cullet
When loading batch or cullet into a furnace, often the opening is not so large as a shovel, and batch should not be spilled around the shop. Also, getting into the heat with a shovel may be awkward. One solution is to bend up a long trough or scoop from sheet metal, 2-3 feet long and 4-8" wide into which the material is placed well back from the furnace, the end being then placed through the door and the whole dumped into the center of the pot. Wear a respirator when working with batch and good gloves as the metal gets hot quickly if the furnace is at heat.
TweezersSample of tweezers from Harvey Littleton's book made for glass working are long and wide spread and have bent in tips for fine gripping. They can be used as fine jacks when needed. Many hardware stores have oversized stainless steel tweezers that can be spread from their normal width and yield to grinding and bending the tips.  Commercial glass tweezers have an inside curve so when closed more water can be held between the tips for chilling the jack line. 2003-07
Type K, Type N, Type R, Type S
Designations for kinds of thermocouples used for measuring high temperatures. 2006-05-06
A V-block is two pieces of wood nailed edge on with a triangular fill piece at one end.  Wet newspaper is placed in it as liner and partially blown glass is placed on the wet glass in line with the length of the V to form cylinders. Like having 6-8 hands doing newspaper blocking. CraftWeb 2007-11-24
Vacuum Plate Vacuum Encasement, Stump Sucker.
"Attention paperweight makers! This vacuum plate will assist you in drawing glass over your figures and help to eliminate bubbles. The unit comes in four parts: the cylinder, cup, vacuum plate and stand. The vacuum plate and cylinder can be made to your weight/size requirements. SIWS - Vacuum Plate Assembly (includes 1 cylinder) $700 - Vacuum Plate Cylinder (2, 2.25, 2.5, 3, 3.5, or 4 inch) $150" Vacuum Plate  The unit pulls clear glass down around the prepared inclusion, which should be near annealing temperature.  Ideally, the vacuum pump should be connected to a buffer tank to allow for a quick heavy suck. 2005-04-04 mod.
Water is a tool in a number of ways in the glass shop, most directly when it is used to chill glass causing a crackle effect.
Fruit woods of various kinds, most often cherry, but apple, pear, etc. are used in a number of ways in furnace glassblowing. All wood that touches the glass is soaked in water until it is water logged (sinks); once it is soaked, it must usually be kept wet or it will split on drying. Fruit wood is used because to has a tight even grain that holds water nicely and burns to a smooth carbon surface, besides smelling good when smoking. Blocks are chunks of wood, with or without a handle, with a spherical hole in them, for shaping and cooling the outside of the glass. Paddles are flat pieces used for shaping bottoms and squashing cookies and other items flat. Dowels or rods are used inside the opening for shaping. Blocks and chunks of wood to make blocks are the hardest to get. Thin flat boards and dowels in cherry can be gotten from hardwood supply companies and woodworking 800 number companies. For example, Woodworker's Supply 1-800-654-9292 (505-821-0574) offers 36" cherry dowels in 11 sizes from 1/4" to 1 3/4" with prices of two common sizes being 3/4" (203-011) $3.40 and 1" (20301) $4.65 and Paxton Woodcrafters Supply (formerly Paxton Beautiful Woods) in Grand Prairie, Texas stocks flat boards with a finished thickness of 0.25, 0.625. 0.78125, 1.0625, & 1.75"
An arrangement of bearing balls, often on a Y frame, to support the pipe/punty at the fire and allow continued turning while heating, supporting the hotter, heavier end. At right, Yoke under end of pipe. From Putsch $118.50, $70; Steinert $90; (all require adding a base and rod.)  A heavy duty yoke like Dale might use, has a bearing at the joint of the upper and the shaft to allow swiveling the load of glass around, and wheels at the base, on a track for support when pulling out. Buying transfer balls used for materials handling from a woodworking catalog and bolting/welding a brace and base, about $20. Woodworker's Supply index under "Rollers": 853-756 5/8" Transfer ball, $2.75 each, 853-763 1" Transfer ball $2.95 each. I got the former. These are flange mount; stud mount is easier to fit. I put a steel shield on my yoke so that the balls rest in a Vee in the top accepts the rod and the shield protects the hand, somewhat. Bricks provide weight in base. A bed frame clamp provides adjustability.
The yoke at the far right is fairly common in Seattle. The tracks are angle iron with the V pointing up with welded flat straps between them. It can be slid around on the floor or stored out of the way.  The platform has rollers so it can be rolled in and out.  Height is adjusted with a handle screw about halfway up.  The near edge of the lower platform is raised so the unit can be pushed with the foot.  Another base form is an H with a rebar welded across the near side for the foot.  2004-09-09
See special handling references at Gimmick
Glory Hole and Yoke in use at Zero Gravity, encased furnace in background
Yoke and shield at glory holeMF Shielded yoke.




Sources have been moved to Sources for better maintenance.

Sources of terminology (uncredited are from general experience)
The Glass Gaffers of New Jersey, Adeline Pepper, Charles Scribner's Sons, NY, 1971, ISBN 684-10459-8 BIBLIO.HTM#GGNJ
Glass and Glassware, George Savage, Octopus Books, London, Dist in US Crescent,div.of Crown 1973, ISBN: 0-7064-0143-3 BIBLIO.HTM#GGW
Glassblowing, A Search for Form, Harvey K. Littleton, 1971 ISBN 0-442-24341-3 (paperback 1980) Exploration of the beginnings of Studio Movement glassblowing. littletn.htm
Steinert Industries Web Site (see above)

Glass working terms not tools, equipment, or bits

from old term for grandfather, the person with the most experience working glass who does the most critical steps of the working and coordinates the rest of the team. Title given to the person in charge of a piece even if others have more experiences. Other people have titles like bit boy, bit gatherers, footers, handle makers, reheat boys, etc.
Both the name for going to the furnace to get glass (to gather, gathering) and for the glass gotten (first gather, second gather). The end of the pipe or punty is lowered into the glass and turned to drag the glass evenly around the pipe or previous gather. The analogy most often used for the process is turning a spoon or old fashioned wooden pickup in honey, keeping it turning to get to the plate. However, gathering glass involves stuff that is over 2000°F that will melt and deform the previous gather if done too slowly (not to mention set clothes smoking.)
the name for the blob of glass at the end of the pipe before it has enough done to it to call it the bowl or stem or body or something else.

Glossary Table of Contents

This page printed from Mike Firth's Hot Glass Bits recipes. All rights reserved


Product Ref. A.R.T.CO. C.R.M. Cutting Edge Denver HUB Moore Olympic Palmer Putsch SpiralArts Spruce Steinert
Pipes (.75")   $145-231 $115-170   $133-202     $105 $90-164 $145-165   $98-130
Punties (.75")   $128-136 $90-120   $120-168     $32-80 $31-49 $65-150   $62
Jacks $116-142   $200-250     $155-185+   $95-105 $53-84     $125-175
Shears(Dmnd) $93-128   $185-235         $95-105 $99     $90
Pacioffis (1)     $95-105     $55-65   $55-70 $53-65      
Tweezers $36-39   $100-125     $50-80   $45        
Metal Paddles           $55-65            
Puffers           $50           $50
Optics                       $60-150
Marvers       Call                
Furnaces       3800-6500 $10-25K              
Bench       $300 $2.5-3.5K              
Glory Holes       900-1650 $2.9-9.3K              
Kilns/Annealer       $1.5-15K $6.2-9.7K              
Grinders       1700-3000                

Vendors not included in table (single product): Blockhead Tools, blocks & molds; Cherrywood Molds, blocks & molds; HIS , grinders; LaClede Christy, crucibles/pots; Graphite Machining Torrance, graphite molds
Pacioffis price range is usually without and with cherry dowel tips. Also spelled parchoffi (Italian c=ch) and called rod tongs.


Equipment Lists

This ad presents a good list of what is available in a small studio.
 [This studio was for sale several years ago, not now!]

Complete Hot Glass Studio in Seattle For Sale! Includes Real Estate!
Invest in property while you invest in yourself and your work.
Invested pot furnace (200 plus lb.), double annealer, 18" gloryhole, small portable gloryhole, pipe warmer, pipe cooler, powder box, garage, rolling yoke, regular yokes, marver, bench, hot plate, fans, hood with ventilation system, complete control system including Watlow 981 and Digitry GB4...
absolutely everything that you need to make your work. Buy it, walk in, blow glass.

The space: 1170 sq. ft. working area, 200 sq. ft. storage loft, bathroom with shower, shelving, work tables, running heated water, concrete floor in blowing room with floor drain, loading dock, 3-phase electrical system, ample outlets, sprinkler system. Constructed in 1989, everything is up to code and inspected.
The building: legal live-in, hot tub, copy machine, washer/dryer, web site, vibrant Artist community. The site of many gallery, museum and collector tours.
Complete Hot Glass Studio in Seattle For Sale!

Fred Meitz appraised at $300,000-$320,000 I will sell for $240,000!
Posted August 1, 2000

These two listing suggest what might be found in a small studio and a rental space.

Posted on Brad Shute's Discussion Board by Kirk Smith on 8/30/2000, 1:05 am , in reply to "studio rental cost"

In the public access studio that I blow at, $25/hour will give you one of four dedicated glory holes,
one of four annealers,
use of the shop tools (pipes, marvers, jacks, shears, etc) and
a 400# furnace filled with clear glass.
If you want to cold work your masterpieces, you can rent the diamond wheel, cutoff saw, band saw, and/or belt sander for I believe $15/hour.
(The web site has not posted the new prices yet. See link below.) There are also other charges for those who wish to perform other types of glass making such as fusing, casting, lampworking.
Now these are just the operational charges that help keep the place running. As this is a non-profit org, there are TONS of unaccounted volunteer hours such as cleaning, rebuilding, and general maintenance of the shop and equipment including furnace, annealer, and glory hole rebuilds. Also there are fund raising gatherings of members, (Yes, a membership charge applies here) visiting artists like Stephen Powell, Paul Stankard, and the likes.....We have also had some VERY generous members donate things like NEW air compressors, scrap steel, desks, motors, cabinets, office supplies, brick refractories, you name it, all to help the place prosper and grow, and promote the art.

This was a studio for sale in the fall of 2000. Shown here to give some idea of costs and sizes.
all equipment 1997 or newer
1) Kiln/annealer Denver Glass Machinery KL50DD 42" x 28" x 18" deep 13.13 cu ft, 220 Volt 56 Amp12,320 watts
West set point controller w/8 programs 16 ramp/soak segments per program $3076.00
2) Electric glass furnace model EF240 Denver Machinery135 pound invested crucible furnace
Love 1600 controller $5536.00
3) Glory Hole GH-18 18" x 24" two door system one opening 6" and one 12". 3000 F vacuum cast ceramic.
Natural gas burner. $1520.00
4) pickup oven from potters kiln, kiln sitter controller
5) marver 16x42 made from 3/4 steel plate w/ carbon side panel
6) gaffers bench
7) electric grinding wheel converted from mud wheel
8) 1800 lbs of new electro-glass pelletized batch $1200.00
9) two pipe yokes w/nice ball casters
10) misc: rolling heat shield, two pipe stands, arm length gloves, crack off buckets
11) tools: too numerous to list
colored glass & frit
12) hood for glory hole
any reasonable offer for entire package will be considered. The whole package would be sold at a substantially lower price than if sold piece by piece.
The equipment is located in Minnesota (better hurry - our weather is starting to head for winter!)
Subject: Studio Equipment for Sale;   Date: 11/08/2000;  Author: Mike Aurelius


This link to information at the Appalachian Center For Crafts of Tennessee Tech shows what a well equipped small college teaching studio might offer.


To: <mikefirth>
Subject: Avalon Studio For Sale
Date: Monday, May 13, 2002 7:01 PM


1,330 square feet on the main floor plus an 800 sq. ft. low-ceiling storage loft, and includes the following:

1,330 square feet on the main floor plus an 800 sq. ft. low-ceiling storage loft, and includes the following:

  • Very efficient hot shop complete with tools, ready to use
  • Beautiful gallery/showroom space where an established glass gallery has been in business for the last nine years. (pedestals and display cabinets included),
  • Area for a cold shop, plumbed and ready for coldworking equipment.
  • Large backroom with a kitchenette and bath, perfect for stockroom, lounge area, or studio apartment.
20 hours of assistance with training and technical support is included. Additional support (including glassblowing instruction) is available for an additional fee.


         PRICE    $79,000

 For more information, (including more photos, equipment specs, and projected utility costs),

[This is not an offer to sell by Mike Firth's site - it is an example of a shop sale.]



Contact Mike Firth