Hot Glass Bits #16

Contact Mike Firth

November 1993

Prev.Issue 15 Link to HGB Table of Contents Next Issue 17


This issue contains deadline information

12/5/93 for Divas Glass Sale

12/12/93 for Wadsworth Atheneum and 3/31/94 for The American Interfaith Institute in MAGAZINES

ASAP for Texas Tech Summer Classes

Hot Glass Bits is a personal chronological record of my wanderings through glassblowing and the bits and pieces of knowledge I gather along the way. It includes things I try, thoughts I have, information I receive, and reports on things I do. In many ways it is an edited diary and events calendar about glassblowing. If it is useful to others, it is worth the effort.

To mention the legal stuff: Working glass is inherently dangerous, involving heavy materials that can be razor sharp, so hot that damage can be done before feeling occurs, with chemicals immediately poisonous, dusts that can damage the lungs, and heat sources that can wreck the eyes. Understand the safe practices required and use them to blow beautiful glass.

TIL is Things I Learned; FYI/A is For Your Information/Amusement.


WIMBERLY ERROR - In Hot Glass Bits #15, I used the words "This is the gallery of Jay Von Koffler" in describing Sable V Fine Art Gallery [The Courtyard Overlooking Cypress Creek, P.O.Box 1792, Wimberley TX 78676, 512-847-8975.] By this, I meant that it was the primary showcase of Jay Von Koffler's pieces like the room next to the blowing floor in Prosper, not that he has ownership, but clearly that latter interpretation could be taken. I regret the imprecision. As I become more comfortable with blowers and galleries with far more experience than I have, I will become better at asking questions. According to current information, many (40+) of the fifty artists in the "Gathering" show will continue be represented at Sable V. Wimberley looks to be "interesting." 9/28/93

TEFLON - Status - Well, I fried part of the teflon on my shield/pipe holder. I had bolted 1/8" thick pieces on either side of the 1/8" steel of the shield with a filler between. The shield is bolted to a base that doesn't easily move so the teflon was about 9" from the face of the glory hole and only about 6" from the face of the two bricks used as a "door." The damage was done while heating up the hole, the bricks were spaced 1" apart for venting and the exhaust was aimed right at the plastic and it melted in a straight line where it bowed from the steel. I am going to redo with the plastic behind the steel and use a strap instead of just bolts so the plastic stays flat. I really like the smooth feel and silence of the teflon while working. I should make a more adjustable base for the holder; it is now at just the right distance for the largest piece I can make. 9/29/93 Having made the revision to the teflon, it seems to be working well. I measured the temperature at the face and got 600°F which should be damaging the stuff but doesn't seem to be. 10/9/93 I used the ball rollers at Divas and they worked very smoothly, better than I remembered from Junction. 11/21/93

At the end of blowing, I removed the (very hot) clay pot to the annealer [where it survived cooling] and cleaned out the melted junk glass on the floor of the hole in preparation for trying the larger pot I have made and which has been drying for well over a week. 9/29/93

Got a marvelously supportive and informative letter from Peet Robison, who blows in Santa Fe. I had sent a copy of HB#15 to several people extracted from older mailing lists and he likes it. Here are some pieces from his letter:

I own a one person studio in Santa Fe, have been blowing glass since the first session of Pilchuck in 1971 . Wow was that a long time ago. I graduated from Kansas City Art Inst. in 1972 and was Henry Halems' 1st grad assistant in '75 & 76 and left with M.A. in 1976. I took over the glass shop on Canyon road here in SF from 76 to 79 and then started my own studio.

Anyway, here I am still at it. I make functional work primarily, air-twist wine glass, bowls and recently working with enamels and making one-of-a-kind paperweight/sculpture. (they are about 5" D and weigh 3.5 to 4 lbs.) I used to make batch (my formula was in Independent Glass Blower) but now I am EXTREMELY pleased with Spruce Pine #87 batch.

My shop consists of 130 lbs clear furnace, fired from side and flued under a free standing Ipsen pot. One small pot furnace (20 lbs) used for making color bars. A glory hole that is 16"d X 24" deep, fired from side (about 4" from front) and I have a small opening on the opposite side where I bleed off some flame and heat up a box used as punty warmer and color "garage." This works very well for me. I anneal with gas in 36"X 24" X 18" fiber oven. I control oven with home made soaking/ramping controller.

Here Peet offers a few technical responses.

I think I can help you with some tech stuff that you mentioned in Hot Glass Bits #15. Instead of teflon (gives off nasty fumes when too hot) I use ball caster yokes [as do most blowers MF.] The ball casters can be purchased through Wood-workers Supply 1-800-645-9292 catalog #853-756 for 5/8" ball [MF: $2.45] and #853-763 for 1" ball [$3.25. MF:These are flange mount balls that could be bolted through the holes in the flange to a pair of flat steel bars bent out to a Y shape. Most commercial yokes -$60-$120 - use stud mounts - a bolt coming out the back of the ball housing or put the ball in their own mount.]

I am using an electric oven that sits on the floor with a pipe hanger over the middle of a 2-piece door with a hole in the middle. I have a simple foot-pedal that raises 1/2 of the top so I can hang a piece and keep it there while I am working on another section or eating lunch! It is used nearly every day for all sorts of things, I wouldn't be able to work without it. [10/1/93 Thanks MF]

The "Summer" issue of Independent Glassblower [Gruenig Glassworks, HC 30 Box 25, Barnet VT 05821 $25/yr] arrived. Extracts from Hot Glass Bits and a number of interesting letters, but the total is a fairly skimpy issue built around a chiding letter from Glenn Randle about the previous issue and a chiding reply pointing out that submissions are sparse. Several pages of ads. 10/1/93

An announcement arrived today (10/1) of an opening tonight (!) and another tomorrow at New Orleans School of GlassWorks & Gallery [727 Magazine Street, New Orleans LA 70130 504-529-7277] to run until some undefined date in November (when another exhibit is mentioned.) The exhibit includes Richard Royal, who is shown with waist high, heavily rippled vases; Jonathan Christie, shown with hotworked solid glass cold carved to a rough surface with rope added; Joshua Cohen, whose pieces are incredibly drippy assemblies that I would guess must be put together in an oven; and finally "designs by Auseklis Ozols rendered in glass by James Mongrain" which are large scale goblets alternating sections of transparent color with clear, samples shown have a flared bowl with a clear globe below then a saucer sized disk, then a long bulbous-bottom stem above a two part base. 10/1/93

I got my Love Controls [1475 S.Wheeling Rd, Wheeling IL 60090 1-800-828-4588] Series 1600 controller today and worked my way through a practice session after hooking up some wires. To work, the unit only needs three pairs: AC power with a plug, a properly connected thermocouple and Solid State Relay. [Properly connected means + and - wires in the right places.] So far I am very satisfied, especially at the price ($185+$6 option+$13.60 shipping w/COD. [Plus $8.50+3 for thermocouple & wire and $15 for SSR chip.]) There are a lot possible settings, but only five or six are needed even for ramping and soaking. The most disconcerting thing for me is having to push the Enter key every time I make a change (I keep wanting to make several changes and then push Enter to quit like in a computer program.) The unit is very small, under 2x2x5", 1/16th DIN panel size. More later. 10/5/93

Here Peet offers more technical details.

My annealer uses a single venturi burner from a kiln. It is controlled by "pilotless ignition" -- Honeywell intermittent pilot gas ignition. I bought it from Grainger, their number is 4E245 for natural gas [$159.75*] and 4E246 for LP [$214.50*]. It gets ignition signal (24 v) from the homemade controller.

This consists of an op-amp amplifying the thermocouple and comparing this voltage with set-point voltage. The ramping is a little hard to explain but it goes something like this... The comparator voltage comes from a digital to analog converter which gets its digital "number" from a timed counter. The ramp is set with a pot that can go from fast (as fast as the kiln will fire or drop in temp) to slow, which can be days. The ramping starts after a soaking period which is a 555 timer and counter combo. [*Grainger prices are from Sp.93 catalog #383, p.2220.]

[MF: The key to understanding the controller, which many people with some digital chip experience could make for $8-20, is that it sets no absolute temperatures. The value/temp set on the pot would have to be marked after trial and error. Properly made and maintained under uniform conditions, it should give highly repeatable results.] 10/5/93

Peet and I have been flipping messages on CompuServe, which I haven't done before with anyone although I have done Forum answers several times. We have flipped questions and replies about five times in as many days. Writing the messages off line (before calling in) is a lot like setting up a FAX. CIS (CompuServe Information Services) charges $12.80 an hour, so getting on for two minutes is $0.426 or roughly postage, envelope, and wear and tear on the printer. Of course, I usually am on for 6 or 8 minutes and look around a bit. Programs are available which logon, get and leave messages, and sign off as quickly as possible. 10/5/93

Fired up the glory hole with the new, deeper, home-made crucible plus I melted some more aluminum cans while slowly raising the temperature to cook the pot. Poured another puffer cone. Blew four small pieces. Am having problems dropping pieces while going to punty, knocking it off both the pipe and the punty, need practice. Since I am blowing in my back yard, the pieces are falling into grass and can be picked up unbroken, which I do. Using the controller to ramp. 10/6/93

I am blowing when I can, as an evening of recreation. It is usually easy to remember how hot things are, but I was surprised tonight while heating up, having left an opening in front for exhaust, to singe my hair nearly two feet from the front. Glass stuff is so hot, damage is often done long before a person begins to feel it. Take care. 10/9/93

I got the early issues of Independent Glassblower. I enjoyed one bit about painting up the blowing area so it was bright instead of dark, rusty and dingy. Most of my equipment is bright yellow, orange, or blue, because I like it and because those are colors of rust resistant paint that were on clearance sale a couple of years ago. 10/9/93

I have been blowing some pieces I like even if I am really bad at getting them on the punty -- or cracking the neck to be more exact. The biggest saved is 4.5" tall by 4.5" diameter. The accidents of uneven gathers, added to a partially blown piece, has produced some interesting inside optical textures and neck ridges. I am using a 5/8" hardwood dowel (probably birch) for opening necks. I enjoy the feel of working with it. Partly by accident I created a kind of apple shape -- dented in top -- probably be hard to clean, but like it for some flowers. 10/9/93 [And broke it when lost grip on grinder.]

TIL - When chilling the glass at the neck, to break it from the pipe, touching it with jacks or scratching it at two places will start the crack. Filing it a number of times or otherwise overworking it simply confuses the stresses and blocks the cracks with each other. 11/21/93

Now that I have used the controller several times, I find that the second output, for which I paid $6, is going to do me no good. A better option would have been the 4 Set Points ($35) Although I had the directions before purchase, I didn't clearly understand how they worked. Since I really only need three temperatures -- 1020 or so for picking up reheats and bottles, 950 or so for soaking, and 650 for the end of the annealing ramp -- with the 4 points option I could switch between them. Without, I change settings with the two arrow keys, sometimes overshooting as the rate of change changes. [As a button is held, temp changes slowly then faster 1's, then 10's then 100's.] 10/10/93

The controller is really neat to watch in action: you can actually see it learn. If run without learning, it turns on the element and when temperature is reached, it shuts down the power. But at lower temperatures (say 400) there is wild overshoot by 50-60 degrees. When learning is in effect, the unit tentatively turns on the power (I have a 7 watt light bulb across my element terminals as an indicator) and then shuts off and watches the temperature rise. After a few experiments, it begins serious heating, but as the final temperature is approached, it does finer adjustments and glides right up to it.

STATUS - MF - With the purchase of the controller, I am probably out of serious money for glassblowing for the year. Buying propane is likely to be my remaining expense, certainly no tools or major packages of materials. Some gasoline money for watching other blowers in the area. I have solved the problem of no jacks by rebending a tong I made of 1/4" stainless rod to a shallow V, wide at the opening, that works well for necking. Four pipes from stainless 1/4" water pipe (1/2" OD), three 3/8" punties, one punty with 3/8" end in 1/4" pipe. A.R.T.Co diamond shears, large stainless tweezers, medium stainless fabric shears. 10/9/93

Tonight was suddenly chilly, 55, and windy, the biggest effect being that the propane tanks chilled down so pressure was lost and flow could not keep the heat up. Finally the glass and hole got so cold I couldn't work it effectively. The small tanks are clearly a poor choice, limiting when I can do things. 10/9/93 I am now refilling after every session instead of waiting for the tanks to get low, as that aggravates the chilling problem. 11/21/93

I am reading "Georgia O'Keeffe, A Life" by Roxana Robinson, a thick, intensively detailed book that talks about the many influences of her life. It is fun. I have always liked O'Keeffe's paintings. Until reading the book, I hadn't thought about influences I would accept on my pieces, but her colors, shade control, and edges are something I might like to work with. Unlike some people, I don't enjoy loud music of any kind while blowing and prefer classical if something is playing and, unlike O'Keeffe, music does not usually translate to visual expression for me.10/10/93 O'Keeffe's autobiography is a stunning book, with large full page paintings on almost every other page and few words. Since Robinson's book lacks pictures, having the two together makes a good combo.

Peet says he likes the idea of the crucible in the glory hole and is going to slice the rim off one of his old ones for color!

In my nearly two decades of computer programming, I don't recall dreaming of solutions, although I have woken up with the answer in my head to something I have been carrying around. But I find myself dreaming about glass. I was sitting today in my van, having parked for grocery shopping, looking at the glowing setting red sun behind a net of trees and thinking about doing it in glass -- would a mix of orange transparent and yellow opaque frit worked on the inside give a sun effect both backlighted and front? The other night I grabbed a handy piece paper (the envelope for back issues of Independent Glassblower) to sketch some leaves falling around a vase. (Can I pull two tone chips - brown and amber, red and orange - and arrange them?) 10/11/93

VIDEO - Lundberg Studio [P.O.Box C, Davenport CA 95017, 408-423-2532] produces a variety of glass including paperweights, and they have two video tapes they will sell for $20 each. One is 7.5 minutes and the other 27. I have seen the latter and it is impressive in quality and detail.

Lundberg produces amazingly detailed perfume bottles and paperweights by the process of flameworking buds, flowers and fish and inserting them in molten crystal and then adding crystal over all. They refer to it as California Style. They also make Worldweights - blue spheres with extremely accurate representations of Earth from space - with snow cover, desert tan, clouds and forest green done in powdered glass and replicate Tiffany style iridescent glass to make fruit, flower blossom shaped vases, gold sheen vases and pulled pattern lamp shades. Lundberg has a beautiful set of color sheets showing their products if you would like to see their stuff.

According to the bio material sent, James Lundberg founded the studio in 1972 and continued gathering and training people to work with him, including his brother Steven. Individual artists have developed various production items as well as contributing special skills to each piece. James died in February 1992 and the studio continues apparently under Daniel Salazar, Steven Lundberg, Rebecca Lundberg, etc. 10/18/93

STATUS - Started blowing last night, weather seemed ok, but the forecast came true and it started raining. I worked frantically to get the nice piece I had working into the annealer and made it. It is sitting on the table with a huge single rose in it: a flat-based, tiny-necked, just-what-I-wanted-to-make, 4" "bud" vase for big blooms. Earlier, I had some problems with getting enough temperature, and then got it so hot the glass was too floppy for the first couple of pieces and I lost control of them.

Once it was raining, I wanted to protect the glory hole, which I normally do with sheet plastic, which is impossible when hot. I put some sheet metal to cover. The dumb thing was that I failed to wrap the thing today. Tonight we got 2 1/4" of rain in under an hour with a lot of wind. The insulating firebrick may be soaked and damaged. I'll find out tomorrow. I should have built a metal frame with galvanized steel some time ago, but I let it slip. Of course, the fact we got no rain for the entire month of July plus some days before and after may have made me blas‚. 10/18/93 The gauge was up over 4" this morning when emptied and right now it has over 1 1/2" and it is still raining. Glad I live on a hill. 10/19/93 10:21 PM

TIL - When using a punty, the idea when releasing the glass into the annealer is to hold it at one point and rap it at another so a good clean snap occurs at the joint. With a solid punty, it works to rap the punty either above or below a hand holding it in the middle, but with a hollow puntle, only the rap below the hand seems to work.

HALEM'S GLASS NOTES - I got my copy of Henry Halem's Glass Notes [429 Carthage Ave., Kent OH 44240-2303, 216-673-8632, $30 + $3 shipping] 124 pages printed on one side of sheets. My conclusion is that it is very good in what it includes, but lacks much of what a person beginning in glass blowing would need to know. Major sections are glass calculations (formula building), casting, surface effects, furnaces, and supply sources. The book is clearly about technical aspects of glass and includes nothing about handling glass or design. Color is from formulas with no comments on commercial color rod other than the suppliers list. The section on furnaces is terrific, giving very specific directions for parts and methods. The section on glass formulas and materials is more complete than any I have seen, from straight forward descriptions of purpose to tables of numbers. The information on casting seems very complete, about 15 pages, but also not for me. Wood molds for blowing are not included, but a box for sand cast blowing (with no mold making directions) and a plaster based mold are included. 10/20/93

I took the time to run up to visit Art Allison and pickup some boxes of scrap cullet he had saved for me. He is busy making pieces for the hot selling season we are in. I enjoyed watching Art blow and we chatted about a number of topics while he worked. A pair of shelves along the wall filled with his previous day's beautiful work. 10/22/93

VIDEO II - Got a packet I asked for from Orient & Flume Art Glass [2161 Park Ave., Chico CA 95928, 916-893-2178, Melinda Vasquez, National Sales] which makes iridized pieces as well paperweights and vases with flameworked fish and plants in them. Prices of most of their pieces are $250-700, with a much simpler Gift Glass Collection of animals and fruit at under $60. The pieces are well illustrated in the color brochure which in separate pictures shows the work of Bruce Sillars (flowers), Scott Byers (butterflies, fish), Matt Quinn (flowers), Tony Martell (flowers), Ed Alexander (flowers, fish), Greg Held (millifiori, flowers, fish), and Dave Smallhouse (Tiffany colors & agate.) Bio sheets on the artists are included in the packet. O&F has 2 videos available of their work for $10 each, which have won awards. I haven't seen them. 10/23/93

MAGAZINES - I subscribe to FINE WOODWORKING (Taunton Press, Inc., PO Box 5506, Newtown CT 06470-5506, bimonthly $29/year) and consider it a marvelous model for a craft magazine. Besides showing detailed techniques of excellent woodworkers, issues include photos of masterpieces with selected procedures and interviews of the masters and detailed technical reviews and photos of unique pieces. Taunton Press is now distributing single topic videos (such as Cove Cutting or Veneering) for $7 to $10 with minimal editing and simple production.

GLASS Magazine #53 [647 Fulton Street, Brooklyn NY 11217, quarterly $28/year] has arrived with a cover and long article on Judy Hill, who makes figures where cast glass is the clothing and ceramic is the body parts. The cover figure and many inside are so austere that I took them to be male figures in female dress, however they are apparently supposed to be Hill and one clearly male figure is reasonably handsome. All are quite dramatic. Other things in the issue, besides the stunning color ads, include an interview with designer Massimo Vignelli whose work has included glass as well as other designs such as corporate logos. Steuben is introducing a crystal tableware line of his design, much lighter than recent clear Steuben, with double optical swirl. Other articles cover contrast in Czech artist Vladimir Kopecky's work and a long critique of a movie, Heart of Glass, set in a glass working town. Two calls for entries are published, one for a juried craft show at Wadsworth Atheneum [Box 4020, Hartford CT 06147-4020] deadline Dec.12 '93 for show June 10-12 '94, and the other from The American Interfaith Institute [401 N.Broad St. Philadelphia PA 19108, Attn:I.J.Borowsky] Second International Competition for Glass Artists "Artist's Visions for the Children of the Future, art of fear, art of hope." Submit slides and a form by March 31 '94, no entry fee. In the Vignelli interview the following words appear, "There is almost, in some contemporary glass, a denial of the qualities of the material. It is used to carry political messages .... MV: That is the generation of finger painting. It is just not adult." Opposing forces beyond the Czech. 10/25/93

STEAM STICKS - I first heard the term "steam sticks" last May when somebody referred to making glass vessels for several years without using a blow pipe. They weren't mentioned in any of my reading (still aren't) but I recently saw an assortment in use: well soaked wood shapes, mostly cones. Placed in an opening, the cone seals it and the moisture makes steam on the hot glass, applying pressure to swell the glass. At least, I think that's how it works. 10/25/93

A.P.GREEN has the legendary green book, which almost everyone recommends. It is very good for summary raw descriptions of products and for building arches with bricks, where tables give specific solutions. However it is poor on technical details, such as conductivity and strength, so it is difficult to figure the trade-offs between costs of products when buying in 100 pound packages. (If one product weighs 80#/cu.ft. and another weighs 60#/cu.ft., and the former is cheaper, you have to know the insulation value to decide how much thicker (if any) the walls have to be and how many extra pounds to buy to make a cost comparison.)

It turns out that Green has good technical data sheets which include Max.recommended temperature, size change and deformation on heating, density, strength, and thermal ratings several temperatures. I got mine from the main plant but I assume they are available from local offices. 11/3/93

CULLET - I was reminded that the scrap cullet I am working with is inherently dangerous: it has not been annealed, but cooled quickly, relieving SOME of its stresses by cracking. Safety shields and leather gloves are in order if a piece explodes while sorting and shifting. While commercial cullet should be handled the same way, just in case.

CONTROLLER - I decided to pay for an upgrade to the 4 set points on my Love Controls unit. It is costing me somewhat more than I would have paid for installing it when purchased, but I want to test it. 11/3/93

FYI/A - Highly metallic glasses eat into crucibles. If the metal is gold, the glass very costly. One trick that has been used is to invest the crucible using a measured amount of pure sand - pure as in the sand used in glass making. Then if the crucible breaks, the sand plus the glass plus added ingredients can be melted for a new batch.

I haven't blown glass for nearly two weeks. After a long weekend with over eight inches of rain in the backyard, it turned cold (freezing out the garden and the figs trees) and we are just recovering. 11/3/93

Out of necessity, I bought a new computer for my programming work, the old one - a 386/16 - is too slow and too small in memory and hard disk space for Visual BASIC and Windows programming. I am now also working in color and not sure I like it. I have, however, downloaded from CompuServe some .GIF graphics files and looked at other people's glass art. 11/3/93

General Phil Sheridan supposedly said if he owned both Hell and Texas, they would rent out Texas and live in Hell. The high temperature today was mid-80's after earlier freezes and tonight would have been great for blowing glass if I wasn't earning money teaching. Tomorrow is supposed to have its high temperature at midnight and keep getting colder until evening, when it may get to 25. 11/4/93

I finally got to blow again and it went great! While there was a quiet evening last week, I had to teach. Otherwise it has been windy, cold and/or raining. I spent the weekend dreaming of cheap metal walls for a windbreak. Today started tepid and foggy, but got warmer and warmer. After meeting for a programming tutorial, I fired up the glory hole and the annealer (on my old manual, since the controller isn't back.) I used the dark purple cullet mixed with clear that Art gave me. With a few problems losing the bubble, I was able to put all but one of the pieces I started in the annealer, although two were worked from solid lumps on the punty. I refilled the crucible while the hole was hot so I was able to blow twice what I usually get to do. I await eagerly what will come out of the annealer in the morning; I liked most of what I put in. 11/10/93

I did something outrageous: I got a piece of R-25 fiberglass insulation from the attic. I placed a 2" piece of 1900°F ceramic fiber against the fire brick wall opposite the burner and then the fiberglass against that. The apparent result was that I had virtually none of the temperature problems I had before. I got up as high as 2310°F at a lower gas & air setting and had no problems holding over 2000 with the whole front open. Of course, just the vent gases out the side of the door melted the fiberglass back and when first exposed the resin on the glass fibers (that make it pink and adhesive) burned off with a some fumes. This stunt is totally not recommended. Lots of insulation of the right kind - ceramic fiber, vermiculite, more brick - is obviously recommended. 11/10/93

Beyond the weather, the last few weeks have been depressing, culminating in our best friend getting a possible breast cancer diagnosis (which today turned out to be a deep cyst drained with a needle.) She is a blind person and her guide dog got back surgery back in September and is to be X-rayed tomorrow to check for bone infection before being put back to work, which was the goal of the operation. In the rain storms, part of the roof started leaking. I was told I would not be offered a contract for teaching in the spring, something I have done for over 12 years, because of what I consider outrageous complaints about my attitude with older women; I am fighting. A touch of good news is a contract to program in Visual BASIC that allows me to earn and learn; under stress I cashed in some retirement funds to buy a 486DX33 with a large hard disk capable of doing the programming at reasonable speed. The old machine (386DX16) gets a VGA card and acts as an alternate machine. Not being able to blow glass means stress is not relieved. 11/10/93 And to add to that, to relieve repeated infections, my wife is having nose surgery the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. 11/20/93

TIL - While blowing, I was abruptly reminded of rule 2.5: if you rap on a pipe or punty to crack off the glass and it doesn't crack off, don't hit it harder in the same place, hit it some place else. I think I was supposed to have learned this two days into my first classes, but we all learn again. 11/12/93

DIVAS GLASS SALE - Terry Maxwell reports that Divas Glass [1100 E. Rendon-Crowley Rd. Building #7, Burleson TX 76028, 817-293-0190 a mile east of I-35W on the south edge of Ft.Worth] will hold a studio sale and open house Dec.5, 1-6 pm Sunday. Y'all come. Had a nice chat. They have the furnace going after casting a new top, with a linear actuator on furnace door. She says the glory hole burner head broke today, but they have a spare. Jim Bowman blowing with them a lot. They will be doing weekend classes in the spring 10am 6pm each day, $250 for 16 hours, solid first day, blowing on next. Jim Bowman may teach class in February - fusing, pate de verre, etc. - working fused glass out of the glory hole. 11/12/93

COLLARS - Since I make my pipes and puntils from scrap, I have to buy collars to hang them (unless I carve them, naaah.) Collars are sold with pulleys at the hardware store and cost a ridiculous amount: about a dollar for 1/2" ID. They come in two kinds of metal, really hard and much softer. Ace sells the latter, which have one rounded shoulder instead of all square, and they are much easier to ream out when necessary. The 1/4" IPS pipe I use for pipe is just over 1/2" so I have to ream the collar, which I do with a taper reamer, instead of buying a $10 drill. The 3/8" collar fits my rod punties exactly. (Collars are actually sold to put on the end of axles to keep the wheels from coming off.) 11/12/93

Did a late nite blow on the spur of the moment. Got some nice shapes and did a totally rotten job getting them on the punty. 11/11/93

WHO'S WHO GOT $268? - Received an announcement of "Who's Who in Contemporary Glass Art" [ISDN 3-929554-00-3, US$268 plus packaging, postage, and any customs costs, Joachim Waldrich Verlag, Belgradstrasse 9, D-80796 Muchen, Germany] the first edition, "662 pages on 1,500 artists, craftsmen, and designers from 55 countries." Editors are Dr. Joachim Kruse and Dr. Clementine Schack von Whittenau. A sample page in the flier shows entries for Gary Beecham, US, (67 rows, a full column), Beverly Beeland, GB, (6) and Alain Begou, FR (40) that seem quite detailed. Two of the three have multi-part technique entries. 11/15/93

PEET ROBISON SALE - "Hi Mike, Happy to hear you got to blow it again. All is well here, making Xmas ornaments and other small items for the open house we have every year during Thanksgiving week-end. I usually have a lot to be thankful about after that week-end!! ($$$)" CompuServe 11-Nov-93

MIRRORS & LIGHT - I have received Vol.1 No.1 of a FREE, colorful, glossy, 8 page, tabloid-size newsletter, Mirrors & Light, A publication for Kaleidoscope & Art Glass Collectors, Dealers, & Artists [quarterly, Penson Ink, 150 Iris Way, Palo Alto CA 94303 USA 415-493-1333, FAX 415-493-8803, publisher Mary Margaret Gibson, editor Nancy Pensak.] As the sub-title suggests, there are a number of articles on kaleidoscopes and collectors. Quality of printing is very, very good with four pages of color and four of black and white. Payment to authors is in copies of the newsletter, a common practice with "little" literary magazines. There are a number of ads, including a color ad from Kittrell/Riffkind here in Dallas. The lead article is gifts under $200 & $100 from the editors' collections, keyed to pictures, with artists' names. Other articles are on individual artists. 11/16/93

SUMMER CLASSES - Glassblowing at Junction Texas as part of the Texas Tech Graduate Art Classes summer program will be June 5-24 for Advanced Hot Glass with Bill Bagley (two week minimum registration) and July 17-29 for Beginning-Intermediate Hot Glass with Bob Mosier followed by Advanced Problems July 31-August 5. Cost for two weeks of glassblowing is about $125+190+50 ($365 tuition+room&board+fee) for Texas residents, $272 more for non-residents. For brochure contact Betty Street, Dept.of Art, Box 42081, Texas Tech University, Lubbock TX 79409-2081 806-742-3027 FAX:806-742-3878. The Junction site is a 411 acre former ranch in the Hill Country on I-10 straight west of Austin. The graduate art classes are primarily for secondary art teachers and include fourteen other topics. 11/23/93

I went to Ft.Worth to visit the museums and Divas Glass. Did some videotaping of their work and got a chance to blow. Tried three pieces and was terribly out of practice with the bigger pipes. My hands got tired quickly. Divas has a nice design for a furnace door that is self sealing; it uses a linear actuator to lift the door, which is good, but I would like it to open about twice as fast. [A linear actuator is a geared motor with a threaded rod so what is attached moves in a straight line - all protected with builtin limit switches. Grainger's new price is about $170 for two models that move 8 or 19 inches per minute with lift rating far higher than needed for a door.]

The door lift point is not below the top connection of the lifter, but is closer to the heat. When lifting starts, the door is tilted away. A piece of angle across the bottom of the lift slot guides the door back in place when it is lowered. 11/21/93

As I finish this it is after Thanksgiving. All the best for the winter holidays, including great sales, and all the best for the New Year.

Three groups of people get Hot Glass Bits at this point: Those who are mentioned in an issue, those I feel like sending a copy to, and those who have paid some money. The only ones guaranteed to get the next issue are the last group.

The following people from my Artists list (in ZIP order) are included in the mailing of Hot Glass Bits 16. If you know of someone else who might like to see a copy, let me know and I will send one. Some of these are sample copies.

The B Team, Boston MA; Dennis Herrick, Plaistow NH; Peter Andres, Trumansburg NY; Steve Tobin, Coopersburg PA; Harvey K. Littleton, Spruce Pine NC; Bud Hurlstone, Chair 3D Division, Bowling Green OH; Mark Mathews, Archibold OH; Henry Halem, Kent OH; Judi Weilbacher, Chillicothe OH; Tom Furman, Columbia City IN; Herb Babcock, Oxford MI; Connie & John Sullivan, Cedar MI; L.Brady Steward, Metaire LA; Bettye Duplantier, New Orleans LA; Scott Benefield, New Orleans LA; Leo Ward, Fayetteville AR; Kathy Thomson, Garland TX; Alfred J. Schell, Irving TX; Art Allison, Pottsboro TX; Ron Marrs, Dallas TX; Michael Riffkind, Dallas TX; Brad Abrams, Dallas TX; Sam Haney, Woodville TX; Terry Maxwell, Burleson TX; Hugh Irwin, Burleson TX; Shirley Daniel, Burleson TX; Dale Battle, Houston TX; Lisa Edwards, Houston TX; Bob Mosier, Houston TX; Jayne Duryea, Beeville TX; Terry Snider, San Antonio TX; Craig Freiburger, Bastrop TX; Tim de Jong, Wimberley TX; Jay Von Koffler, Wimberly TX; Matthew LaBarbera, Austin TX; Sue "Girt" Girten, Austin TX; Holly Wallace, Austin TX; Rick Charles Dodson, Austin TX; Bill Bagley, Lubbock TX; Chris Marrs, Lubbock TX; Vickie Bunting, Lubbock TX; Ty Brunson, Snyder TX; Barry Phillips, Odessa TX; Karen Garland, Santa Fe NM; Lucy Lyon, Santa Fe NM; Crystal Philo, Santa Fe NM; Peet Robison, Santa Fe NM; Dale Chihuly, Seattle WA.

The following companies or people at companies (in Company Alpha order from my Glass-DB list) are getting a copy if HB16. If you would like to suggest someone else, let me know. Norman Sand, Industry Specialist - Incineration/Glass, A.P.Green Mexico MO; A.R.T. Studio Clay Co. Elk Grove Village IL; Malcolm Spann, A.R.T.CO. San Jose CA; Letitia Alston, Arts Council of the Brazos Valley College Station TX; The Book Exchange Corning NY; Charlotte Judd, Caithness Garfield NJ; Denise Dendrinos CGCA Program Coordinator, Creative Glass Center of America NJ; Lynne Moore, Correia Santa Monica CA; Nancy Young, The European Influence Austin TX; Glass Art Magazine Littleton CO; Dudley Giberson, The Glass Works Warner NH; GLASS Magazine Brooklyn NY; Habatat Galleries Boca Raton FL; Heller Gallery Soho NY; Joel Philip Myers, Illinois State University Normal IL; Southern Illinois Univ Carbondale IL; David Gruenig, Independent Glass Blower W.Barnet VT; Henry Halem, Kent State University Kent OH; Keystone Cullet Co. Greensburg PA; Michael Riffkind, Kittrell-Riffkind Glassworks Dallas TX; John Bartle, Laclede-Christy Co. Owensville MO; James W. Nolan, Technical Sales Manager, Love Controls Corp. Wheeling IL; Joan, Lundberg Studio Davenport CA; Nancy Pensak, Mirrors & Light Palo Alto CA; Jim Moore, Jim Moore Tools for Glass Seattle WA; New Orleans School of GlassWorks and Gallery New Orleans LA; Melinda, Orient & Flume Chico CA; Glass Progrnm, Penland School Of Crnfts Penland NC; Marge Levy, Pilchuck Glass School Seattle WA; Pusch Asheville NC; Sable V Fine Art Gallery Wimberly TX; Seattle Pottery Supply Seattle WA; Studio Access to Glass Corning NY; Betty Street, TTU Center at Junction Lubbock TX; Judy Youens Gallery Houston TX

Charlotte Judd or Jim Day, Caithness, 141 Lanza Ave; Building 12, Garfield NJ, 07026, 201-340-3330, Paperweights, video making cosmos $10, color not as good, PAL, 1-

Lynne Moore, Correia, 711 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica CA, 90401, Paperweights, write for catalog, video not available., sending catalog, 1-310-394-7300, List of videos at EI,

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I have started putting together Recipes - sets of directions for some specific glassblowing task, most often construction right now - to fit on a page and following the model of a cookbook including the personal nature of cooking. If you would like to offer something, feel to do so; ask for a sample page if you wish. If you have encountered some interesting color combinations, that would be a recipe.


I would like to know of people involved in glassblowing, glass blowers, even those who only blow part of the year; glassblowing studios; and galleries showing and/or selling blown glass. At a minimum, I will send them a copy of Hot Glass Bits. Beyond that, maybe some coordination, reducing costs, sharing experience. Address or phone number needed. 7/31/93

CONTROLLER - I have purchased at 1600 series electric controller from Love Controls Corporation [1475 S.Wheeling Rd, Wheeling IL 60090 1-800-828-4588]. Cost was $185 + $6 for an extra output plus shipping and COD ($13.60.) The controller that can ramp between the current temperature and another lower (as in annealing) or higher. (Add a K type thermocouple, minimum $20, and solid state relay, minimum $15.) This is not programmable (set a series of values and use in sequence) and uses four multipurpose buttons which can be awkward. a second output is supported, without ramping. [Omega apparently has the Love unit as their 76000 although they consider the source to be "proprietary." The Omega unit has exactly the same features at exactly the same cost.] 8/10/93 9/30/93

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