Contact Mike Firth
|Prev.Issue 17||Link to HGB Table of Contents||Next Issue 19|
|GLASS AXIS||THE GLASS WORKSHOP||INSULATION||CLAY POT|
|GLASS FOCUS||NEW STUDIO||FAIRY LIGHTS||G.A.S.|
|TORCH||TRAVEL||JANET WOLERY||COLOR FLIERS|
|COLOR POWDER||FAX 1-606-291-1849, P.O.B||MASKS||THIRD ARM TECHNIQUE|
|KEEP THIS HEAT||CANDLES I||EXERCISE I||EXERCISE II|
|EXERCISE III||CANDLES II||PAPERWEIGHTS||MSC|
|GLASS ARTISTS||EYE PROTECTION||LAMPWORKED||FOR TEXANS|
This issue contains deadline information for
The New York Biennial of Glass May 31, 1994 THE GLASS WORKSHOP
Artists Residencies, May 2, 1994
Application (Apr.15) and Scholarship (Mar.25) Deadline, HAYSTACK
Workshop, Shane Fero & Fred.Berkhill, Appl.April 1, LAMPWORKED GLASS
Paperweight Tour, Austin TX, March 26, PAPERWEIGHTS &
[capitalized KEYWORD starts paragraph below]
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.
WHOAMI? - Since some people who get this have no idea who I am: Mike Firth is a 51 year old, low experience glassblower who signed up for his first class in '91 without having seen anyone blow, although he had seen TV shows and has done stained glass and worked clear tubing in the past. He has built cheap equipment in his back yard to learn and practice. When not blowing he is a self-employed computer programmer and teaches about computers.
Vision Thing: It wouldn't hurt to have more glassblowing in Texas.
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.
Had a nice chat with Tom Fuhrman in Indiana on his nickel after sending out letters about classes in the upper Midwest to help a CompuServe guy. Tom had his furnace on from July to just before Thanksgiving. He arranged a trip and spent ten days at Murino in Italy. He says that actually getting any involvement with the factories was very difficult. He also said that Murino operates under conditions that make it very expensive: All fuel must be shipped in, all garbage and product must be shipped out, in small boats; furnaces seem inefficient, no Fiberfrax; anneallers are gas fired; everything is moved by hand, no fork lifts. 2/2/94
GLASS AXIS is "a not-for-profit educational organization and network of artist and non-artist in central Ohio. Membership is open to anyone interested in glass." They also seriously need to have someone proofread their brochure. I first heard of them as sponsors of a juried show for mid-western artists after the Glass Art Society Conference in May of 93. This spring they are holding classes, which started last week. Also do symposia publications, mobile glass studio, artist registry of slides and public gallery. Write or visit if interested: The Glass Axis Studio, in the Belmont Creative Arts Building, 280 Cozzins Street, P.O.Box 2485, Columbus OH 43216, 614-228-4011, downtown by the river. ($40 membership) Blowtime can be purchased by members in 3 hour time slots or earned by doing volunteer work. 2/5/94
THE GLASS WORKSHOP announces the New York Biennial of Glass to be held in the Workshop's Robert Lehman Gallery in September 94. "focusing on the work of emerging or under-recognized artists." Send six slides of recent, available work, resume and SASE to John Perreault, Artistic Director, the NY Experimental Glass Workshop, 647 Fulton St., Brooklyn NY 11217-1112. No entry fee. Artists responsible for shipping. One artist will be awarded a one-person exhibition in 1995. Deadline May 31, 1994. 2/5/94 Artist Residencies at the Glass Workshop, send SASE for prospectus and application form to John Perreault, above by May 2. Other activities include a Friday night lecture series, Open House Saturdays with glassblowing demos, gallery exhibits open 7 days a week noon to 6, master classes, and other classes, classes, classes. Write to be placed on mailing list and for schedule.
I would like to know of people involved in glassblowing, glassblowers, 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. Also, schools and people doing teaching in studios.
INSULATION - I have a brochure from Thermal Ceramics (formerly Babcock & Wilcox Company, Insulating Products Div.) that includes a lot of information (and a lot more than I have been able to easily get on A.P.Green products) including in a few pages weights, insulating values, temperature limits and alternatives on a wide variety of products. This is the Product Data 1992-93 Edition. TC has sales offices many southern and upper Midwest states as well as a couple of west coast. To find a rep, FAX 1-800-KAOWOOL or write P.O.Box 923, Dept. 140, Augusta GA 30903 2/5/94
CLAY POT - The larger clay pot I pounded inside the large bowl, that I reported on in the last issue, turns out to have several flaws/craters on the outside, which I hope won't affect use, judging on their depth. The advantage of the inside mold/outside holder method becomes apparent. 2/7/94
GLASS FOCUS is the Official Newsletter of The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, published six times a year by Beverly M. Copeland & Associates [$20/yr, $16 student, $100 gallery (with listings), $4 back issue, 9323 N. Olcott, Morton Grove IL 60053-1752, 708-967-8433] Beverly is also listed as Glass Resources & Consulting, Ltd., which will arrange tours and access to reference material and design with glass. Content of the 14 page Feb/Mar 94 issue starts with Headline show listings, then 5 pages of gallery listings by region, a page of glass events, mostly museum shows, a page of Bits & Pieces, a column of artist Focus items, a 2+ page interview with Lino Tagliapietra on his background, Glass Classes, and finally some classified ads. The newsletter has no technical information and its presumed audience is collectors and artists observing fellows' work and looking for galleries and shows. Because of one listing I may drive to Houston, March 5. There is not a single mention I found of Art Alliance activities. 2/8/94 [So far two of the gallery listings are in error, with the show just mentioned being postponed and the age of the Dallas gallery being 3.5 years old, not 2. Hummm.]
NEW STUDIO - Nice chatty call from Colby Smith, Emporia State University in Kansas. Their glass program has been around since the 70's, but they have just built a whole new studio with Charles Correll coming from Massachusetts to set it up. They have formed a Glass Guild, mostly of former students. We talked about the clay pots I have built, including the last - above. I had sent a copy of HB#17 of the GAS education list. Colby says they will send some money, thank you. 2/9/94
FAIRY LIGHTS - I enjoy watching a Saturday PBS show, Collectors, which includes visits to places with collectable things and a host who does quick valuations of things brought by the audience. In this last show, at one interval, he commented on Fairy Lights, which he said he knew little about until seeing some years before the collection at hand. In the latter 19th century, he said, a company called Clarke made short long-burning candles which were to be placed in windows, etc., to ward off burglars. To protect the flame from breezes, Clarke marketed Fairy Lights, which they trademarked, and which were two piece stands: a rather elaborate base and (usually) half-egg shaped dome with a finger-sized hole in the top. Some of the tops were also quite exotic. It was a short bit, but if I judged right the candles were smaller than our current votive candles. Of course the dome gives many more opportunities for decoration than the cup or glass most often used with votives. I have wondered at making glass oil wick lamps after the pottery ones and the small oil wick flame might work well with a dome or other cover. 2/16/94
G.A.S.Journal - The Journal is a glossy annual that mostly covers the events and papers of the Conference last spring. The '93 Journal arrived yesterday. For people who attended, it gives insight into what was going on at other sessions. I missed Henry Halem, who was really down on the state of the Art in schools and Glass. Many of the articles have pictures and tables that couldn't have been captured at the sessions. Notes on ancient glass, making murrini, and running ones own studio are all part of it. Copies for members/non-members are $23/$27 from the Glass Art Society, 1305 4th Ave., Suite 711, Seattle WA 98101-2401 2/16/94
TRAVEL - Brief trip to Ft.Worth, mostly to take my wife and a co-worker to get their plastic eyes polished, but dropped in on Divas for an hour. A new glory hole, part of the equipment sold by Luis Collie as he got out of glassblowing and back to kiln casting. Jim Bowman was there. Jim was the judge for the East Texas Glass Artists show last summer and I have heard of him repeatedly, even sent HB#17 to him, at an old studio address. So, where is he? Two streets over and four blocks down! 2/17/94
COLOR TECHNIQUE - Jim Bowman adds opaque color inside pieces in a slightly different way that I have seen from other workers: He gets a first gather bubble going, then has the chunk of color bar delivered very hot on a puntil. The color is applied to the end of the bubble shape, cut from the puntil, and then flattened around the bubble. Glass is then added to case the color outside (and he picks up stringer and other color design features in the clear), but this technique effectively cases the color inside also, if very thinly. Other workers I have seen pickup the preheated (about 1000°F) chunk on the pipe, perhaps with a bit of glass on the pipe, heat the chunk in the glory hole, marver it, perhaps gather over it, and then blow the bubble through the color, thus lining the inside of the piece with color. In both cases, color chunk means a piece a bit over an inch long from a round bar about an inch in diameter.
STEEL - Most hardware stores have sold flat and round steel bar stock, plated with zinc so it has a silvery color. These are designed for cold working (drilling, etc.) for building brackets and braces. Lately the choices have been increasing, including threaded rod 6 feet long (up from 2 or 3'.) In a local hardware store (C&S, a True Value store) I found a small rack grandly labeled "Steel Works" which had a variety of cold rolled steel shapes without plating, including rod, angle and bar, including 1/2"x 1/16"x 3' which was narrower than I had seen in the plated (3/4" being the narrowest there.) I grabbed a piece of that to bend into a second set of jacks and some 3/16" rod to bend into part of a pipe's holder. 2/20/94 Home Depot has National Steel Center with similar stuff. 3/3/94
WEATHER - It had been very humid and spitting rain occasionally at midday. In the evening yesterday, I went outdoors and decided to do some small welding stuff. Having finished, I put stuff away, came in, walked the length of the house, sat down, and heard the sound of pouring rain! Not a clue while I was out there. 2/20/94
AMERICAN CRAFTS - The current issue has glass on the cover and a bit more than usual inside. 2/20/94
PILCHUCK's summer 1994 catalog has a glass freeworked clown on the cover of a glossy magazine. Applications are due March 15th and will be accepted later until all spaces are filled. (Yes, this issue probably will not be out before the 15th.) Five sessions of three weeks each starting May 22. The fourth session is devoted to Art & Architecture ending in a two day seminar. Off-hand glassblowing is two classes in Session 1; one, sort of, in 2, 3 & 4; and a heavy one in 5. Call 206-621-8422 if you want to try getting in when this gets here. 2/23/94
MIRRORS & LIGHT #2 arrived. Headlines: "Not Your Average Steelie!" major marbles; "LA Quake Shatters Art World" reports on damage at studios & galleries; Artist Profile of three Kaliedoscope makers and a pair of solid art glass makers; Calendar of Events and Traveling Collector. Well worth getting. M&L is free. Send address and your area of interest to M&L, 150 Iris Way, Palo Alto CA 94303. Mention you heard of it in Hot Glass Bits. 2/23/94 There is a story on a tour of the largest collection of paperweights (108) to tour since 1978, appearing at a gallery on the campus of Texas A&M through March 26 and later in the year in Iowa, Maine and Wisconsin. Since this issue isn't going out until about then, I sent cards to most of the Texas people on my mailing list.
HAYSTACK is a multiple crafts center at Deer Isle, Maine, 250 miles from Boston [(207) 348-2306, P.O.Box 518, Deer Isle ME 04627.] According to the 1994 brochure, there will be six sessions of 2/2/3/2/3/1 weeks starting June 5th. Three of these (3,4 & 5) will include glass: 3) Paul Cunningham for beginners; 4) Flora Mace & Karen Willenbrink on personal expression for intermediate or more; and 5) Dante Marioni & Lino Tagliapietra on form (rather than color) for experienced: slides required with application. Other craft sessions are labeled Clay, Metals, Weaving, Printmaking, Wood, Quilts, Papermaking, Writing, Painting, Blacksmithing, Surface Design. Cost for a glass three week would be from about $1315 ($375 shop fees, 580 tuition, 360 bunkhouse near central washroom) to $2305 (single with bath.) All applications are held until April 15th then reviewed for balanced classes. Scholarship applications due by March 25th. 2/23/94
TORCH & TANKS - I dropped by Northwest Butane, the major dealer for this stuff in my town. They are now carrying a pair of torches with pilot lights costing $79.95. The smaller is 270,000 Btu; the larger 325,000. Both come from Burners, Inc., 19011 W. Davison, Detroit MI 48223. The larger feels awkwardly large for glassblowing. Both are heavier than the $200 job seen in many shops, being more standard brass fittings rather than the slender chromed parts. It turns out there is an interesting hiccup in propane tank prices I had missed before. While a 60# tank costs $75.50, the more commonly used 100# is only $85.50. A person at the shop said the primary reason for the 60# is people being unable to lift the 100# (which must weigh about 130# full.) Five 20# tanks from Home Depot would cost about $80 but require a lot of plumbing; Two 40# tanks from U-Haul about $85. The only tanks Northwest sells used are the 100#, $50-60 when available, more likely in summer. Do I spend $41.59+tax for a 40# from U-Haul to increase capacity and get to the price break (from $1.50/gal to $1/gal at ten gallons,) or do I double my spending and considerably exceed my immediate needs? I am using about 3 gallons per session (1/3 of 10 gal.in two 20# tanks) now, but am going to make stuff bigger. 2/23/94 [I was literally on my way to getting the 40#, having decided the 100# was too much money and way too heavy, when I realized that if I was going to swap tanks, instead of plumbing them in, I could get the same cost break with a single 20# from Home Depot ($15.71+tax) at a lower cash flow. So that's what I went and got. 3/2/94]
TRAVEL - Almost drove to Houston on March 5th to key with the opening of a show, but didn't as it was postponed. Met several new people talking to people I might visit. Now I am considering tying travel to an exhibit of paperweights at Texas A&M that will probably close before I send this issue (see above). I expect to go to A&M, where I have never been, sometime soon to have the hearing of an older Seeing Eye Dog tested. If that gets pushed out beyond the end of March, I may tie the A&M and Houston visits together.
JANET WOLERY - Because of contacting people, I got a nice packet from Janet Wolery. Janet functions as Contemporary Glassworks (1615 Redway Lane, Houston) and Contempo-Art (451 Bay Area Blvd, in the Clear Lake area) a gallery for all kinds of artwork. She produces paperweights and fused and cast pieces featuring dichroic glass. Her training was at Camp Colten, Oregon, and Crosby Gardens, Toledo, Ohio. She has won several awards and appeared in over a dozen juried shows. What she sent includes a nicely prepared wholesale brochure with her picture and color pictures of her production. She sells pieces at 50% of suggested retail and two "kits" of fused dichroic jewelry: 4 earrings, 3 pins and 2 barrettes in a $100 package and about 12 earrings, 5 barrettes and 6 pins for $250. She makes one and two layer dichroic layer paperweights retailing at $80 and $130 and cast glass sea shells retailing at $18. She also sent good color copies of order sheet: seven styles of paperweights available in about 10 named colors each and fused plates. Paperweights are $34 in minimum orders of six. Seems to me to be a good presentation for a small shop. In her letter she says that she is using a Denver EF-110 electric furnace and has lots of complaints; call her before buying if you are considering getting one. She blows out of her garage Sept-Apr to avoid the heat of summer. And she says "I love hearing from glass people." 2/24/94
COLOR FLIERS - If you haven't seen the quality of color copies take the time to visit a place that makes a lot of them. I have seen them at OfficeMax, where the machine (in Dallas) is three feet from the counter and chatting with users is easy. While color copies cost more than a couple of 4x6 prints, they are, at 99 cents a page, less than 8x10 prints and are far more flexible in allowing typing, business cards, etc., in the layout. While the color copies cost much more than the per page cost of color printing, that difference requires at least several hundred of the color pages be printed. 2/24/94
COLOR POWDER - Responding to an ad in the GAS Journal, I called Thompson Enamel (1-800-545-2776 orders including catalog, 1-606-291-3800, FAX 1-606-291-1849, P.O.Box 310, Newport KY 41072) for their catalog. Wide variety of materials for putting enamel (ground glass) on almost anything along with media, brushes, etc. Their High Temperature - Medium Expansion Enamels for Hot Glass Blowing are only available in Opaque, 33 colors. Standard packaging is 2 oz, 8 oz, and 5 pounds. Pricing depends on color. For the 2 oz. size, standard colors are $3.90, grade A (blue) $4.20, grade B (purple) $5.85, and C (red & orange) $6.15. (8 oz is about twice as much.) They will sell 80 mesh samples (of unspecified size) of the entire palette for $11 or of any 10 colors, your choice, for $4. Thompson also sells Millefiore at $5.50/oz about 150 chips to the ounce and they claim each chip can be split; compatibility unknown. 2/25/94
In the G.A.S.Journal is an article on Ergonomic considerations for glassblowers. Suggestions include pipes of larger diameter than 5/8", say 1-1.25", but of no greater weight and perhaps with larger diameter grips in the center; larger diameter grip area on jacks; blocks with pistol grip rather straight handles; and marvers at 32" for side work and 15-20" for bottom work. A suggestion is made to have undercut arms on a bench to allow reduction of the awkward move leaning to look at the glass. [For what it's worth, the relationship with the glass is much different with a standup bench, no leaning at all, and putting a marver plate on the ground allows working and blowing against it.] The article includes many work technique suggestions. 3/1/94
Nice blowing session, late afternoon into evening. Most pieces worked one way or another. Over dinner got the glass so hot (2360) it was filled with bubbles. Clay crucible seems to still be holding up. Put some of Art Allison's black cullet in a little clay pot on a ledge in the back and worked it a couple of pieces. We'll see tomorrow. 3/2/94 Came out pretty good. 3/3/94
Two glassblowing sessions in one week! Pathetic report in some ways. Actually, I did the second after hearing the morning weather report. While high temperature Saturday was 78 (sorry Louise under the snow in Massachusetts) it is supposed to rain today (right), tomorrow and Tuesday, and then temperature drop to high of 45 in mid-week. Session went good although one piece shattered off pipe going back into heat and took bottom out of piece going into annealer. Better punty technique and much better pipe cracking technique as well as a 'new' and useful bottom forming method with the wood paddle. 3/6/94
MASKS - I buy the inexpensive dust masks for many purposes, including spray painting, sanding, house vacuuming and mowing the yard with dog droppings in it. I have seen them used for handling glass batch. If you read the instructions, the masks don't protect against anything very serious smaller than visible dust. In any case, I have been spending over 30 cents a mask: 3 or 99c or 5 for $1.69. I found that Home Depot sells a box of 50 of the things for about 7.50, which means they are 15 cents each. If you use 'um, or should, check it out. 3/6/94
THIRD ARM TECHNIQUE - Since I built my bench, I have used a moveable support the same height as the arms and shaped the same - a third arm. Recently, after adjusting the distance, I have begun using a handy punty technique: Hang the pipe, form the punty end, lay the punty across the third arm and on the middle arm, hot end to the left. Place the pipe on the bench arms, piece to the right. Using the diagonal shear tips, lift the punty tip, slide the punty right on the third arm, roll the piece, and place the punty. While I had been using the arm before, I did not rest the punty, so I was handling both the pipe and the punty, cross handed, and passing the diagonal shears from hand to hand while rushing. The distance to the third arm should be more than half the length of the punty- actually half plus the length of the piece plus the overhang distance of the pipe. If the distance is too small, the weight of the punty beyond the third arm makes movement awkward. As soon as I have adjusted the centering of the punty, I scratch the neck and shift the line of the pipe/punty so I am not trying to work the increasingly rigid punty on three firm supports which may not be in exact alignment. 3/6/94
KEEP THIS HEAT CONTROL - Controlling electric heat can be done proportionally or on-off. With an SCR or Triac supply, proportional control can actually split the cycles of the AC power or use some cycles and not others. The problem with splitting the cycles (waiting after the start of each half of the cycle, 120 times a second, then turning on the power for the remainder of the cycle, like a lamp dimmer) is that a sharp spike of power is created each time and the spike gets harder to handle as power increases. The spike causes buzzing in cordless phones and other interference including element buzzing and overheating. If the circuit is properly designed, the control is as close to infinite control as the knob/input voltage allows. A fairly simple triac circuit turns on the power on as the AC power crosses zero, eliminating the spike. Theoretically, a controller can turn the element on for one cycle in 60 or more, once per second or less. More often the controller turns the unit on for several seconds, minimum. If the power control is not solid state, but is a relay/mercury contactor, the on-off cycle must be longer because a little bit of damage is done with every open/close of the contacts. For controlling gas, on/off control is less expensive but still costly for safety, with the same limits of time to save the contacts. It is possible to have proportional control, but this involves a motorized or proportional valve, raising the cost, especially since the air/fuel mixture must remain balanced. 3/6/94
CANDLES I - Several years ago I made a small slab-sided red and yellow stained glass lantern than has been hanging in the dining room mostly unused. In the last couple of sessions, I have blown some shapes that look more like candle sticks than bud vases. So I went exploring candles to relearn what I had forgotten. The first thing I learned is that buying candles in a grocery store (Albertsons) is a lot more costly than getting them in a craft shop (Michael's MJ Designs*.) Tapers cost 99 cents at A and were 4/dollar or 29 cents at MJD. Votives were 69 vs 29 (or 5/dollar) for identical products. Next I learned that common candles are bigger than I thought. The bases are about 7/8" tall. The tapers are 3/4" at the bottom and 7/8" to 15/16" diameter at the top. "Formal candles" are cylindrical, cost more and 7/8" at the bottom and 1" at the top. So the taper is the same (1/8" per 7/8".) A dowel tapered for use as a guide should be 1" since 7/8" dowel does not abound. 3/9/94 *MJ Designs is a commercial craft store chain in this area and the federal capitol area (DC). Besides a source of candles, it carries some glass vases and some colored "rolly-polly" cups for holding candles.
EXERCISE I - Make a tall candlestick. The base must be stable and perpendicular to the line of the candle. The socket for the candle must be the right size and taper to take a standard candle as well as being aligned. Preferably the area around the socket should tend to catch any wax drips and certainly wax should not fall to the table or other support. Ideally, the shape will be cleanable and not catch wax in crevices. The form of the stick should relate to the shape of the candle (taper, long cylinder, short cylinder, extruded/textured cylinder) especially its length. 3/9/94
EXERCISE II - Make a short candlestick/weight. Make a paperweight shape with a suitable design and indent the center to take a candle. Since the indentation will eliminate the dome optical effect, the internal design must presumably be something that is enhanced by being forced into a ring around the candle. 3/9/94
EXERCISE III - Make a candle glass, with due consideration to the heat the candle will give off and the soot in the flame. The glass should partially or completely enclose the candle. Decide before starting if the candle will be a votive that needs containment, a stubby free standing candle, or be poured into the glass around a wick. 3/9/94
CANDLES II - Votive candles were originally for religious devotion: lighted at or near an altar. Today, they are a standard size candle often sold scented. The votive candle is very long burning, 15 hours commonly cited on the boxes. This time only applies if the molten wax is contained in a cup barely larger than the candle. Without the cup, a votive candle will burn to its bottom in a half hour or so, the wick gone and the wax spread around it in a deep puddle. Glass cups are commonly sold near the candle: plain with a flair top, dimpled or fluted. Any design intending to use votive candles should either have a proper sized space designed in or a space large enough to take a separate glass cup.
PAPERWEIGHTS & A TRIP TO COLLEGE STATION - I took a friend to Texas A&M to have her Seeing Eye dog's hearing tested, as he is getting on in years (it's ok.) While there, I went to the MSC (Memorial Student Union) Forsyth Center Galleries to view the traveling paperweight show, "The Art of the Paperweight - Challenging Tradition" Later on the show will go to the Muscatine Art Center, Iowa; the Jones Museum of Glass and Ceramics, Douglas Hill, Maine; and the Villa Terrace Museum of the Decorative Arts, Milwaukee; having started at The Art Museum of Santa Cruz County, where it was organized. The selection of paperweights seems excellent, half contemporary, half classic. The photos in the catalog are curiously flat, almost as if it was made from rephotographed photos rather than color separations from original negatives. Catalog available from Lawrence Selman, Curator, Paperweight Press, 761 Chestnut Street, Santa Cruz CA 95060, 800-538-0766 MSC FORSYTH CENTER GALLERIES - This is a very nice show, but even more amazing to me is the quality of the glass in the Bill and Irma Runyon Art Collections. Timothy Novak is curator and provided a lot of information during our visit. Collection is not comprehensive or contemporary, but it contains several dozen examples each of very fine early Tiffany and Steuben iridized, and a lot of "Burmese" two tone glass. Also some superb English cameo glass that looks to be (and the curator said was) some of the finest in the world. Also showing are loaned examples of American Brilliant Cut Glass from the Texas Chapter of the collectors association, some of which is going to England for a show. All in a museum gallery in the corner of the student center!
GLASS ARTISTS GUILD - A new organization has been formed: The International Guild of Glass Artists, Inc. [Tonetta Lake Road, Brewster NY 10509, 914-278-2187] Several levels of membership are provided: Student/Hobbyist $25; Individual Artist $45; Studio/Corporate $150; Benefactor/Founder $500 or more. As is clear from the kinds of membership, this organization is strongly oriented toward the artist, rather than the collector or dealer. The founders are mostly glass artists, with some good business people on the finance committee. Several are on CompuServe. Founders are scattered around the US & Canada: OR, CA, BC, MA, FL, WA, NY, NM, ID. Experience of the board in the 15-25 year range. Questions on the membership information sheet are incisive and show knowledge of studio operations. A newsletter with artist profiles, galleries and events is planned. Mission: "The facilitate communication among and between glass artists, for the promotion and encouragement of excellence in the glass arts." 3/13/94
EYE PROTECTION AND LAMPWORKING By Angela Babin, M.S.
A recent inquiry to the Information Center asked whether the use of didymium lenses was adequate for protection while lampworking glass. "Bifocal" (1/3 didymium, and 2/3 welding lenses) type glasses were also discussed. We have always recommended against using didymium lenses for any kind of furnace or kiln work, but in order to clarify this question on lampworking glass (using a torch to melt and combine glass), I spoke with Clifton K. Genge, CSP, the Program Supervisor for Safety and Health at Corning Glass Inc. He confirmed my statement that ordinary didymium glasses will not provide adequate protection during lampworking. He mentions that the bifocals will only function protectively if the worker is sure to use the darker section "when the glass reaches higher temperatures" and if the dark shade is the proper filter type. He stated further that if Corning workers are working with molten glass, then they wear "Furnace Glasses" with shade designations of 3.0 - 5.0, as per transmission requirements from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z87.1-1989. Note that this filter shade range is darker than the recommendation printed in our data sheet Eye and Face Protection, which recommends welding glasses with a shade number of 3 for glassblowing. 13-Mar-94 12:56:31 Sb: #361684-#Didymium glasses/torch Fm: Michael McCann 71310,1217 To: Deb Jerison 75730,421 (X)
Deb: Above is an article from the most recent issue of Art Hazards News on didymium lenses. Didymium does not remove infrared radiation only most of the yellow sodium glare. - Mike McCann/Center for Safety in the Arts
[Reprinted with permission. Emphasis ours.]
LAMPWORKED GLASS: A Traditional and Contemporary Approach to Flameworking. April 9-10 Lampworked Glass Workshop at the University of Michigan-Dearborn [$200, register by mail or FAX by April 1, UM-D, Education and Training Center, 19310 Ford Rd., Dearborn MI 48128, Attn:Jeanne Girard, 313-271-0909; FAX 313-271-9707] A special beginners session is offered at no extra charge on Friday, the 8th. The instructors are two of the top flame workers in the country, Shane Fero and Frederick Birkhill, who have taught at Penland for the last six summers. 3/15/94
FOR TEXANS IN MAY - Peter Andres, a CGCA fellow from upper New York state, has an open wall studio at Scarborough Renaissance Faire [214-928-1888, FAX 214-938-1890, P.O.Box 538, Waxahachie TX 75165, 25 miles south of Dallas], where he blows glass during the week and sells and demonstrates glassblowing each weekend to the public. He says they are very busy and the situation is a high tension income production one for them. The best time for a visit with some chat possibilities is early Sunday morning. Many of his pieces feature intense even color (red, yellow, blue) with black or contrasting trim and Hot Glass Bits. The Faire runs weekends April 23 to June 12, 10am - 7pm and is a terrific experience. Besides Peter, there are lampworkers and most other crafts, jugglers and other entertainment, birds of prey and other animals and there is lots of food. (There is also jousting which I don't like much.) If you plan to go and can pick a day by April 13, advance tickets save 27% ($10 vs 12.75.) If you think you will go as few as two times, a season ticket is less than twice a daily ticket. Advance tickets deadline is April 13 postmark.
I am going to get this off so that at least some people will be able to respond to the tight deadlines listed here. Literally as I was printing these pages for mass production, a flier arrived for April's Michigan Glass Month, copies should be widely available, but if you are traveling, the only address given is Oakland Printing, 1754 Maplelawn, Troy MI 48084. I would suggest a #10 SASE.
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.
Started 1/31/94 ending 3/20/94 Para spacing in format, Header has #
58 Artists & 73 Glass-DB =131 150 copies total sent
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