Contact Mike Firth
March 22-May 24 1994
|Prev.Issue 18||Link to HGB Table of Contents||Next Issue 20|
|GLASS WORKSHOP||GLASS ART||CGCA FELLOWSHIPS||WHOAMI|
|THE GLASS WORKSHOP||DIVAS I||WRONG YEAR||DIVAS II|
|DIVAS III||MY GLASS||COLOR EXCHANGE||WET WOOD|
|GLASS ART||THE INDEPENDENT||GLASS MAGAZINE||WATER DRIPPER|
|HOUSTON||JANET WOLERY||GLOVES||HOT TONGS|
|SCHEDULE||BETTER PAPER||KITTRELL/RIFFKIND||GLASS TO DO|
|OMEGA||N-TYPE THERMOCOUPLES||ORTON FIRING||PHOTOS|
|SESSION||THE INDEPENDENT||DIVAS GLASS||BOTTLES|
|SHIPPING||FAX: 1-800-638-9899, A||THE PILCHUCK||G.A.S.NEWS|
|PETER ANDRES||CGCA FELLOWSHIPS||PHOTOS||STATUS|
This issue contains deadline information for
The New York Biennial of Glass May 31, 1994 THE GLASS WORKSHOP
Juried Glass show, all types, July 9, 1994, GLASS ART '94
On-site fellowships, Aug.16 & Nov.4, 1995 CGCA FELLOWSHIPS
[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.
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.
DIVAS I - Went to Ft.Worth to learn some more about cold working. Got some good practice. They have a nice flat stone that would span the gap between 220 grit flat iron disk and the cork wheel with pumice, but time and effort stand between its current state and installation. Using the vertical stone leaves an appearance like hammered metal. I wanted to learn, and did, how much time, pressure and cutting material were need to get a piece to a reasonable polish. The answer to all three was not much. Most of Divas pieces are sold with frosted bottoms, 220 grit on the wheel or from a Reciprolap. 3/22/94
WRONG YEAR - As I was setting up this issue, I discovered that HB#17 and HB#18 both went out with 1993 as the year just under the title box. So much for precision. Of course the year is given with almost every item: 3/23/94
DIVAS II - Terry Maxwell reports they are using nearly 1000 pounds of batch a month. Besides having filled classes, five people are blowing regularly based on ownership of various equipment, plus two assistants working for blow time and several former students. One nice effect seen there is using stringer with a lot of clear and stretched color, actually scrap from applying color to other pieces, gives a line effect like dry brush painting.
DIVAS III - Unfortunately, the door I liked so much in HB#17, now has rail guides which prevent the tipping away from, and resealing, the opening. The problem the rails solved was that the door expanded during high heat cooking of the batch and then jammed/twisted the first time it was opened. The motor above the door has had occasional overheating problems and is now masked with insul board. The brick set into the door has eroded and they expect to replace it with castable.
MY GLASS - I sent some pieces of glass to various relatives and friends along with my semi-annual family notes. I said it was not very good glass (having stones galore), but several have called or written to say it was nice to get it. I just bought some #1 split hard firebrick to form the ceiling of the furnace. The insulating firebrick has been cracking as it is weak in tension, thus dropping stones. I am planning on casting a crown for a replacement, somewhat bigger opening, lots bigger pot. I like the effect of gossamer molten color and will probably use small molten color pots well into the future.
COLOR EXCHANGE - While not yet having the problem myself, I can see that some glass artists might end up with color bar that they don't want to use, whether because of changes of style or because the color didn't work as expected. Since this stuff costs a dollar or two an inch, it seems reasonable that a paper listing of colors, in as much detail as possible, with prices and a name and address and phone(s), might be useful. If you have some color bar gathering dust, drop us a note with some description, a dollar figure, and contact name, address or phone. I will not be buying and selling to others. This seems much more unlikely, but if you batch your own color and want to sell some that you work compatibly with Spruce Pine Batch, drop us a note on that.
WET WOOD - If wood is left in water, it gets waterlogged: it sinks when dropped in water. Apparently, dry fruit wood, cherry, gets waterlogged rather quickly. The advantage of waterlogged wood for glassblowing is that it burns/chars more slowly. I have been told a story about good tools made from wood sunk in an Italian harbor. The cherry dowels I wrote about in HB#17 (1/94) are waterlogged now. The problem with waterlogged wood is that as it dries out, it cracks, so it must be kept wet. 3/27/94
GLASS ART '94 - A juried competition open to all original glass art, Glass Art '94 is sponsored by the East Texas Glass Artists [Longview Art Museum, 102 West College, Longview TX 75601, 903-753-8103] with a deadline of 9 July for a show 16 July to 27 August. A maximum of three works may be submitted. Entry fee for non-members is $15 each, 3 for $40 (or $15 membership, then $10 each, 3 for $25.) Entries may be hand-delivered on the 9th or shipped prepaid freight with a postdated check for return freight. Sales from the show are encouraged, with a 30% commission claimed, get brochure. Juror is Carl Trimble, "a Denton glass artist & sculptor, with 27 years in glass." This show was rather skimpy in '93 (HB#14) as a members only show and overwhelmed the group in '92 when they made an extra international promotional effort. 3/28/94
THE INDEPENDENT GLASSBLOWER #32 arrived with the start of a series on glass furnace construction. [IGB, % David Gruenig HC 30 Box 25 Barnet VT 05821, $25/yr, quarterly.]
GLASS MAGAZINE #55 [647 Fulton St., Brooklyn NY 11217, 718-625-3685, $28/yr, $52/2yr] arrives with a long article on William Morris that quotes several rather stupid sounding critics in order to attack them and discuss the state of criticism about glass. Also includes some splendid pictures of Morris' installations. [Morris does glass work that looks like old bones and ancient artifacts.] This is followed by Criticism & Glass, without pictures but with a big headline and that by an article on Judith Schaechter, who does grotesque stained glass - the g word as in cathedral decorations - also with lots of pictures. The Glass Workshop has decided that since they put the mag out, they might as well have a page or two of news. Among the advertisers is Sable V in Wimberley. Marc S. Boutte, sometimes in Texas, has a piece in a color ad for Tesuque Glassworks in New Mexico. 4/1/94
WATER DRIPPER RECIPE - Hardware stores sell "Needle
Valves" for about $5. The kind wanted take tubing on both
sides and are used for delivering water to coolers and ice makers.
Not wanted is the piercing valve which mounts on bigger tubing
and makes a hole in the side for icemakers: the valve is supposed
to be all on or all off, not for fine control. Needle Valves take
small (1/8" ID) copper tubing, so buy a foot or two of that
($.75) If you are using small plastic hose from the nearest water
supply, buy some small hose clamps. If you want to hook to garden
hose or bigger copper, buy a union adapter, 1/8 to 1/4". If
you don't have some, buy a foot or more of the larger tubing, and
get a small copper tubing cutter if you don't own one. I wanted
to attach mine to a garden hose and discovered to my delight that
the plastic snap fittings sold for garden hoses have an ID just a
shade smaller than the larger copper tubing. These snap fittings
come in two flavors: the more common one has the outside threads
with the plug (and the inside with the socket and often with a
valve) and a less common one with inside threads with the plug. (To
use the sexual terms: the less common has a threaded female hose
fitting with a male snap fitting.) Gently tapping the copper
tubing inside the fitting will pressure fit it and epoxy can be
used if necessary. (The same thing can be done with soldered
copper and brass fittings.)
Cut (or have the store cut) the smaller tubing into a 6" piece and a longer piece. Fit the longer piece in one side of the valve - it uses compression fittings that slide together - and the short in the other. Tighten with pliers. Put the union on the other end of the short piece and the larger tubing in the other side of the union and tighten them. Test with lower water pressure. You should be able to get anything from a drop every few seconds to a steady stream. 4/2/94
HOUSTON - I drove to Houston to visit several glass workers, spending almost exactly two days in the town from Monday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon. The people time was very pleasant; the weather was heavy overcast until the last day, which dropped to 40 degrees. I was warned repeatedly about traffic gridlock, but had few problems with that. On the other hand, Houston has much worse driving than Dallas: 98% of the time we were moving way over the speed limit, with some cars darting through traffic even faster. The strangest phenom was lines of 7 or 8 cars traveling half a car length apart at 60 mph while lanes on either side were empty. Some chunk of the drivers apparently feel they have the right to both go fast and stay in the same lane and the other car must move aside, so they tailgate. I drove around such worms ten or a dozen times. 4/7/94
& ELLEN ABBOTT are celebrating their 20th year in business,
primarily sandblasting architectural panels. They consider it as
reasonable to make 1062 identical 2x2' panels for a building in
Florida and to carve blossoms and vines in a $2,000 3/4"x 11'x
5.5' piece of glass for a table top. They have done some glass
casting. They work in an older neighborhood northwest of
downtown, using two small houses the age of mine as home and
design/display office with a compact workshop out back. When I
visited the big table top was on a trailer in the driveway with a
plastic sheet sandblasting hood. The office is filled with
samples and the work is finely detailed. Ellen does the design
and business record while Marc does job organization and
sandblasting with the assistance of Ellen and other workers. More
time is spent masking than blasting - I noted 19 steps marked out
on one flower on the table.
TOM BLOOMFIELD did flat panel work and had a shop for many years. He lives in the far NW corner of the county and has set up a blowing shop with very well built equipment. He purchased the recuperative hardware (see below) that Charles Correll sells and says he burns .6 gallons of propane per hour with an 18" crucible. He has a large and small glory hole, two annealers, and grinds using 80 grit on a flat disk, a 400 grit belt, and #2 pumice on a flat pad. He is now making clear glass flower arrangements, pulling leaves and forming flowers that catch the light and gluing them to clear slabs with smoothed chipped edges, marketing them at $70 to $150 depending on the number of blooms from 2 to 5 with several leaves.
JANET WOLERY runs a gallery, Contempo-Art, off the Bay Area Blvd. at Highway 3 [713-488-6960] in Clear Lake area of south Houston, that carries her own and several others glass work, including Tom's, along with other kinds of decorative crafts. She lives nearby and makes paperweights from Gabbert cullet and dichroic. She also fuses plates and jewelry and uses fused elements in her paperweights. She says fused jewelry sells well at her shop, but is not marketable by conventional channels, which are overwhelmed with other jewelry sources; more people selling glass should include jewelry along side the other glass. She uses several kilns and a set of equipment, furnace, glory hole and annealer from Denver Glass Machinery. The furnace is electric and she doesn't much like it. She bought the set when she moved from Ohio to Houston and had orders pending.
DREW EBELHARE has a workshop just off Bellaire just west of I-610. Drew is one of two shops in the country producing classic-style millefiori paperweights. His weights sell for $155 to $300 in a flier from L.H.Selman Ltd. [761 Chestnut Street, Santa Cruz CA 95060] His shop is a metal building with a display room, tool shop, cold working and storage areas, and modest sized hot shop. Drew blows from two crucibles, cobalt and clear based on Gabbert cullet using Zimmerman color and a 6" glory hole. He has considered changing his base glass, but would have to redo the hundreds of mille stringers I saw laid out on a table. I had the pleasure of watching him finish setting up and then make a millefiori cross weight. The process was different than I expected, using far more glass and working the inner form more. He also finished off the pots with several less formal and expensive weights that have a few millefiori in them and wholesale about $20 instead of $125. He uses an iron scoop chilled in water to empty his pots before shutting down the furnace. He showed me how simply watching after jacking, while holding the pipe upright and turning it, allows the bottom of weight to flatten slowly, reducing grinding significantly. Drew makes a lot of use of a low pressure (under 20 psi) air hose, to speed work by cooling the glass faster and to cool the end of the pipe or some other area he wants locally cooled. Drew works his weights on the wider head of a pipe rather than building up from a smaller punty. Dru turns out to have another avo/occupation: refinishing, with beautiful black lacquer, etc., Japanese swords, which he also sells and trades. He says he seems to be fitting in niche areas of American commerce.
GLOVES - Drew likes to use fireplace gloves which he says came from L.L.Bean for handling ordinary hot stuff (not glass) around the shop. Leather front and back; I failed to look at padding if any. 4/9/94 [Unfortunately, when I called L.L.Bean 1-800-221-4221, the gloves were a Christmas item and are no longer in stock. They were $21.50. I went by Welder's Supply and found they had similar looking, brown leather lined with soft stuff and with long cuffs, large for $11.27. Welder's also has hot gloves rated at 600°F for a long time and much higher temps briefly for $45.08. The problem with leather work gloves from Home Depot, etc., is that the back is fabric and gets hot very quickly. 4/18/94]
HOT TONGS - Drew uses a pair of stainless tongs like ice cube or potato tongs to handle some of his hot weights. They are padded with a couple of fingers from an old high temperature glove! 4/9/94
RECUPERATIVE FURNACE - Although I have heard of it for years and may have seen drawings, seeing Tom Bloomfield's installation made things a lot clearer. Charles Correll [Correll Glass Studio, RR1, Box 150A, Conway MA 01341, 413-369-4283 FAX: 413-369-4769] sells, for about $1700, a set of four parts: a two part burner block, a cast base silicon carbide plate exchanger and a stainless steel tube exchanger. (He also sell complete furnaces.) The purpose of a recup is to preheat the incoming air, taking heat from the exhaust, to reduce the amount of fuel needed to get the air to 2200°F. There are three flows to describe. Gas enters straight through a nipple-shaped outlet into a short 3" dia. tube. Two ceramic blocks form the gas and air input and the burner tube with air swirl. Exhaust air leaves below the burner and passes first through a hollow block cast to hold two silicon carbide plates forming three passageways, the exhaust taking the two outside paths. Having cooled somewhat, it then flows past the stainless steel tubes and fittings Correll provides inside a refractory flue the furnace builder makes. The incoming air flow, a lot of volume at a few psi, starts in PVC pipe, about 2", into a fitting at the top of the flue that splits the flow into several stainless steel tubes, traveling down under pressure, getting hotter. At the bottom, the flow merges passing between the SiC plates while the hottest exhaust passes outside. The very hot incoming air enters the first ceramic block through several holes which lead to the second block which has holes set at an angle to the outlet/burner hole. The air swirls, the gas is injected in the middle, and the hot stuff heads to the furnace to become exhaust. In the standard design, the flame is aimed at the side of a free standing crucible, although this is not required and Tom's goes across the top. 4/7/94
PULLEY - In Home Depot I came across a Murray Lawnmower Idler Pulley, about 5" with a ball bearing in the center, $14.50. The flanges on the edge are greater in width than a v-belt pulley and should match with 1/2" water pipe or 3/4" conduit. 4/7/94
I have been letting the time I spend on glassblowing, doing it and writing about it, get out of hand. Seeing the effort the people in Houston were doing jolted me, although I have been concerned for some time. I thought of two days a week, but that I not the way I function, so I modified my billing time program to total the hours on the fly and will limit myself to a hour of glassblowing stuff for each four hours of billed time. Of course, I will start after Houston, so those hours don't pile on. 4/10/94
CARNAUBA - Beeswax, as I found, being hard to track down, a couple of people in Houston are using carnauba wax, which is much harder and higher temp. A source of carnauba is Spruce Pine Batch, which sells it for about $15 a kilo, which is a fair bulk. 4/12/94
MY GLASS - When I went to Divas (above), I stopped at A.P.Green to get some hard splits to repair the roof of my furnace/glory hole. Got to use it today. Started off poorly with things falling off and junking and my putting stuff back in the pot. Later it went a lot better and I got several nice pieces. I cleaned out the pot. I have to look at the condition of the pot. The blanket door I have been using got damaged in the rain. I need to make something that isn't quite so awkward to handle. 4/16/94
VENTILATION - Several kinds of ventilation are needed in a glassblowing studio and ideally these should be relatively independent. One requirement is removal of the chemical fumes of fuming and dusting, which is a specialized need with a filter, moving a moderate amount of air. The second need is removing the huge amount of heat generated by the furnace and glory hole. The third need is removing/controlling the heat on the blowing floor. Many studios use (corrugated) sheet metal walls to isolate the furnace wall heat from the blowing area. Often the solution to the last two needs is one fan pulling air from the furnace side with replacement air coming from a window or doorway. The problem shows up when the air being pulled in is cold, as it was in Ohio in May or Houston in April where a rare chill put the temperature at 40°. If at all possible, the fan venting the furnace area should have its own air source, while a separate fan should vent the work area, the former keeping the temperature safe, the latter keeping it comfortable. If the floor is very cold, the glass will work differently as it will if it is windy, losing heat more rapidly. If the floor is too hot, the workers can suffer heat stress and materials and controllers can be damaged. If too much air is moved past the furnaces, heat losses and operating expenses go up. Art Allison and others have a very close vent hood over the furnace, pulling just enough air to remove the heat, while adding ventilation for the floor in other ways.
CANDLES - I like, at times, when working on my computer at night (12:25 AM), to have very low level background lighting. Lately, I have been using candles. The radiance of a single votive candle in a dimpled glass cup is impressive. Of course, candles are harsh lighting - very high contrast - but if I were selling pieces that used candles, I would very much want to know how they behaved. I have a (flawed) paperweight on my desk, a glass bowl in the van for change and candy, a bud vase on the table, and a mantle of my favorite glass. Do you live with the pieces you make? 4/23/94 [After writing this, I picked up the paperweight, a flattened ovoid with clear green tendrils and bubbles, and held it before the candle. The brilliance of the spots of light in the glass is stunning, unexpected. I will want to try some pieces with thickened glass to hold candles and some roundel kinds of things for copper foil assembly.]
JACKS - Tom Bloomfield uses jacks with carbon arc rods installed in them. He says it is getting increasingly difficult to get the bare rods, since most modern arc rods are copper cladded, which doesn't work for jacking.
PAPERWEIGHT STORAGE - Handling the round heavy weights is eased by Tom using a combination of foam plastic holders for apples obtained from the grocery store or farmer's market set on white plastic light grids used in office lighting. The former hold the weights while the grid provides the strength to carry a dozen or more weights.
SCHEDULE - It seems likely that the amount of time I spend on HB and glass working is going to suffer for a while. I am keeping to my schedule of glass hours to work hours mentioned above and one result is more money coming in as I do more work hours. But the city has put pressure on some of the poorer housing in the area and the residual effect is inspectors looking at us too. I had started scraping the house for repaint and had covered a leak in the roof pending repairs and got a Notice of Violation demanding I finish the work and do something about the garage. The first two were easy, the last has resulted in getting a permit to "repair" the garage, which in this case means literally, jacking up the roof, replacing all the side walls (which are vertical planks, no studs) and putting a concrete floor in. One effect of the construction is that one of the storage sheds for stuff inside the garage/shop will become a shelter for glassblowing when I am done. 5/1/94
BETTER PAPER - Tom also reports that he finds the paper used for the New York Times is better quality and does not turn to pulp the way certain local rags do.
KITTRELL/RIFFKIND - I was in northern Dallas so I dropped in on the Goblet Invitational at Kittrell/Riffkind Art Glass [Olla Podrida, 12215 Coit Rd, #163, Dallas TX 75251, 214-239-7957], over 25 artists, thru May 30th. Most of the goblets were from familiar territory. I was particularly surprised/delighted by several pieces. Josh Simpson's "Tektite Goblet", featured on the postcard announcing the show, provides an effect of a white glass goblet wrapped in volcanic lava. Art Allison had some stubby goblets with men's faces and removable hats, not far in spirit from the little pottery mugs we have all seen. Also, on a back table was a two foot tall goblet set with Art's glass on top, a turned wooden base and twisted barbed wire connecting the two. Ian Lewis makes goblets with a crystalline sphere forming the bottom of the cup. I especially liked one where the outer shell of the cup was graceful wasp waist with the ball inserted at the narrowest point. Other pieces on display included more of Art Allison's, frosted globes with spiral horn shapes glued to them by Drew Smith, more complex solid pieces from Judy Weilberger, and kaleidoscopes with a wooden base that stores spare bits to put into the front of the scope. 5/3/94
GLASS TO DO - At K/R I had the idea that it would be interesting to make a set of two or four footless goblets along with a base to hold them. Design of the base could offer candelabra or flower-arrangement-like choices. Obviously the target of such a piece would be people who hold up standup social gatherings, cocktail parties, since using the glasses while eating doesn't compute. Footless goblets are not new. I have seen German designs, 300-400 years old, which were laid down or turned upside down when empty. I don't think I have ever seen the execution of a set. Correction welcome.
OMEGA - I got my order from Omega [1-800-622-2378] As I
suspected the heavy duty thermocouple does not come with a
terminal block as did the one from A.R.T.Studio Clay [1-800-323-0212],
but it came with 3 extra ceramic tube segments, which is a point
of failure (they crack off.) Omega handled the order smoothly and
professionally. Instructions are inside the back cover and the
fact they take credit cards is buried in the middle. My order was
actually shipped several days before originally designated.
I ordered 50 feet of the least expensive K-type thermocouple wire to replace two stiff 3' pieces along with miniature connectors to match my temperature converter. I put 5' on the controller, 5' on the thermocouple for the annealer and made a 5' extension. I will mount the thermometer and controller so they are more protected from wind and rain. 5/3/94
N-TYPE THERMOCOUPLES - The April 94 issue of Sensors magazine has a brief article on Type N thermocouples which alter the alloys used in Type K TC's to provide a higher temperature limit, less problems from oxidation and other more sophisticated factors. An adapter allows using Type N into Type K hardware. While the increase from 1200°C to 1250°C (2280°F) for continuous operation and improvement of oxidation effects is important (we get warnings not to use Type K in oxidizing atmospheres), I was astonished at one of the graphs in the article. One of the charges against Type K (in comparison with much more expensive Platinum) is that they drift with time. A graph shows the improvement of Type N vs Type K. But Type K only drifts 16° in 700 hours of operation at 1200°C (N drifts 2° in 700 hours at 1250.) Now, there are applications where that drift might be a problem, but 700 hours is almost 29 days operation at the peak end (2192°F) which is above the temperature most blowers hold their glass so the drift should be less than the potential 28.8°F. Omega [above] sells Type N at the same cost as K, but only in 3 more expensive styles, vs 20 or more for K type.
ORTON FIRING LINE - a newsletter [quarterly Orton Firing Institute, PO Box 460, Westerville OH 43081] that discusses problems solved by the institute, projects supported by the Orton Foundation and work of a couple of artists.
PHOTOS - Most people judging art require slides. Most people taking pictures these days use C-41 process print film, which can be processed at almost every major intersection in one hour. Unfortunately, getting slides from print film or negatives is an expensive process, typically $5 or more per print. Interestingly, getting prints made from slides is rather cheap. And most professional film processing services can process slides in 2 hours. One local lab charges $5.30 for 2 hour service on a 24 exposure roll. Duplicate slides are $.69 if only a few are wanted. Prints from slides range from $2 for a type R 4x6 machine print ($11 for a custom print up to 8x10.) Another way of making prints is to use a $2.50 35mm inter-negative to make a $1.21 machine print or $10.48 custom 4x6 print. ($10 for 4x5 inter-negative.) Slide film is preferred because of the brightness of the colors, because more manipulation can be done with prints to fudge appearance, and because juries are usually several people looking at pictures together. 5/8/94
SESSION - Finally squeezed in an evening of glassblowing between rain, mowing, house repairs and, oh yes, work. Very frustrating at first. Lots of mistakes in setting up and in working the glass. First session with the new roof made of splits. Three or four complete small pieces, finally. 5/12/94
THE INDEPENDENT GLASSBLOWER issue for MAR/APRIL/MAY arrived with the feature article being part II of Furnace Construction. Perhaps the best part is a discussion of why and how to make a burner block and some of the choices in styles. There are letters of praise for a book, Ed's Big Handbook of Glassblowing, which I will get a copy of for review. 5/12/94
DIVAS GLASS ART, south of Ft.Worth, has stopped melting for the summer. The ladies, Shirley Daniel and Terry Maxwell, will be visiting New Mexico, including visiting some glassblowers. Both of them worked in cold glass before getting into blowing and continue to do that during the heat of summer. 5/15/94
BOTTLES - I have grown to like using plastic 16 and 20 ounce soda pop bottles to hold various grits and frits and polishes. The bottles are almost unbreakable and are clear. Besides taking the cap off to get at stuff, caps can be made with holes drilled in them to dispense in a shaker fashion. The threading is the same as liquid detergent bottles, so those pull-open/push-shut caps can be used. Now that the fad is for "clear" and "free" detergents, those clear bottles can be used although they vary widely in size and shape, unlike soda bottles. 5/17/94
SHIPPING - If you are shipping your glass, you may be scrounging supplies. You might want to get the Chiswick catalog (1-800-225-8708 FAX: 1-800-638-9899, Albuquerque NM) of packaging, shipping and warehouse supplies. Having the catalog on hand, you may not order from it, but find it a reference to products and prices so you can ask more intelligent questions, find closer sources and compare cost. 5/18/94
THE PILCHUCK SOCIETY [Pilchuck Glass School, 107 South Main St., Suite 324, Seattle WA 98104-2515] has memberships starting at $50 for a quarterly newsletter and mylar window sticker, Open House invitation and 10% discount on books, posters, tapes and tools at the School Store. Higher cost memberships have more goodies. All members have a chance to win a 22 inch tall vase made at Pilchuck. 5/18/94
G.A.S.NEWS - The April 1994 issue arrived with a vigorous report on the Conference in Oakland. Next year is the 25th Conference and it will return to Penland/Asheville during May 11-14. Penland is building a new 4,500 sq.ft. Glass Center which should be ready for the Conf. The new members of the board are listed. Five opportunities for glass artists are listed along with about 50 museum exhibitions and one person shows. For membership and news copies contact the Glass Art Society, 1305 4th Ave., Suite 711, Seattle WA 98101, 206-382-1305 FAX:206-382-2630. 5/21/94
PETER ANDRES - I traveled south 35 miles to visit Peter at Scarborough Renaissance Faire where he demonstrates and sells for 8 weekends, blowing glass during the week to sell. A couple of tech bits include his use of 250 gallons of propane a week melting Gabbert Cullet. He runs a color and a clear pot furnace with a quad door glory hole with a hot vent used as pipe heater and color garage. With Chris Chapman as life and blowing partner, he is now away from home almost 5 months working Faires in Arizona and Texas. They have dropped a fair they did in New York because of wanting more time at home, which now includes an expanded barn, plumbed and wired to be the studio. Because of the environment, where the food and crafts are as much a part of the entertainment as the juggling and mud fights and workers wear special badges because so many customers wear elaborate costumes, Peter has to have a patter and he does a terrific one, relaxing the crowd, getting good questions after telling them what he is going to do. Peter will be there thru June 12th, Sat.& Sun plus Memorial Day. 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. 5/22/94 [May is the rainiest month of the year in the Dallas area; over twice as much rain as most other months. Chris told me that the Faire picked its dates 14 years ago based on 20 years of drought data after which things returned to normal. Now they can't change because of dates of other faires that vendors go to.] Besides Peter, there are flameworkers 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.) Several of the local community colleges sell discount tickets, $10, and $2 off coupons from the $12.75 adult price are available from Kroger.
1995 CGCA FELLOWSHIPS have deadlines of August 16 and November 4th. The former applies to the session Feb.20 - May 19 while the latter is for the two sessions May 30 - Aug.25 and Sep.5 - Dec.1, 1995. The Center part of the Wheaton Cultural Alliance, Inc. and operates out of a recreated 1888 glass factory that is part of Wheaton Village in southern New Jersey. "Preference is given to artists who have had several years experience outside the educational environment." Four fellowships are given per session. The fellows live together in a four bedroom house, receive $500 a month for expenses, have 24 hour access to the studio and all the glass they can use. Fellows assist each other. Studio space is shared with Wheaton Village staff who demonstrate to the public. The public can observe the artists who are expected to work 12 hours/week during public time, but they are not required to perform demos. Application requires 10 numbered and identified slides and eight copies of paper work, which includes two letters of recommendation, resume, statement and application form. Selection is by a committee of trustees who include Doug Heller of Heller Gallery and artist Paul Stankard. [Creative Glass Center of America, 1501 Glasstown Rd, Millville NJ 08332-1566 Denise Dendrinos, Program Coordinator, 609-825-6800 x 2733] 5/23/94
PHOTOS - I am carrying around a pair of portfolios that show examples of glass of particular artists and photos their equipment. I normally take these pictures when I visit. If you wish to share views of your place, I would prefer the following: two pictures from the same position - one across the shop at the hot wall, the second to the right or left showing most of the rest of the shop often including annealers. A third picture of cold working equipment would be nice. For pictures of work, I favor one picture filled with your best/favorite piece and another showing several pieces that represent the variety of your work. The pictures I carry are 4x6 or 3 1/2x5. If you send slides, I will have prints made. 5/21/94
STATUS - Besides rebuilding my garage (to meet city code violation notice) and continuing repairs and painting on the house, I hope to cast a crown for a bigger furnace/glory hole. I also plan as firmly as I can to travel to Ashville/Penland in May 95 for the G.A.S.Conference.
REFERENCE LISTS - 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 so when people ask I can send them some place.
RECIPES - 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, please do so; ask for a sample page if you wish. The following are available now, $2 for the first one, $1 for each additional ordered at the same time to cover copy, processing and mailing costs.
__ Building a small firebrick gloryhole.
__ Using Propane in a Small Glassblowing Operation
__ Making a Flat Grinder __ Building a fiber lined annealer
__ Lower cost temperature measurement __ Organizations & periodicals
__ Glossary __ Making a small crucible
Blow good Glass
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 3/21/94 ending 5/23/94 Para spacing in format, Header has #
57 Artists & 67 Glass-DB = 140 copies 124 total sent
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