Hot Glass Bits #26

Contact Mike Firth

June 1 - August 4, 1995

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This issue contains deadline information for August 9th for voting on INTERNET GLASS August 15th (postmark) for price increase at GIBERSON [capitalized KEYWORD starts a paragraph below] Known hot glass class sites: 01002, 04627, 14830, 11217, 43216, 70130, 75253, 76028, 98144, 98292 Would like to know of others

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. It is normally closed near the end of the odd numbered months and mailed soon after.

WHOAMI? - Mike Firth is a 52 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 had 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 married self-employed computer programmer and teacher about computers.

Vision Thing: I can encourage more glassblowing in Texas by producing, at relatively low cost, a newsletter which shares information about glassblowing in Texas and in general and by providing copies to all people known to have an interest in Texas.

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.

POLICY - I have been providing free copies of HB to all known glassblowers in Texas, to share the information and encourage glassblowing. I also send single free copies to glassblowers around the country to spread the news. Many of these people have liked it enough to pay. Recently, when doing taxes, I was surprised to see how much I was spending on HB in a year. If you are getting HB and find it at least an $11 a year value, you would help if you paid this modest fee. If you have paid, the words Paid or Prev.Paid appear on your mailing label. 4/27/95

MORE GAS CONF - I will probably be finding bits and pieces of info from the conference through out working on this issue. SPRUCE PINE BATCH Company had T- shirts made up with the slogan "Life's a Batch" under a cartoon of a glassworker in medieval dress making a goblet by the flame of a fire breathing dragon.

------------------------ Hot Glass Magazines and Newsletters
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Antique Notes [Blenko Glass, P.O. Box 67, , Milton, WV, 25541] Vol.2, No.4 Summer 1995 2 pages, summer vacation notice, part 1 of history of Blenko, notice of sale of dalles in 50 colors at $4.50 each. 7/24/95
Glass Art Magazine [P.O.Box 260377, Highlands Ranch, CO, 80126-0377] Glass Artist magazine [28 South State Street, Newtown, PA, 18940, (215) 860 9947]
Glass Focus, the Contemporary Art Glass Periodical, [9323 Olcott, Morton Grove, IL, 60053, 708-967-8433, $5/$24] Vol.9 June/Jul 95 18 pages 2 of ads + 7 of galleries 11x17 folded. Glass collectors: Headlines on Glassweekend and glass in White House on CBS Sunday Morning; Interview: Jose Chardiet; Art Alliance news; Gallery Exhibitions; Events; bits and pieces; letters; glasses; Focus on the Artists 6/8/95
Glass Line [P.O.Box 847, Huntington Beach, CA, 92648, 1-714-969-0240 $7/$25] Vol.9,No.1 June/July 95 Glossy, 20 pages, 5 of ads. Lampworking: Lets make an exhaust hood; making murrini with letters; video review Beadmaking with Michael Max; Contents of Vol.8; Column by Robert Mickelsen; Workshop calendar; Vagabond Lampworker Jerry Liotta; Letters; new hi temp gas addin; Computer Corner. 6/8/95
GLASS Magazine [UrbanGlass, 647 Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY, 11217-1112, 1-718- 625-3685] Revised production schedule, see below. 7/24/95
Hot Glass Bits Newsletter [1019 Martinique, Dallas TX 75223 2 , $11, 6/yr] Independent Glass Blower [% Gruenig Glass Works, Main St.,W.Barnet VT 05821,1- 802-633-4022, $25/yr, qrtly]
SCARBOROUGH FAIRE - Well, I missed getting down to see Peter Andres at the renaissance fair south of here this year. Would have liked to but roof repair and GAS and other things have piled on.

EYE DAMAGE - Not another ride through the UV/IR labyrinth, I managed to tear the edge of my retina just by being nearsighted and standing up from a bending over position. A small horseshoe shaped tear, repaired with a cryo-probe in an in-office procedure. After the repair and while wearing patch was doing some small hobby repairs and found lack of depth perception very disconcerting. 6/18/95

GIBERSON - Dudley Giberson's Joppa Glassworks, Inc. [source] has announced an increase in the price of burner heads from $110 to $125 effective 8/15/95. For those who don't know, Dudley has been a primary supplier of ceramic burner heads for glory holes, kilns, and furnaces, holding a patent that has now expired (about the time Wilton Industries entered the fray.) He offers very good support for people needing advice on buying burners or electric elements, which he also sells along with various supports, valves and Zircon. If you haven't seen the catalog including miscellaneous advice, contact Joppa for a copy. If you have an older edition, the 6th is $3. 6/26/95

ZIP-LOC - I sweat a lot when working outside, literally dripping shortly after starting hard labor in our climate. I recently bought a box of Snack Size Zip- Loc plastic bags, largely because they were almost free with a coupon. They are designed for about 3 Oreo cookies and are 6.5"x3" inside, x 4" outside. I immediately began using one for keeping dry the handkerchief I use for cleaning my glasses and another for keeping dry the note paper I try to carry with me most of the time. But, besides dry, I have found they are good for keeping clean both as in reading a list while handling and for holding miscellaneous. One has ended in my pocket half full of a variety of nails as I work on my roof. The connection with glass is relatively low but (it's my newsletter and) I could see a small bag holding a page of paper describing what is in a bucket of batch - protecting the paper from the chemicals - or noting progress of wet work during cold working. I have found that the soft plastic in Zip-Loc bags eventually scratches badly, making them less than ideal for holding bolts and nuts for example where inspection through the plastic to find a specific part might seem possible. 7/9/95

ESSAY - I have spent much of July putting a new roof on my house, working morning and evening to avoid the worst of 102.F heat at times. I have spent part of this same time thinking how I will be earning money in the future. This may be a mid-life crisis or not, but if it is and you might see one coming, here is a piece of advice: DON'T USE REROOFING YOUR HOUSE AS PART OF YOUR MID-LIFE CRISIS, it ain't worth it.

AMERICAN CRAFT - Vol.55,#4 arrives along with a whole series of reminders to renew. I don't think I will. I can see American Craft (AC) at the library and don't see that it exposes me to more glass artists than my subscription to GLASS Magazine (GM). I subscribed last year when they came up with an especially cheap offer, but not this year. I actually like AC better than GM because AC seems more honest about the material being produced and wastes a lot less space on pretentious "Art" essays that mostly are anti-glass in GM. AC covers the GAS conference, overly emphasizing the Penland day, I think. 7/25/95

1996 NICHE AWARDS - announcement received without much notice and since the deadline is 1 August 1995 [arrival at offices: NICHE Awards Competition, 3000 Chestnut Avenue, Suite 304, Baltimore MD 21211, 800-272-3893], all reading this will find it too late, maybe next year. Fee is $25 for up to 3 categories represented by a single slide per entry. Possible glass related categories are GLASS One-of-a-kind (G1); Production Functional (G2F) and Decorative (G2D); JEWELRY: FASHION One-of-a-kind (J1) Production (J2) and SERIES: ANY MEDIUM One-of-a-kind (S1) Production (S2) NICHE is a magazine that focuses on marketing, showing stores and galleries and discussing their history. A primary feature of the prize is ability to promote. $15,000 awards with unspecified distribution; publication in winter issue. Co-sponsors include The Walt Disney Company, QVC Home Shopping Channel; Guthy-Renker Corporation and AmericanStyle Magazine. 7/24/95

BAY AREA GLASS IN TEXAS - The 1995 Bay Area Glass Invitational featuring Selected Glass Sculpture is showing at Lyons Matrix Gallery, 1712 Lavaca, Austin TX 78701, July 15 to Sept. 2. Artists included are Bill Concannon, John Lewis, Peter Mangan, Carl Powell, Carola Nan Roach, Pamina Traylor, and Mary B White. 7/24/95

BEAD & BUTTON - [P.O.Box 56488, Boulder CO 80323-6488] is a magazine on making jewelry using beads, which includes glass beads. No suggestion in the small mailing received that making glass beads will be included. 7/24/95

PILCHUCK AUCTION - A card has been received announcing Pilchuck Glass School's Annual Auction on the weekend of October 26-29. For information on invitations, contact Pilchuck at 206-621-8422 or write 315 2nd Ave., S., Seattle WA 98104. 7/24/95

GLASS MAGAZINE - [647 Fulton St., Brooklyn NY 11217-1112, 718-625-3685] announces a shift in its production schedule from Jan/Apr/Jul/Oct to Feb/May/Sep/Dec apparently to be labeled Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter. Careful examination of the months involved shows the shift moves production out of the winter holidays and provides more time during the summer months. 7/24/95

DIGITRY [108 High Street, Portland OR 04101 207-774-0300] provides a GAS Report that focuses almost entirely on the new studio at Penland where they provided the controllers. They also announce New Goodies which include a controllable auxiliary relay, which might be used, they suggest, for opening a kiln door for "crash" cooling. If you suggest a terrific use, they will award you a free relay enhancement on your next GB1 purchase. A new option is 4-20 ma current loop, a commonly used industrial control method for proportional opening of motorized valves, etc. Now in final field testing. Dig is also offering heavier duty K type thermocouples, including a 9" with 14 gauge wire and a heavy duty 8 gauge model. Both of these have been widely available from other sources. They are also selling their T-shirts at $9 each. 7/24/95

HORIZONS The New England Craft Program [108 North Main St., Sunderland MA 01375, 413-665-0300] announces a Glass Beadmaking: Lampworking in Italy during October 7-14, with Kristina Logan. Glassblowing sessions planned are Aug. 10- 15 with Melanie Guernsey and an Add-On Aug. 16-19 with Carmen Sasso; Oct. 7-9 with Jim Holmes with an Add-On Oct.10-12 with Carmon Sasso; and Oct.21-23 with Page Hazelgrove. The Add-On's may be taken without taking the previous session if the basic knowledge needed is already on hand. Cost of the glassblowing sessions is roughly $100 per day ($310 to $510 per session.) 7/24/95

INTERNET GLASS - The following is a slightly modified (mostly format) version of the call for votes on establishing a GLASS site on the Internet. Read the description for details of previous efforts. Note that if you want to vote, you will have to send the proper message to if you do it from CompuServe. I have only a spectator's interest in this.
FIRST CALL FOR VOTES (of 2) unmoderated group Newsgroups line: All aspects of glassworking and glass. Votes must be received by 23:59:59 UTC, 9 Aug 1995. This vote is being conducted by a neutral third party. For voting questions only contact Steve Bonine <>. For questions about the proposed group contact John Sutter <>. CHARTER The scope of the proposed newsgroup should include but not be limitied to: - the working of glass in any manner such as stained glass glassblowing neon and other luminous tube casting fusing scientific/laboratory flamework beads making jewelry making - equipment - techniques - materials - safety - business issues - announcements of classes and shows - announcements of conferences The discussions will be held in English. FAQs should be developed for specific areas of interest and will be posted to the group on a periodic basis. Reasonable commercial announcements will be permitted as long as they are clearly marked as such in the subject of the message. This newsgroup is not intended to be a marketplace. RATIONALE Glassworking in one form or another has been around for 5000 years. Today glassworking of various sorts is practiced by hobbyists, craftspeople, and artists in homes, shops, studios and laboratories around the world. An active glass mailing list with an initial membership in 1993 of 40 readers existed until March of 1995 hen it disappeared. The size of the upon its demise is unknown. The list served as a great resource and forum for discussion with an average of about 5 messages a day. The creation of is proposed to re-establish a forum in which to discuss glassworking. A proposal had originally been submitted to alt.config for alt.crafts.glassblowing. Subsequent discussion showed an interest in expanding the scope of the mailing list and also moving into rec.crafts hence this RFD for There were further comments that rec.arts.glassworking should be used instead to promote glasswork as an art but this naming would unnecessarily limit the scope of the newsgroup and does not fit in well with newsgroups already in rec.arts. The discussion period resulted in the change of the name to to make the group more generic and more easily subdivided at a later date if needs be. HOW TO VOTE Send MAIL to: Just replying should work if you are not reading this on a mailing list. It would be appreciated by the votetaker if you did NOT forward the entire CFV back; this mail is archived and I really don't need several hundred copies of the CFV on my system. Your mail message should contain one of the following statements: I vote YES on I vote NO on You may also ABSTAIN in place of YES/NO - this will not affect the outcome. Anything else may be rejected by the automatic vote counting program. The votetaker will respond to your received ballots with a personal acknowledge- ment by mail - if you do not receive one within several days, try again. It is your responsibility to make sure your vote is registered correctly. Only one vote per person, no more than one vote per account. Addresses and votes of all voters will be published in the final voting results list. 7/24/95

GLASS ART SOCIETY in their questionnaire about this year's conference tells us that the '96 conference will be in Boston, June 6-9, and the '97 in Tucson. 7/25/95

AMERICANSTYLE - I have been sent a sample copy of issue #2 of AmericanStyle [P.O.Box 96063, Washington DC 20078-7115, $19.95 charter rate, $7 cover price, quarterly] courtesy of Wendy Rosen, who is publisher. It is more for the people who buy glass than make it and it has a significant quantity of glass, much of it priced, I would guess, at closer to checkbook or wallet cash range than the bank loan area of Glass Mag's gallery ads. A one page article with five pictures shows the work of Barry Entner while the next page discusses the cost of collecting studio glass (by the publisher of The Value of Glass, a newsletter that is advertised elsewhere in the issue) and the small size of the hot glass making collecting community. Two of the articles in this issue are gallery hopping tour suggestions for Santa Fe and the coast of Maine. I found the mag a good read and would show it to people with an interest in serious crafts. The listing of gallery activities includes none for Texas. 7/26/95

GATHERING OF GLASS III - will open Saturday, September 9th, at Sable V in Wimberley TX [The Courtyard Overlooking Cypress Creek, P.O.Box 1792, Wimberley TX 78676, 1-512-847-8975] and run for 6 weeks closing Oct.23rd. At the opening there will Lampworking demos by Roger Parramore from North Carolina, a lecture on cast glass by Lucartha Kohler from Philadelphia, and glassblowing demos at Tim DeJong's studio from 12 to 5 and from 7 to whatever visiting artists will blow at David Foglia's studio 2 blocks off the square where Sable V is located. The reception from 5-9 and the show this year includes 70 artists from the US, Canada and Australia. As last year, the show will move to Carlyn Gallerie in Dallas with dates set as 10/27 to 11/20. 7/28/95

A.R.T.CO.'S 10TH Anniversary is being celebrated with modest deals and starting a newsletter, to be called the Looking Glass. The deals are: order 2 or more Essemce shrears and get a large Essemce T-shirt and order an Exact torch (handle, extension tube, and 3 burners) and get the cheapest burner free. Their first mailing in two years mentions that they do, in fact, carry Exact torches. Contact A.R.T.CO. on CompuServe (or Internet) at 102025,2265, at 408- 288-7978 for an answering machine (or evenings after 6pm PT or Friday morning for a human) or write 348 N.15th St., San Jose CA 95112. 7/31/95

North Texas Notes

NON-PROFIT GUILD - At one point there was a glass artists group, apparently dominated by the galleries, that had meetings about once a month and did a show, which I saw a couple of years in a row at a space in a skyscraper across from the Dallas Museum of Art. It died last year or the year before. The International Guild of Glass Artists is a followon to the Professional Stained Glass group with a determination to include all kinds of glass. They have a procedure for local chapters and I have the paperwork. Is there an interest among the hot glass workers who receive this in taking the steps to make such an organization? Would people find the time to attend meetings, etc? Is the shared gain worth the time?

TRAILER - I bought a trailer in June to haul trash from doing my roof with the idea in mind that I would make my next glassblowing rigs portable. The trailer is a 5x10 single axle tilt with low rails and will carry something over a ton. If you have a situation where this kind of trailer might be useful to you (I wanted the tilt in part to ease unloading trash, and it really helped) let me know and maybe we can work something out.)

TOOLS - Down through the years I have acquired several off-beat tools. The latest include the reciprocating saw I mentioned earlier in HB, which I have been using to cut logs and metal. Also have a very interesting Farm Jack which will lift 7,000# nearly 4 feet. I bought it for and am using it for raising the roof on my old garage, but have also used it to jack the trailer for dumping; pulling posts out of the ground and leveling some concrete steps. It looks like a large auto bumper jack. Each of these tools costs about $100, so you are not likely to run out and get one, so tell me if we can share something useful. I also have several hydraulic bottle jacks bought for leveling the house, 3, 6, 12, and 12 ton.

UTA GLASS - Jim Bowman is teaching a glassblowing course at the University of Texas at Arlington using the equipment mentioned in earlier HB that has been standing there for years. Everything is being moved to a much larger space nearby. At this writing the fall class is full, although people drop out. David Keens, a department administrator, says that both expanding the number of credit courses and providing mini-courses for non-credit students is being explored. At least one class will be offered in the spring. The class requirements are that the student be a UTA registered.student with preference for Art Majors [permission of the instructor is used to limit inappropriate students.] The class has been structured to draw people into the art program. School starts August 28th and registration has been going on for a while. Contact the UTA Art Department at metro 817-272-2891. 8/4/95

DIVAS ART GLASS - Expects to fire up in late Sept./early Oct. with classes costing $400 (4 people max) scheduled in late November and early December. Terry Maxwell tells me they are doing final rebuilding of furnace in the next few weeks. They are again using an Ipsen crucible, the previous one having lasted for 3 years. Divas has been using cast metal cups, looking not unlike large avacado halves, as bowls for applying powder. They will be casting and selling these, along with blow pipes. Final negotiations are going on and prices will be set soon. Contact Divas south of Ft.Worth at 817-293-0190. 8/2/95

MORE DALLAS GLASS - Hugh Erwin, Ron Marrs, Chris Mancil, and Jim Bowman, hope to be online by Oct. in a setup not far from Fair Park which is in final negotiations. They will not be offering classes. They are planning a two bench setup making medium to large pieces for gallery sale in the multiple hundred price range. Hugh and Jim had equipment at Divas which they are using in their new operations. Ron Marrs son Chris expects to be involved when not at Lubbock at school. 8/2/95
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.

Blow good Glass

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