Hot Glass Bits #29

Contact Mike Firth

December 4 - January 31, 1996

Prev.Issue 28 Link to HGB Table of Contents Next Issue 30


This issue contains the following deadlines.

March 1, 1996, Texas Artists, AWARDS TO ARTISTS

March 1, 1996, Application Deadline, PILCHUCK SUMMER '96


[capitalized KEYWORD starts a paragraph below]

ZIPs of known hot glass class sites: 01002, 01375, 04627, 14830, 11217, 43216, 70130, 75253, 76028, 98144, 98292 Contact MF for more details. 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: Everyone makes mistakes and has successes. Professionals learn from their mistakes, amateurs often have to live with them. By discussing my explorations and observations, I can reduce the number of mistakes and increase the number of successes.

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.

------------------- ------------------------ Hot Glass Magazines and Newsletters -------- -----------------

Antique Notes [Blenko Glass, P.O. Box 67, Milton, WV, 25541] Small newsletter on Blenko glass.

Glass Art Magazine [P.O.Box 260377, Highlands Ranch, CO, 80126-0377] "The Magazine for Stained and Decorative Glass" Stained, lampworking, kiln worked,
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]
Glass Gazette [Glass Art Association of Canada, P.O.Box 653, Station 'P', Toronto ON M5S 2Y4, quarterly, International membership $30 Cdn per year, Canadian $25] 1/21/96 Fall 1995 Canadian artists working in the US. notes below.
Glass Line [120 S. Kroger St., Anaheim CA 92805 714-520-0121 FAX: 714-520-4370, $7/$25 6/yr] Lampworking Newsletter
GLASS Magazine [UrbanGlass, 647 Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY, 11217-1112, 1-718-625-3685] High quality Art glass;
Hot Glass Bits Newsletter [1019 Martinique, Dallas TX 75223 2 , $11, 6/yr] Newsletter for molten glassblowers.
Independent Glass Blower [% Gruenig Glass Works, Main St.,W.Barnet VT 05821,1-802-633-4022, $25/yr, qrtly]
NEUES GLAS/NEW GLASS [GLP International, P.O.Box 9868, Englewood NJ 07631-6888 for American subscriptions (only) $48/yr, or MasterCard or Visa to 1-800-457-4443] International glass, not stained. Not seen.
Hot Glass Web Pages & Internet Addresses
--------- --------- Southern Illinois Univ.Glass Gallery is very good presentation example is a newsgroup for all kinds of glass. is archive Josh Simpson MegaWorld making, detailed White House Crafts Collection, much glass

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HOT GLASS SUMMER - Texas Tech University sends their material on the summer glass blowing classes at Junction (west of Austin on I-10.) Glassblowing at various levels will be offered from June 16 to July 26. Bill Bagley will offer Advanced Hot Glass June 16-28 and Experimental Hot Glass June 30-July 5. Bob Mosier will offer Beginning/Intermediate Hot Glass July 14-26. Advanced Hot Glass requires 4 hours in hot glass or equivalent. Experimental Hot Glass requires consent of instructor and will focus on team approach to use color and process produce "show quality" sculptural forms. (In other words, the focus will be on what Bill does well and prefers: lots of color in twisted and cut forms.) In Beg/Int, all techniques will be explored while focusing on functional forms. Cold Glass working making dimensional images with stone wheels will be offered for the week of July 14-19 by Paul Hanna. For Texans, these workshops are real bargains. The catch is that you have to be able to qualify as a graduate student since these are grad.continuing ed courses for high school art teachers. Many other topics are offered. The two week courses cost $200.70 tuition for Texas residents, $584.70 for non-residents. Glass courses typically have a $50 materials fee. On campus living quarters are small dorms, $88 per week in an open cabin (literally, it has screen walls) or 98.50 in air conditioned units; both prices include 15 meals a week (no food service Friday evening thru Sunday noon.) Junction is a pleasant small town on the west edge of the Texas Hill Country with several restaurants. It is located not far from several tourist areas including Fredricksberg and Kerrville. Deer are usually seen each morning and hummingbirds attracted to feeders fly all day. The weather is hot and very dry, usually, with occasional brief afternoon thunderstorms. I sweat heavily every place but here, bone dry (and drink gallons.) There is no real deadline, but a practical deadline is about Feb.15 or ASAP as the classes fill up. There is also a waiting list and I once got in class from it with a call on Thursday for a class starting Sunday. Write for detailed information and application to Betty Street, TTU Center at Junction, Dept.of Art Box 42081 Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock TX 79049-2081 806-742-3027 FAX: 806-742-3878 11/27/95

GLASS LINE and GLASS arrived yesterday and today. See notes on Glass Line above. GLASS Magazine has a very positive review of a book of Lino Tagliapeitra's glass ["Lino Tagliapietra: Vetri" by Giovanni Sarpellon, Arsenale Editrice, Venice, 1994] which emphasizes the large number of pictures of the work over many years, with relatively little text, but with each piece identified as to technique and location. A description of "Eccentric Bullseye" tells the history and shows some of the procedures and facilities at Bullseye glass. Women are featured in an article on Nancy Bowen and in "Women of New York", showing the work of and telling about Karen LaMonte, Deborah Czeresko, and Tina Aufiero. An extensive series of photos with comments from Bruce Chao on "Glass Houses" in Great Britain, most of which are not actually houses but botanical display buildings, is offered in the context of viewing glass in different ways. John Brekke's work, heavy abrasive blasting of color layered glass is presented in 4 color pictures and the cover. Eight reviews of gallery shows around the world precede the section most oriented toward artists, including suppliers and class ads. As usual, the gallery ads offer stunning views of various artists current work. 12/12/95

ROTTEN WEEKENDS - I can't bemoan our winter, last weekend, when we dropped to 16 (while Buffalo, for example, got 38 inches of snow) since we got up to almost 80 during the week. And this weekend with a couple of inches of rain and overnight thunderstorms, gives us something we haven't had for almost two months, a good rain. But I started coming down with something Thursday and have slept most of the weekend with what looks like a mild case of the flu, probably mild because I had a flu shot earlier this fall. When the only time I have off is the weekends, and the weekends are shot, I don't get much done. So now I am normal. 12/17/95

SPIRALGLASS - A while back, I got a card for an artists' reception on Dec.16th at the Highland Park Art Gallery [#4 Highland Park Village, Preston at Mockingbird.] The only identification on the card was SpiralGlass, which meant little to me. A rather poor B&W picture suggested work from the Junction summer classes. On the day, I was dead tired sick, so I wandered over to the gallery today. The space has been open for about a year and is run by some of the artists who are on display. I chatted with Kathleen Bosell, a painter. The gallery is a tall thin space, nicely laid out, showing exclusively Texas artists. The walls are covered with paintings, mostly representational, with display cases of thin turned wood and glass. SpiralGlass turns out to be Rees Bowen and Cathy McClure. Rees was trained in London and works with an architecture firm in Dallas while Cathy was trained in Lubbock and is taking further training in Seattle. The brochure on their work mentions plans to setup a studio. I will try to chat with him. Their glass includes a bunch of color, frit spots, spiral wraps, lip wraps and pulled edges, all signs leading back to work at Lubbock. Well executed and good color choices. (I talked to Reese later in the month and he told me he is building a studio down near the river, building the frames now and having Bill Bagley in later in spring to cast, etc. 1/21/96) But I was surprised to find three familiar names alongside SpiralGlass: Jay von Koffler, Melissa Medore and Sue Girten. Kathleen said both she and one of her partners encountered Jay's glass in Wimberley and bought it for themselves and later arranged for showing the glass in Dallas. Sue was a classmate of mine in Junction and I have mentioned her working with Jay and Melissa. Showing were several of Jay's tall pieces (2'+), one of his newer mask pieces, several of Melissa's medium sized assemblies, and a couple of Sue's cold worked weights, a two part vase assembled hot, and a glued weight plus spiral that showed Jay/Melisa influence but worked well beyond their doings. 12/24/95

ERROR correction - In the last issue, I said that Art Allison had fired the pot to cone 6. That should have been 06, a much cooler temperature. 12/25/95

HORIZONS SPRING CLASSES - [The New England Craft Program, [108-P N.Main St., Sunderland MA 01375 413-665-0300, FAX:4141] announces several levels of hot glass during the spring. Early Spring Intensives (April 27-29) include Glass Casting/Hot Glass with Carmen Sasso & Neal Drobnis and Glass Beading:Lampworking, Sam Stang. Late Spring Intensives (May 11-13) Glassblowing: Beginning & Intermediate, Page Hazelgrove. Intensives also include fabric, clay, painting, lost wax, mobiles, kayak building, books.

CERF - The Craft Emergency Relief Fund [245 Main Street, Northampton MA 01060] provides immediate support to professional crafts people facing career threatening emergencies, including interest free loans with flexible payback dates, booth fee waivers, supplier discounts and special funds programs. CERF can help if you need it and would like you to help if you can at this time. Donations are tax deductible. Consider a donation to continue CERF's work which includes over $150,000 in loans to over 200 artists. 12/27/95

AWARDS TO ARTISTS - [Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 North Harwood, Dallas TX 75201, 214-922-1248] includes The Degolyer Fund, The Kimbrough Fund and The Dozier Travel Grant. Summary of requirements: Degolyer - age 15-25; the last 4 years in TX, OK, NM, AZ and CO; and still be there - awards $1,500 or less; Kimbrough - under 30; lived in TX for last 3 years and still here - awards $3,500 or less; Dozier - practicing professionals; 30 or older; lived in TX for last 3 years 12; and still here - may be more than 1 grant per year, total under $6,000. All applications must be received by March 1. The Degolyer & the Kimbrough require 5-10 slides of recent work labeled to match a list, vitae, 2 letters of recommendation, short statement of budget, and mailing address, etc. The Dozier requires 10 slides of recent work, vitae, description of and budget for proposed travel with statement of relationship to artist's work, and mailing address, etc. Write for complete details well before deadline. 12/27/95

ART ALLISON - I drove up to Pottsboro to visit with Art and to get one of the pots he made to take on his demo trip in early fall. He prepared enough pots to cope with having to use a new one for every session but, as I mentioned last issue, found only one was necessary. Art showed me the used pot in the frax furnace/glory hole he built. He estimated that 400 pounds of glass was put through the pot in a week usually by adding cullet to the hot pot and melting for an hour. There were several distinct cracks running straight down several inches from the lip but the pot is still usable. The lining fiber was damaged by the hot spatter from the breaking cullet. Art showed me several sets of work from recent times including pieces prepared for a Florida show. He is doing enamel painting on medium to large clear vase/bowl shapes, bringing each color layer slowly to over 800F then quickly up over 1050F for 5 minutes to melt the pigment then quickly back down before the piece sags. He had a series of chunky goblets with cheerful faces worked on them with the glass rod/torch technique. He had a nice group of white background small classic shapes like his dark ones. 12/26/95

LADIES IN HOUSTON - A brief note from Lisa Edwards near Houston says she is assisting Libby Masterson, a link I helped make. Glad to see more glassblowing in Texas.

NEW YEAR'S DAY - What a marvelous beginning to the new year! Yesterday Hugh Erwin called to chat a bit and invite me to visit the studio at Hickory Street and 2nd Avenue not far from Fair Park. So I started my travels there. The place is a set of buildings done in brick around an open space. Three on one side are small cubical ones two of which are occupied by a quilter and recording studio. The other side of the space is a long single story still labeled for the Deep Ellum Light Opera. The glass studio is in the basement of a three story concrete structure forming the end of the space, a building used as a Gulf Oil service station warehouse. Jim Bowman found out about the space because the owner's kids were taking art classes with Jim's wife. When they first saw the space, it was thigh deep in trash (four 30 cu.yd. dumpsters full) and ankle deep in water. Now the space is clean, pure white (50 gallons of paint worth) and ready to fill. As I visited they were working on a security wall at the top of the otherwise open stairway, having built steel frame and expanded metal gates for the 15 ton freight elevator. The space has 10' ceilings between the beams and posts of 16' square bays, 4 bays across by 6 long. Space has been designated, to be filled as time and money permit, roughly 3 bays for hot shop, 2 or 3 for cold working, 2 for wood shop, 1 each for the toilet area, elevator, metal shop, stained glass, torch bench and so forth. Equipment from the three older principals' experience - furnace, gloryhole, batch mixer, cold working equipment, sandblast box - is in place for connection. The biggest remaining problem is getting enough amperage into the building, which is supplied with industrial pressure gas and a reasonable amount of water. It will be a nice space.
To continue my day, after helping a friend with his new computer, I went to Divas to visit and blow some glass. I took my shield and pipes - smaller than usual - and went prepared mostly to have fun and not worry about looking clumsy from lack of practice as I have done before. Of course, that meant that everything went reasonably well and what went wrong didn't bother me. First piece had nice shape and got a set of hot bit feet. Second was a paperweight for the heck of it. Last was a goblet with a pulled twisted stem. I didn't coordinate well on the foot cookie and ended up with one too small and oddly shaped. Since it was kind of duck foot shaped, I gave it some toes and bent a knee in the stem. Terry Maxwell blew a layered colored bowl while I was there and two other visitors did a couple of solid pieces, and several opticked vase shapes. A good way to start the new year, as I said. The biggest change on the hot floor is a pneumatic door opener replacing the rather slow linear actuator mentioned last year. It uses a foot switch and is quick, fairly quiet and nice. They have also added to the air line a low pressure blowgun tap for selective cooling of pieces. Divas has always used, but I have not mentioned, a batch loader that is a long rectangular trough with a matching handed pusher; the trough is filled, about in the middle, with batch, the end is stuck in over the pot and the fitted pusher shoves the batch in. A lifter rack, from a hospital I think, supports the gloryhole, allowing it to be raised for taller users. 1/1/96

OUT OF THE FIRE, Contemporary Glass Artist and Their Work, by Bonnie Miller, Portraits by Robert Lyons. [1991, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, ISBN 0-87701-893-6 pbk and 0-8118-0054-7] contains an interesting history of northwest glass and Pilchuck in the introduction, but the body of the book is portraits, statements and examples of the work of 30 artists who work with glass in some way and have some link with that area. Considering my bias to blown glass, which is well represented, two areas of dismay seem ironic. I was bugged by the inclusion of flat glass mounted in wood statues and furniture, but I was also bugged by the total omission of stained glass. All the glass in the book has been hot during the making of the pieces.

CALL TO HOUSTON - I had a good phone conversation with Drew Ebelhare, the reproduction millefiori paperweight maker. He reports that he is about to rebuild his furnace, which now has two crucibles, so that it can hold more color pots. He is also going to get the electric color pot from Lundgard Studios (where the heating element is molded* in the pot) that I mentioned last September. Drew says that he is going to not build with a removable crown, but put a trap door in the back for getting crucibles out, is going to make sure the flame does not hit the crucibles and is going to put a drain, probably stuffed with frax, to remove the melted glass quickly when a pot breaks. [*Actually, I am told by Rees Bowen, the pots have a groove molded in the outside into which the coil is laid, then the whole is surrounded by frax. 1/27/96]

VISITOR FROM LUBBOCK - Jim Crenshaw, from Lubbock is on America On Line [AOL] and established contact about getting back issue of HB. When he found he was coming to the Dallas area to save shipping on concrete additive, he asked if he could come by. We had a good long evening, with me doing more than my share of talking, looking at some of the glass blowing video tapes, books, glass and equipment on hand. 1/13/96 He sent a nice note, and called, making a second visit with most of Saturday spent at Divas and part of Sunday spent at the Hickory Street Studio. 1/21/96

NEW HOT SHOP - John Quinlan called to report that his backyard shop/studio is up and running east of downtown Ft.Worth. He invited me to come see, which I will try to do before this issue goes out. He is very happy with Southwest Stainless in Ft.Worth as a source of materials. He bought 5/8" solid stock which sells by weight at $2.09/lb and slips inside 3/4" tubing at $1.37 a foot and had a bunch of hollow punties made up for under $150. He reports that these prices are much lower than other places he checked. 1/16/96

G.A.S.CONFERENCE '96 - First word of some of the workshops to be held around the 1996 Glass Art Society Conference, which is in the Boston area this year, has appeared on CompuServe. These are all lampworking workshops, with some of the best in the country. I expect to see several furnace working workshops with the schedule is announced. [By HB closing the schedule had not arrived from G.A.S. but GAS News arrives with the dates and title: "Critical Mass", June 6-9. 1/30/96] 18-Jan-96 13:22:28 Sb: Pre-GAS Workshops Fm: Albert Lewis 70544,3642 To: all We received the following information by fax yesterday and pass it along for those who are interested. Robert Mickelsen, who puts in his two bits worth fairly often here (and who is one of the featured speakers below) has spoken highly of several of these workshop presenters. Sounds like a very valuable get-together!
Albert Lewis Executive Director International Guild of Glass Artists, Inc.
Pre Glass Art Society Conference Workshops Date: June 3,4,5 1996 Time: 9:00 am-3:00 pm Workshop Title: Conceptual Voyaging Through Lampwork Instructors: Bandhu Scott Dunham and Sally Prasch Workshop Title: An Eclectic Approach to Flameworked Glass Instructors: Fred Berkhill and Shane Fero Time: 3:30-9:30 pm Workshop Title: Soft and Borosilicate Glass for Advanced Artists, Instructors: Emilo Santini and Lisa Malchow Allen Workshop Title: Glass Beadmaking Workshop; Instructor: Andera Guarino and Doni Hatz Workshop Title: Glass Beadmaking Workshop; Instructor: Kristina Logan Time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm Contact: Kristina Logan (508) 388-0006

Post Glass Art Society Conference Workshops Date: June 10, 1 1, 12 1996 Time: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Workshop Title: Dance of the Flame and Furnace Instructors: Don Niblack Workshop Title: Exploring the Human Figure, Instructors: Rick Dodson and Milon Townsend Workshop Title: Heat, Breath and Shape - An Introduction to Flameworking Instructors: Robert and Shelia Mickelsen Time: 3:30 pm - 9:30 pm Workshop Title: Glass Beadmaking: Comprehensive Beginning and Advanced Technique. Instructors: Sabrina Knowles and Jenny Pohlman Workshop Title: From Borosilicate to Soft Glass Stepping Beyond Simple Beads; Instructors: Don Schneider and Alison Sheafor Contact Sally Prasch: 34 Court Sq. Montague, MA 01351 Phone/Fax (413) 367-9367

URBANGLASS SPRING CLASSES - Hot Glass Bits comes out at an awkward time for listing the UrbanGlass weekday classes as most of them are starting just as this heads out and are probably not set in time for the previous issue. However, several weekend workshops (10am-3pm) may still have space and will be more accessible to more distant readers, Beadmaking - Sally Prasch - Feb.10-11, Paperweights - Zesty Meyers - Feb.17-18; Glassblowing - Thor Bueno - Feb.24-25; Hotcasting - Tina Aufiero - Mar.23-34; Paperweights - Lee Berkowitz - Mar.23-24; Glassblowing - TBA - Apr.6-7; Neon - Apr.6-7. Advanced workshops (10am-3pm) are offered in The Perfume Bottle - Geoffrey Isles - Feb.10-11; Gobletmaking - Ian Lewis - Mar.9-10; Variations on the Goblet - Ian Lewis - Mar.9-10; Glassblowing II - Boyd Sugiki - Mar.16-17. Open houses are Sunday afternoon Feb.25 & Mar.31. Contact UrbanGlass [647 Fulton Street, Brooklyn NY 11217-1112.]

HORIZONS SUMMER AND FALL - [For spring, see above, with address] Early Summer June 15-17 Kiln-Formed Glass, Mary Ellen Buxton-Kutch; Late Summer, August 8-13, Glassblowing ($510)- Kelmis Fernandez, with an added session ($375), Aug.14-17 - Carmen Sasso. The latter two also have a lab fee, unspecified. Fall Foliage Intensive, Oct.12-14, Glassblowing:Focussing in - Jim Holmes ($310); Glass beads:Lampworking - Kristina Logan ($245) For the long August glass, cost of room and board is $235, others range down to $110 for most the intensives. Horizons offers many other topics and over seas classes. 1/21/96

URBANGLASS SHOWING - Glass Times Four - David Medina, Sham Mosher, Gabriel Pacheco, William St.Amant - Jan.21-Mar.17, 12-5pm, Robert Lehman Gllery, 647 Fulton St., Brooklyn NY 718-625-3685, entrance at 57 Rockwell Place. 1/21/96

GLORY HOLE - I have been cooking out the glory hole today. I bought a 1000 watt element and then found that I had been so efficient in getting rid of the asbestos cement shingles from the front of my garage that I don't have any to mount the element on. I ended up using one of the thin clay forms I made for fusing glass. It went to 300F without problems, but on the way to 600F began to have problems keeping up with the 72F/hour rise, so I added the 500 watt charcoal starter I mentioned earlier. (When I used the two starters together, I burned one out.) 1/21/96

FINE PHOTOGRAPHS - Flora in Glass, Paperweights by Paul J. Stankard, Dallas Public Library, Fine Arts, 748.8 S786F 1981, Catalog for a show in London, Spink & Son Ltd. 1981, limited edition 2000 copies. Weights are shown in pairs in stunning photos (by Crawley, Wilkinson Associates, Ltd.), best I have ever seen for depth, apparently set on glass several inches above colored backgrounds with gauzed lights that produce a visible window-like (square with mullions) highlight. These two lights are not very far away, from the different angles in the two weights, and are apparently located just above the waist of the weight and at about 45. above horizontal on the same line. The book shows early Stankard, with only one of the columnar weights of his later work. 1/21/96

BOOK - American Glass Paperweights and Their Makers, Jean S. Melvin, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1967 This book covers the end of the period when the last of the old time factory workers who made weights in their after hours or after they retired and just the start of the modern art movement. In fact, Harvey K. Littleton is included with a mention his students including Marvin Lipofsky and Dominick Labino. Most of the pictures are in black and white, with a set of color plates, and most are better than just good. For a current worker in glass, the best parts of the book are the series of photos showing a weight being made, another series showing each step in making an air trap lily weight (p.92), and the various pictures of pattern molds. In some ways the book is quaint because it is looking back at very old workers, some dead, with few clues that anyone has learned from them and will carry on. On the other hand, this book makes clear that it is unfair to say that Littleton,, showed that an individual glass artist could work melting a few hundred pounds of glass, since these guys were apparently doing it for decades. 1/21/96

GLASS GAZETTE is the quarterly of the Glass Art Association of Canada [see mags above.] Ironically, virtually all of the first issue I have seen, Fall 95, is devoted to glass workers who have come to the United States for various reasons, including studio sitting and being eligible for U.S.-only shows. [THOUGHT: Will NAFTA limit the limits like this?] The 24 page issue is very well printed with good b&w photographs, eleven articles, and ads from a number of well known American companies, including Steinert and Digitry inside the front cover. GAAC has offered to exchange subscriptions so I will report on future contents. 1/21/96

CONFERENCE - The Glass Art Association of Canada [P.O.Box 653, Station 'P', Toronto ON M5S 2 Y4, CANADA] will hold their biennial conference ("La Biennale Canadienne Du Verre") May 9-12 in Montreal, Quebec. It is titled Artist, Artisan, and Designer "For an Object with a Soul". There will be workshops, including one, subject to confirmation, by Pino Signoretto, before and after the conference along with tours of studios, etc. A note "Good Early Response" reports that over well over 100 had sent in an intent to register. The scale of the meeting is unknown to me, but 800 some odd at the Asheville/Penland G.A.S. 95 was considered huge. 1/23/96

GOOD DAY GLORY HOLE/ANNEALER - Put a burner in the glory hole to finish cooking it out and got it up to 1550F with a low smoky flame off a small burner before I emptied the last of the tanks. As part of my day off expedition, I bought a 100# propane tank ($85.50 + tax) and had it filled ($25+$2.50 purge fee at U-Haul) and got the right hose to connect hand torches to the bigger tanks (bought an extension before by mistake.) Cut and bent up the new bottom to the frig/annealer and screwed it into place with self-tapping screws. The door has an inch of fiber glass in it so I will bend a 4" extension to hold my 1900F fiberboard and more fiberglass. I thought I would have to extend hinges, but now think not, by going into the extension. 1/23/96 [Looking back, I see I have recorded comments on stripping the frig in my recipe notes that I have not here. Originally, I planned on using the full length of the frig/freezer with a divider at the freezer door for a color kiln or longer heat or ramp up or something. The more I looked at the condition of the bottom of the frig - rusted - and its shape - sloping to house the compressor, and considered its size and the complication of the two doors, I decided to cut it off at the length of the frig door, making it easier to move and manage without getting tricky.]

LIGHT & HEAT - Working in Electrical at Elliott's, I am learning more about a couple of areas I had slighted in my long and varied experience. One is halogen lighting. Quartz-halogen light produces a much hotter filament (thus needing the quartz) that lives longer because of the halogen gas and is more efficient because of the higher heat. The brighter light and lower energy usage and longer life (9,000 hours vs. 1100-2000 for regular lights) helps justify the higher initial cost - $10 for a small 50 watt flood -just don't break them. The very white light does interesting things for glass. If you haven't seen halogen lights, drop into your local lighting or hardware store and look at the little 10 & 20 watt under shelf units and the floods and spots. Try one, perhaps. [1/30/96 Having rigged my light over the fire place mantle, where I keep my few pieces of Steuben plus my own and others' glass, I really regret not doing it a long time ago.] I mentioned that I was using a little 1,000 watt replacement element ($11) to preheat the glory hole. Today I learned that there is a standard heat source called a glocoil costing roughly $10.50 (660 watt) to $21.50 (1000 watt) that are a cone shaped piece of ceramic with a heating element wrapped around it, mounted on a lamp base with all wire and bolt connections - no solder. Since the best ceramic socket we sell is rated at 660 watts, I am not sure how one uses the 1000 watt unit, but either certainly is a handy source for preheating (drying out) a gloryhole or furnace without dealing with mounting problems. I am checking on wiring the things when the ambient temperature is 700, not 70. 1/24/96

M-AAA/NEA REGIONAL FELLOWSHIPS for 1996 are painting and paper. Glass next year. Deadline March 15. Region is Texas, AR, KS, MO, NE, OK. 1/21/96

U'S, K'S & S'S - Because of my curiosity and on-line computer questions, I have pursued several things over the last month that are peripheral to glass blowing. The first was Uranium Oxide, which has been a curiosity of mine since seeing Burmese glass and became triggered by query on the net about old yellow glass that was radioactive. I began using my usual methods - start with the Yellow Pages, call the most likely looking people, ask them who to call next. In this case I got a lot of discouraging, "We don't even have it in our computer." But you know you have hit the right place when after about a dozen phone calls, the person who answers your question, "I am trying to find out if I can buy uranium oxide and if so, what does it cost?" has the response, "Do you want powder or solution?" [If you care, and the book Artist Beware warns strongly against using it, not because of radioactivity but because of heavy metal poisoning, 5 grams of depleted uranium oxide - U3O8 - costs $49. 5 grams is about 1/6th ounce. Since U3O8 is 8.3 times as dense as water, 5 grams would be about 5/8 cc or barely the space in the curved bottom of a test tube.]
There is a well regarded book that everyone refers about kaleidoscopes, amazingly called The Kaleidoscope Book, [A Spectrum of Spectacular Scopes to Make, Edited by Thom Boswell, ISBN 0-8069- 8370-1, 1992 Sterling Publishing Co.] More than just making, it includes very good color photographs of some spectacular modern scopes, external art pieces, and instructions for making about eight K's including from a large cardboard box, PVC and other materials. It is also clear that a lot of the fervor about K's is due to the outsides, not the images.
On the other hand, when called about a broken ball once filled with water and "snow", I didn't even know what to call them. There is also a book for them (and a newsletter by the same person) Snowdomes [Nancy McMichael, Box 53262, Washington DC 20009, 1-202- 234-7484. 95 pages, Abbeville Press, ISBN 1-55859-035-6, 688.726 M167S 1990] Our library system has two copies and I snagged one. Book has a cute cover with a flat plastic pod filled with liquid and snow. Inside are snowdomes from the author's collection. If this book were all my contact with snowdomes, I would wonder what was the interest as what is shown demonstrates that virtually nothing artistic and almost nothing that is even interesting has been done with snowdomes. Of course, the book can not show the dynamics of snowdomes and not one was photographed after being shaken, but surely my memory is not flawed in remembering some cute and interesting snowballs. If you care, almost everything that might float has been used for snow and the current two makers keep their snow a deep secret. 1/24/96

PILCHUCK SUMMER '96 - Pilchuck is the renowned glass working center outside of Seattle. In 1996, there will be five sessions of 18 days each from May 20 to August 29. During each session five classes are held, generally two using the hot shop, one of lamp working, one involving intense cold working, and one involving kiln working. Some sessions are juried, many are not. Scattered though the summer are various mixed classes such as Blown and Cut Glass, Painting on Glass Vessels, and Hot Glass and Neon. Instructors I recognize include Lino Tagliapietra (Advanced Glass Blowing), Curtiss Brock (Marriage of Hot and Cold), Henry Halem (Mixed Media Assemblage), and Pino Signoretto (Solid Glass Sculpture.) Artists in Residence include Lillian Ball (sculpture), Nick Cave (performance), Mary Carlson (objects), Leslie Dill (sculpture), Joe Marioni (paintings), Pat Oleszko (performance), John Scott (sculpture), Lorna Simpson (photo), TODT (sculpture.) Various forms of scholarship, TA, and other funding support are available. College credit can be arranged. Hot glass sessions generally cost $2,300 dormitory or $2,650 cottage with other classes costing $200-400 less. [Pilchuck Glass School, 315 Second Avenue So., Suite 200, Seattle WA 98104-2618, 206-621-8422 FAX:206-621-0713] 1/28/96

The First Annual North .... The First Annual North .... The First Annual North .... The Great Quarterly Glass Artists .... Come One, Come All .... Aw Heck NORTH TEXAS GLASS TOGETHER - On Sunday, March 3rd, getting up serious steam at about 1 pm, the co-owner of Divas Glass Art, Terry Maxwell, and I will be hosting a get together for Texas hot glass workers at Divas.* We hope that this gathering might start something to happen every few months to bring Texas or North Texas artists together for sharing .... what ever. ArtSpace is planning a glass symposium in October and this might draw a few leads to that. But most of all we want to have some fun and learn more stuff about glass and building equipment. I will bring my stuff on my trailer and, assuming it works and survives the trip, fire it up. In any case, Divas' furnace and glory holes will be up and running. What we see happening is that some people will show up earlier and there will be some sharing of lunch as my furnace is/are brought up to heat. During the hours after 1 pm, Terry and Shirley will work with some of their students (and anyone else) to answer questions about building equipment and solving production problems [one of the reasons for having the session.] I will have my equipment there, working or not, and talk with anyone about similar things, including some source lists for materials. I will be asking questions and gathering information. Meanwhile, we expect and hope that every glass worker present will gaff something and assist someone else, trying a new experience, perhaps doing a team piece planned in chalk, everybody talking to other people as they work. For those who are actively marketing glass, a space will be provided to show several pieces with names attached. Details, such as they are needed, will be sent as March 3rd approaches, to North Texas glass workers on Hot Glass Bits list and anyone who asks for them of Terry or I. We certainly need RSVP to know what to plan for in terms of food, drink, seats and copies. If even mildly interested, contact me at the addresses above or Terry Maxwell at Divas Glass Art, 1-817-293-0190. We still want you to come even if you don't RSVP or do it Saturday March 2. *[Divas Glass Art is located 1 mile east of I-35W on Rendon- Crowley Road (Exit 39) 6 miles south of the intersection of I-35W and I-20, south of Fort Worth. The site is about 50 miles from downtown Dallas. It is at the former Oak Grove Airport Industrial Park, occupying building 7, the last of the series just inside the entrance.]

HALEM, 3RD EDITION - Henry Halem is coming out with the third edition of his Glass Notes Book and I have received a copy. The content of the first part of the book appears to be identical with the first although I have not done a page by page comparison. Valuable additions are chapters on building an annealer and building a glory hole. *** [Henry Halem, Halem Studios, Inc., 429 Carthage Ave., Kent OH 44242, 216-673-8632, 216-677-2488] 1/30/96

ART ALLISON ON TV - Art Allison returned my call and told me he was in the middle of a break for filming of 8 Country Reporter (Dairy Queen Country Reporter in some parts of Texas)! No known broadcast date. He also says he is shutting down the studio for a while, to go    to a show in Florida, do some traveling and rest some strained muscles. 1/30/96

GAS NEWS - Winter 1996 arrives with much more and much better information than it has included before. Reports on the 1996 Canadian and 1997 GAS in Tucson are followed by pages of classes, juried shows, jobs, equipment and exhibitions. 1/30/96

LAST TUESDAY - Over the weekend, the weather forcast called for a high of 63 today, down from 68 yesterday. So I planned a whole series of things to do today and, more importantly skipped setting up for some alternatives. What I got was a high of about 42, high winds and occasional spitting rain, going down into the teens tonight. So much for a goal of firing up the gloryhole and finishing the annealer before this issue goes out. 1/30/96

North Texas Notes

GALLERY NOTES: Highland Park Gallery, #4 Highland Park Village, Dallas, 214-528-0011, von Koffler, Medore, Girten, and SpiralGlass (Rees Bowen & Cathy McClure)

UTA GLASS - Jim Bowman will be teaching two glassblowing courses at the University of Texas at Arlington. He reports that both are at capacity following pre-registration. Contact the UTA Art Department at metro 817-272-2891. 11/19/95

1 In this space is pasted an ad containing the 2 following text.
 3 Joppa Glassworks, Inc.
4 We make and sell annealing kiln elements and
5 Giberson Ceramic Burner Heads for your 6 gloryholes and furnaces.
7 For ideas on how to improve your studio
8 equipment call or write Dudley Giberson:
9 Warner NH 03278, 603-456-3569 fax:456-2138

Blow good Glass

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