Hot Glass Bits #33

Contact Mike Firth

August 11 - October 4, 1996

Prev.Issue 32 Link to HGB Table of Contents Next Issue 34


This issue contains the following date/deadlines.

SABLE V - "A Gathering of Glass" will run Sept 21- Nov 11th.

ITS JUST GLASS - Seminar/Demos, Nov. 9-10

HENRY HALEM'S GLASS NOTES - Pre-pub special - November 1

G.A.S. NEWS - Conference Dates - April 10-13, 1997

[capitalized KEYWORD starts a 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. It is normally closed near the end of the odd numbered months and mailed soon after.

WHOAMI? - Mike Firth is a 53 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 and is now on his second round, more traditional, of equipment. When not blowing, he is a married employee of the best hardware store around.

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, Small newsletter on Blenko glass; G.A.S.Notes*; Glass Art Magazine, Stained, lampworking, kiln worked; Glass Artist; Glass Focus, the Contemporary Art Glass Periodical; Glass Gazette [Glass Art Association of Canada; Glass Line, Lampworking; GLASS*, High quality Art glass; Independent Glass Blower*, Technical notes, NEUES GLAS/NEW GLASS, International glass. * Comments on current issues in this HB

-------------------Hot Glass Web Pages & Internet Addresses ------------------ is a newsgroup for all kinds of glass.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- --

I would take Goblet Making at the Furnace 11/9-10 (with Karen LaMonte and Deborah Czeresko, traditional Italian technique). See URBANGLASS below. The weekend classes on color at PRATT look rather interesting as well.

HORIZONS SUMMER AND FALL - [The New England Craft Program, [108-P N.Main St., Sunderland MA 01375 413-665-0300, FAX:4141] Fall Foliage Intensive, Oct.12-14, Glassblowing: Focusing in - Jim Holmes ($310); Glass beads: Lampworking - Kristina Logan ($245) others range down to $110 for most the intensives. Horizons offers many other topics and over-seas classes. 1/21/96 Repeat

OF THE LAST ISSUE - Sometimes I wish I could add one more set of notes at the end of an issue on getting that issue out. In the case of HB32, when I went to get it printed at my old and trusted place, Office Max copy center, I found that the cost would have more than doubled even though there were fewer pages and fewer copies. OM has decided to up their prices but simple copying is under such competative pressure that they put most of the raise into services that certainly don't cost as much as they are charging. While copying the 8 originals cost $28.80, if I had also had them colated and stapled as I have for several issues, it would have been over $63. When I checked around, I found that Kinkos was even higher ($91.50) with cute tricks like offering a price break on copying that is abandoned if collating is done, "but we don't charge for collating." So I hand collated the issues at break and lunch at work. 8/21/96

ON-LINE - Subj: Re: Ancient Glass Date: 96-08-17 13:02:03 EDT From: (Colin Brain) To: MikeFirth


Thanks for the information re the book. I have not heard of it but will keep my eyes open for a copy. Whilst thinking about the subject, I remembered another reference. Anita Engle Berkoff, who was based in Jerusalem did some work in this area, some of which was reported in "A study of the names of early glass- making families as a source of glass history" in a publication called Studies in Glass History and Design in 1968. She points out that many of the glass-makers in europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries had Hebrew prefixes such as Bar-, Ber-, Bor-, & Me-, all meaning 'from' and gives a possible origin of these families as 'the Phonenician Coast'.

Going back to seventeenth century glass-making techniques, which were the subject of my initial question, there is another related problem that I wondered if you had a view on. In 1660s glass was being imported into England from Venice, and copies of the correspondence form the English glass seller (John Greene) still survive. In many of his letters he complains that the Venetian glass maker, Morelli, was not making the glasses thick enough and threatens to stop ordering from him if he did not make them thicker and stronger. He carried out this treat in due course. At that stage, the Venetians were the most capable glass makers in the world. The point I do not understand is why Morelli could not produce the thicker glasses that Greene wanted. Any suggestions?

The best answer I can come up with is that he didn't want to at the price that Greene was willing to pay. While it is possible to consider his ego ("I make terrific thin glass and you want me to make thicker? Mama Mia!") I think it most likely have been economic.

Lets suppose that Greene wanted glass that was 50% thicker. (I am thinking of window glass, but similar factors apply to other stuff and I think stronger only applies to windows.) At this time, window glass was made by spinning a disk and standing it on edge to anneal it, then cutting the glass panes out of the annealed disk.

Lets assume that a skilled worker makes disks at the limit of his skills as applied for the working day. The limit of his skills is the amount of weight of glass he can pick up and the diameter of the disk he can control to make a flat disk. Greene wants glass 50% thicker. Can the glassworker pick up 50% more glass and spin it to the same size disk? Probably not, as he is probably picking up 20-25 pounds of glass already and that is as much as he can make and carry repeatedly for a full day's work.

So the only way to make the glass thicker is to make the diameter smaller. But it takes about the same amount of time to gather, blow, gather, blow, gather, open, reheat and spin the smaller disk as the larger. It takes nearly the same amount of space in the annealer for the smaller disk (it isn't that much smaller and the annealler is probably sized to the larger disks.) So the production cost of each disk is pretty much the same.

But the area is smaller. So besides paying for 1.5 times as much glass per square foot, the production costs have to spread over less sq.ft. And with the smaller disk, there is more waste. The center takes a higher percentage of the whole, which leaves less good area to cut to panes. The outer edge is more sharply curved, so there is more waste when a straight line is cut.

Morelli would probably want twice as much per pane of glass (of a given sq.inches) for glass 1.5 times as thick and Greene wanted it for 1.5-1.6 times as much (or 1.25 times as much if he were greedy.) Besides, Morelli was probably selling all the glass he could make and saw no reason to change thickness and cut back on his per square foot production. So Greene probably found someone who was already making glass 1.33 times as thick and charging 1.66 times as much as Morelli was charging and Greene took the bargain of not paying 2.0 times as much to Morelli. 8/18/96

HB ON THE NET - Starting this issue, an HTML copy of HB will be posted to my Web Page a month after it goes in the mail. I am delivering HB by mail, by FAX, by e-mail text file, by e-mail EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) file.

URBANGLASS [647 Fulton St., Brooklyn NY 11217-1112, 1-718-625-3685 FAX: 718-625-3889] announces its Fall '96 and Spring '97 Classes and Workshops. Since most of the classes run for several weeks, one day a week, they will be of most interest to those within commuting distance. The Workshops are on weekends and more possible for people well away from NYC. For people within a somewhat longer distance of NYC, membership at $50 might be a good alternative to a subscription to GLASS magazine ($28), since the membership includes a subscription plus catalogs plus free admission to glassblowing demos. Fall weekend workshops include Sand Casting 10/26-27; Beginning Glassblowing, 9/14- 15, 10/26-27, 12/7-8; Beadmaking 9/14-15, 10/26-27, 12/7-8; Goblet Making at the Lamp 10/19-20; Goblet Making at the Furnace 11/9-10 (with Karen LaMonte and Deborah Czeresko, traditional Italian technique). All workshops run 10-3 each day. Workshop cost is $300.

Twenty two different topics are offered for Fall and Spring Classes, each class costing at total of $620 with the exception of Neon. Six topics are glassblowing at the furnace, including Beginning, Exploring the Vessel, Part II with more techniques, Sculpture, Vessel Techniques, and Color. Classes are three hours evenings and some Sunday afternoons. Other major areas are Neon, Casting, Beadmaking/ Lampworking, Stained Glass, Mosaics. 7/28/96 repeat 8/18/96

PHOTOS IN HB - It has just occurred to me that I could put color scans of pictures into my home page on the net and put B&W versions of the same things in HB. While I get the impression that few hot glass artists can get directly on the net, it seems likely that almost everybody knows somebody who can if the topic is interesting. I will look into it. 8/4/96

ITS JUST GLASS - (As written for Common Ground: Glass) Unconnected with any of the gallery events below is a seminar, "It's Just Glass", sponsored by ArtSpace in Ft. Worth, to be held Nov. 9-10. The Saturday will be mainly lectures and slide shows at the Victory Arts Building. The program will include neon, stained glass, sand blasting, fusing, lampwork and furnace glass work as well as discussions from gallery owners on their viewpoint. Sunday will take place at Divas Glass Art south of Ft. Worth and will include furnace and lamp work by various artists and working glass in other ways. ArtSpace Texas is three years old with a mission of securing historic properties and adapting them to artists' living and working spaces. Contact Terry Maxwell, Divas Glass Art, 1100 E. Rendon-Crowley Rd. Building #7, Burleson TX 76028, 1-817-293-0190. The person to contact about the seminar in November is George Clark. His phone number is 817-924-7058 or You can also use Divas as a contact via telephone or or DivasII@aol. The program is really shaping up and I expect a fairly large number of people will attend, at least, I hope so. We shall see." [Unfortunately, as I go to press, it has been revealed the planned funding has never appeared and the weekend is in doubt.]

PRATT Fine Arts Center on the west coast [1902 S. Main St. Seattle WA 98144-2206 206-328-2200 FAX:206-328-1260] is also offering an Intro to Glassblowing in October. The Studio at Corning [NY] and Penland [NC] may have something to offer also, haven't heard

OBJECT TO BLOW - I have been thinking recently about blowing a lamp shade (partly because I have been in the electrical department at work around a lot of lamp making parts.) This morning I was looking at a museum brochure featuring a section of Japanese calligraphy art and thought of putting part of such a design on a shade. That led me to thinking about the shape of the shade and the form of a smooth bulging shape or a woman's face with a pageboy hair cut seemed pleasing. I then switched to the base and how the light would work in it and suddenly I thought how nice it might be if there were both a bulb in the base and in the shade, thus the base should have the same form as the top. Whether the design could be made to work with the bulbs down and up (or just down, there's an idea, a lamp with the bulb only in the base), the matched shapes seems pleasing. The shade does not necessarily have to be supported by the traditional harp. It might curve in enough to sit on a shoulder of the base, like a large lid. This leads to some sketch ideas for how a shade that sits on a base might be shaped so the base and the shade flow from each other. The scale of the piece seems to have gotten larger since most of the sketches show a smaller base that loses significance (and visual strength) if too small. A couple of the designs approach the form of a Fairy Light candle holder, however. 8/26/96

HUMMINGBIRDS - Glassblowing and hummingbirds will always be associated for me because of the swarms around the feeders at the Texas Tech Junction site where I learned. Since my first summer, I have put up feeders around the house, usually one on each side, and have enjoyed the birds, usually one per feeder that establish territories at the end of July and battle each other around and over the house until late Sept.

This year they were late, not arriving until well into August, perhaps because we have had a much cooler and wetter summer than we have had for decades, following on months of drought. On the other hand, I have more birds than I have every had, seeing for the first time three at the feeder at the same time and up to five in sight. 8/29/96

PURPLE ROCKET - After writing about double lighting a glass lamp above, I was driving home last night and looked over from stopped traffic at store called Iota. In the front window was a deep purple glass rocket, stained glass I think, with two bulbs in the body of the rocket and an upside down neon flicker lamp as the "flame" at the bottom. The legs supporting it extend as lead lines, or just lines, up the sides to the nose. 8/29/96

SHANE FERO - Shane was guest at the opening of his stuff at Kittrell-Riffkind and I went out to see what was happening and listen to him. The gathering was rather small. He showed a series of slides for part of the evening, basically his works in chronological order, without much comment. Much of his early stuff is rather natural, glass birds on rock or wood pieces, etc. A woman eagerly taking notes asked most of the questions. He has a degree in philosophy and got into the lamp working by hanging around places doing odd stuff until he was allowed to do better stuff. He says and I agree that many of his figures show application of philosophical/religious art from various places, but this is less from conscious application. He told a story of having an assistant who went out on his own to whom he sent pictures of his ongoing work, never getting anything back. He had a dream of visiting the guy and seeing really advanced stuff and dreamed of his response. When he woke he went to the bench and began doing things related to what he had dreamed. Later he saw what the apprentice was doing and it was just like his old stuff. He said he often dreams of working on something which he then goes and works on.

JAPANESE FIREWORKS - I took the effort (involving a lot of walking) to see the display of Japanese fireworks that was offered tonight as part of Sun and Star, a 100 day collection of cultural events centered on an exhibit of classical treasures at the Dallas Museum of Art - Momoyama 1573-1615, but including music, plays, and art. I have done rather too little of getting away from the hustle of daily work and this was nice.

The show area was the Trinity River Bottoms, which powers that be would truly love to be a great city greenbelt. The fireworks were set up on the Continental Street Viaduct, which was closed to traffic, and the arrangement was about twocity blocks long. The show people were truly lucky because usually at this time of year, after a long dry summer, the bottoms would be a dusty, hot, airless firetrap. (And in the spring rains, the thing fills levee to levee with water 10-20 feet deep.) This year, after a long drought, we had twice the rain we normally get for the three summer months (about 4" instead of about 2" per month) and ended August with nearly as much rain (1.65") in a weekend as we get in the month (1.8"). Days have been below average cool, so the bottoms were growing, breezy and cool.

Before the fireworks began, the sun set beautifully red through the clouds. One of the few uses of color I would like to make is that sun with clouds or bare tree limbs on the body of my glass.

The fireworks were quite unlike the traditional American show. The more so because an announcer told us what we were going to see and the parts varied enormously in length from a brief display of figures to complex scenes. There was a rhythm to the works in many cases. Among the highlights for me were huge balls of exploded works that stayed lighted longer than American work usually do and slowly fell earthward. Using the two block long base to provide a wall, a background, of continuously firing works against and above which other events took places. From the ends of the base there were columns of fireworks which maintained a certain basic action while added features were fired in one or the other, so there was an interaction like dueling banjos or jazz riffs. And there were some very quiet fireworks in which the explosion seemed almost absent and color dominated. 9/7/96

ANCHOR TOOL & SUPPLY - has moved their store and phone without changing their mailing address. The new location is 326 W. Westfield Ave, Roselle Park NJ exit 137 of the Garden State Parkway and the new phone is 908-245-7888. The mailing address remains P.O. Box 265, Chatham NJ 07928-0265. Anchor supplies "Fine Tools for Craftsmen" including jacks, puffers, aluminized clothing and gloves, diamond burs, and shears. Jacks range from $59.95 (mostly) up to $149.95. 9/12/96

PHONE CHANGES - The area codes for the area around Dallas is changing to 972 this Saturday (9/14). The simple rule, looking at a map, is that outside LBJ (I-635) is 972 while inside remains 214. It is actually more difficult than that, because of where phone exchanges divide, so most but not all of Dallas is in 214. One place affected is Kittrell-Riffkind Art Glass, now 972-239-7957, another is Paragon Industries, makers of kilns and controllers, 972-288-7557.

GLASS MAGAZINE - The new issue, Fall 1996, arrived with a very colorful cover, a boatful of Dale Chihuly's brightest pieces on a river in Finland. The inside cover is an ad for his show at imago galleries in Palm Desert CA, that doesn't open til Dec. 6, featuring him and his Blue Frog Foot chandelier. Feature stories are on Chihuly's Project Object; Jane Bruce in Austrailia; Rebort Kehlmann: Aspects of Meaning; and Guggisberg and Baldwin, Italian and Swedish glass united. The usual reviews of shows and new section called Glassnotes that reports on G.A.S. among other things. The ads show me much, including that William Morris is making some animals that remind one of the cave drawing made about the same vintage as his artifacts suggested.

PRESS RELEASE - The International Museum of Modern Glass [%Frank Russell Company, 909 A Street, Tacoma WA 98402, 206-572-9500 FAX: 206-594-1889] has named two Canadians to assume the posts of architect and director for a $30.8 million to be built on the waterfront. Arthur Erickson of Vancouver will design the 55,000 sq.ft. facility and Suzanne E. Greening of Ontario will be museum director having previously been director of the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo.

G.A.S. NEWS - The summer issue of the Glass Art Society News [1305 4th Ave., Suite 711, Seattle WA 98101-2401, 1-206-382-1305, FAX: 206-382-2650] continues the improvement in this organ of the largest hot glass oriented group in the country. This issue starts with Bonnie Biggs, the new President telling of the future, including Penny Berk taking over from long time Executive Director Alice Rooney. The 1997 Conference is April 10-13 in Tucson AZ. See you in Tucson, my vacation request is all ready to turn in. The 1998 Conference is scheduled in Nagoya/Aichi, Japan, so I know I won't be going then. The issue includes a Technical Article on Kilns and Ovens, pictures from the 1996 conference and nine pages of notices about grants, shows, jobs, and calls for papers. 9/18/96

WELDING AND CASTING - Finally got the time and organization to weld the supporting frame for the new furnace. Whether to push for getting it fired up before sending this out is another question. I have been using National's IRC 25 for several things, including a small furnace for melting aluminum cans, which I slap cast over a Styrofoam form earlier and just added a stack using newspaper rolled around a can for the core and a metal sleeve for the outside. I like the castable for it's strength and tolerance to my casual use. I made the door for the furnace, casting it in a disposable aluminum pie pan (ate the pie first) I will mount it with two bolts 3" apart cast into the door by putting holes in the bottom of the pan and tightening nuts on each side to keep the bolts in place. 9/22/96

BOOK - I found intensely interesting the first two-thirds of a book called Landprints, On the Magnificent American Landscape, by Walter Sullivan, 1984, Times Books, ISBN 0-8129-1077-X. The purpose of the book is to show how the form of the land, especially as seen from the air and satellite photos, is the result of the history of the geology in the area. The book is solidly based on plate tectonics - pieces of the surface crust crunching into each other - but in a far more complex way than I had imagined. There are pieces of New England and a stretch of the Carolinas that have fossils that match a chunk of Africa and of northern Europe, the assumption being that Africa crunched North America and then a chunk of what is now Europe scraped some away. The mountains that I vaguely refer to as the Rockies (i.e. west of Denver, east of San Francisco) turn out to have five or more different crunch mechanisms, including where a range is different from the one north of it or the one west of it. The Tetons, for example are apparently due to sliding over the middle of the country, while the west coast mountains and volcanoes are due to the Pacific pushing under. There is even a giant rift valley down under the Mississippi, filled with 40,000 feet of dirt from worn down mountains. The last third of the book is more mundane-rivers erode, man digs big holes. 9/22/96

BUILDING A FURNACE DOOR - As done recently here. Hardware is similar for my gloryhole.
Decide on the shape of the door, round is common for furnaces, rectangular with one concave edge (C shaped) for glory holes. I chose round for my furnace, which has a 6" gathering port.
Make or find a mold. Thin strips of Formica are good for curved edges. Wax is helpful for getting mold off. I chose a disposable aluminum pie plate.
Provide bolts, notches, or brackets for mounting. Since the door is going to wear out, break, chip, etc., before the rest of the furnace does (we hope), provide for replacement while it is hot, with a simple attachment or duplicate mounts. I took 1/4"x2" round head bolts and put a nut half way up. I mounted the bolts through the bottom of the pie pan with heads inside, 3" apart, and tightened a second nut on each bolt to hold them. I recommend carefully drilling a steel flat with two 1/4" holes 3" apart and using that to insure the bolts are parallel. The inside nut holds the bolt in position and also provides something more than the castable surface to turn the holding nuts against when mounting.
Mix and pour the castable. Tap the mold to release bubbles in the mix. Let set over night. Clean up.
Assemble the door frame. In my case two 3/4" angles drilled for 1/4" bolts so the outside flats are 4" apart when the holes are 3" apart. I added (welded) a cross piece at the other end from holes for the castable and welded a cross piece in the middle to stiffen it all.
After lining up the frame at the correct angle on the furnace, I drilled two cross holes in the sides to take a 1/4" threaded rod to act as the pivot for setting the angle for the door with the wheeled base. I drilled the end cross piece in the center in case I need a diagonal. [Originally, I intended to add a diagonal adjusting bolt, but the door is so light, I haven't needed more than tightening the axle.]
Assemble the wheeled base. I took two cast 3" v-belt pulleys with 5/8" bore and used my vice to push into each a 5/8" x 1/2" oilite bushing. I soaked the bushings in oil before pressing them in and they moved easily into place. The bushing is a bit longer than the pulley hub thickness, so pressing stops when about 1/16" remains showing at the hub and the bushing presses against both jaws of the vice. Axles for the wheels are short (1 3/8") shoulder bolts sold at hardware stores for mounting lawnmower wheels, which have a 3/8" thread and a 1/2" diameter shoulder. A piece of angle steel is drilled 3/8" near the ends to take the axles. The steel should be 66% to 90% as long as the distance from wheels to the center of the door, which gives a wide enough base for the rolling. This method is much cheaper than ball bearing wheels and is wildly over rated for the weight it carries.
Make the uprights to connect the base to the door frame. These are to be mounted 4" apart to take the frame and welded (or braised or bolted) to the wheel mount. I drilled the door frame for the pivot point and drilled the uprights, using a 5" x 1/4" all-thread through the three piece to align one end before bolting the other end.
Mount the track - The total adjustments have to permit raising and lowering the door, changing the angle of the door to the face of the furnace, and moving the base in and out. Mostly these are needed for future changes, including casting a new door design without a complete rebuild. If the face of the furnace is vertical, then the design can skip a specific change of angle feature, since moving the base in and out will change the angle the slight amount needed to set the door flat to the face when either is rebuilt. When the face is sloping, as on mine, then having an angle adjustment makes life much easier. I did the angle by having a pivot point between the uprights and the door frame. David Gruenig in Independent Glass Blower mounts his track on all- thread posts in a slotted frame, so that the in/out is changed by sliding in the slots and the up/down by turning nuts on the all-thread. Rather than slots, I make an L shape to set the wheel rail on, sliding the rail in/out. Height is changed by where I clamp the upright of the L on the frame; not as convenient for changes as David's but easier to build. Also, the catch bar that I use can be mounted on the same frame, moving with the track. I weld the corner of the L because it makes the joint stronger than bolts and gussets would.

While I have put together equipment in the past with C-clamps when I thought I would need to change it, this time I made clamps on bars by drilling for a bolt close to the flange I wished to attach to and then mounting either a short length of angle or a heavy flat, also drilled, so a bolt will tighten it up. Where I expect the joint may have to be moved hot and where the position will result in having to fight with the clamp bar getting out of position (as on a vertical) I put a second bolt just to keep the bar from rotating. Where this is not true (under the horizontal rail bar), I take the easier way.

Mount the handle and catch bar - My door handle is a flat 3/4" x 1/16" bar about 18" long bolted to the door upright. It is bent twice at a bit over 45. so the end section slopes down slightly toward the user and rises over any heat shield I am using. Since the door shields the handle from the furnace heat, I have found I can move the door using my bare hand on the handle.

My design requires that I always grab the handle to lift the door away from face. So I use a 1/2"x1/8" flat bar around the path of the door to keep it from going too far left or right and to keep it from falling back. I bend this to shape and bolt it in place on the adjustable part of the frame. Since I use scrap steel and pieces laying around, after checking the movement of the door, I add any stops that are needed because something is shorter or longer than planned.

Mount the burner - My burner is a 1 1/2" pipe T that has to be mounted at an angle because of the way I built the furnace. I might have tried to make an adjustable joint, but instead I bent a stiff acute angle to bolt into a tapped hole in the burner pipe and mounted the support bar in the correct position for aiming into the furnace.

SESSION - Marvelous day for working outdoors, so I did a bunch of things and blew glass in between, still melting in a small pot in the bottom of the bigger new glory hole, which is standing up nicely. I preheated the glory hole with a 1,000 watt element, which took it up to 400.F, thus driving off moisture from cool nights and rain. Then fired up the burner and took it up to 1200F, readjusted and took it up to 2100F. I would be interested in hearing from other people about heating up furnaces. I have decided that there is no way to go straight to temperature - when the furnace is relatively cool, not enough gas can be burned effectively to make the Btu's to go all the way. Once it is medium hot, the burner sounds different and will take more gas and air. Then when it is up to heat, I find I can cut back on the gas and still hold temperature - probably burning lean. The furnace is several steps closer to being done, but isn't. I may push through the last hardware items and fire it up Thursday before I send off this issue. In any case, I got a couple of nice bowls in the annealer plus a simple but actually cylindrical glass and a lot of practice with pieces that went well until I cracked going back in the glory hole or lost off the punty.9/29/96

DONE!!! - At the end of a long and very productive day, I blew my first two pieces of glass out of the furnace, having spent the day assembling details of the door retainer and the burner mount and plumbing. I preheated the furnace with a 1000 watt element to 435.F which took a couple of hours with a long pause at just above 212F as water was driven off. Since I didn't have the plumbing ready, I further heated the inside to about 1330F with a 78,000 Btu burner I have around for odd purposes like this (and melting aluminum, etc.) I finally got the air valve together and lit off the glory hole and Giberson head in the furnace. I had thought that my metal head burner in the glory hole was relatively quiet, but the Giberson is inaudible. I spent over an hour tinkering with the air flow and gas flow, learning how much to set up, before I get anywhere near working temperature. When I ended, the furnace was at about 2080F. 10/3/96 11:29 PM

HENRY HALEM'S GLASS NOTES - 3RD EDITION - Subj: Glass Notes 3rd edition Date: 96-10-01 23:54:43 EDT From: (Henry Halem) Reply-to: To: MikeFirth It is finally about to be here. Back from the printer on or about Oct. 18th. Prepub special until Nov. 1. Check or Credit Card for prepub special. 1 copy $27 plus $4 postage and handling. 2 copies $25 ea. additional $2 for postage on second copy. Here is the table of contents.There is actually more than is listed in the table.

Glass Notes, a reference for the glass artist
Table of Contents
Section 1: Introduction to Glass Glass Calculation Composition of Raw Materials Colorants for Batch and Cullet
Section 2: Annealing Glass The Cane Test Libensky Annealing and Cooling Method Calculating Linear Expansion Glass Durability
Section 3: Libensky/Brychtova Casting Methods Burn Out_Steam Out
Section 4: Making a Plaster/Silica Mold for Casting Rigid Sand Molds (CO2) Basic Sand Casting (Bentonite/Sand) Bob Carlson _Break-Away_ Box Chardiet Method of Sand Casting Moje Kiln Forming Technique
Section 5: Adhesives Enameling on Glass Paradise Enamels Sugar Acid Sandblasting Resist, Jack Wax, Scavo, Mold Separator Photosensitive Glass Lusters and Bright Metals Silver Nitrate Copper Electroforming
Section 6: Building an Invested Pot Furnace Constructing the Crown Building a Freestanding Pot Furnace The Care and Feeding of Crucibles The Pot Furnace Door
Section 7: All About Refractories Building a Day Tank The Corhart Day Tank Heat Flow Charts
Section 8: Fritz D. Dudley G. and Joppa Blowing Benches
Section 9: The IFB Annealing Oven The Roll_Out Annealer Digital Controllers and Relays Rigid Fiber Panels and Crown Installation Designing Electrical Elements
Section 10: The Fiber Glory Hole The IFB Glory Hole The Glory Hole Stand The Glory Hole Doors
Section 11: Combustion Burners (Types and Descriptions) Flame Safety
Section 12: Vendor List Temperature Conversions Weights and Measures

SESSION - I had a good session on Thursday, although I used more fuel than I wanted getting up to heat as I learn from mistakes about controlling the burner - I was burning in the throat rather than at the head and the valve I used for gas was far too sensitive. The Gibberson head uses less gas than I allowed for. Things got much better when I fine tuned. I bought another valve today. This is the first time I have had the ability to go into a mass of glass at thehouse. The thermocouple is in the wrong place and basically tells me the temperature of the flame, not the interior. When I was reheating the frozen pot from the last session when the fuel supply failed, I got a crack in the pot. I will see what happens. I did not invest my pot. 10/12/96

Subject: Re: glassblowing From: (Jackie Button)

Hi Lori, Date: 8 Oct 96 17:11:08 GMT

Where are you in Florida? Miami Hot Glass Guild has a studio and classes at the University of Miami. If you're near here, come on by, we're always rebuilding something. Last week it was a glory hole, a couple months ago, a furnace. Fla. International U., also in Miami, has had furnace glass blowing classes in the past and may again in the future, but is not operational at the moment. Have heard recently of another shop opening in Ft. Pierce, but don't know the particulars. Sorry I can't help with your other questions. Good luck, Jackie B.

CLOSING DOWN - Well, it's Sunday, practically the middle of the month and this has not gone out. It is a lovely day for blowing glass and working on the house, painting, etc. So lets take the cool part of the morning and knock off the last of the details, the stuff in the stack, and get this copied and in the mail.

PRATT FINE ARTS CENTER [1902 S. Main St., Seattle WA 98144-2206, 206-328-2200, FAX: 206-328-1260] fall glass classes include Survey of Glass, Glassblowing I, offered three times; Glassblowing II, twice, Intermediate Glassblowing, once; Lampworking, twice; Wearable Glass, Glass Fusing, and Fused Glass and Bezel Setting. Most of these are offered from late September to mid-November, so mentioning them is an alert for next semester. The Glassblowing classes cost $485 for 8 4 hour sessions one session per week. Glass Workshops are on weekends. Introduction to Glassblowing, * 8 hrs on 1 day, $175; Mold Blowing, 24 hrs, 2 weekends, $250; Pulling Cane, 8/1/$185; Figurative Solidworking, Nov.2 8/1/$180; Incalmo/Double Bubble Nov.9 8/1/$175; Functional Tableware, Oct.19,20 8/2/$175; Glass Beadmaking, Oct.19 4/2/$115; Cast Glass, Nov.3,10 8/2/$250; Color in Glass: Rods, Frits & Powders, 8/1/$195; Color in Glass: Canes Color in Glass: Canes; Color in Glass: Canes & Murrini Nov.16,17 8/2/$200& Murrini Nov.16,17 8/2/$200& Murrini Nov.16,17 8/2/$200; Gold Leaf on Glass 16/4/$160. (* where no date is given, event is past.) 10/13/96

JOB IN MIDDLESEX NY - If you are interested in participating in a Guild that follows the ideas of G.I.Gurdjieff, while living and working in the Finger Lakes Region of NY, contact the Rochester Folk Art Guild Glass, 1445 Upper Hill Road, Middlesex NY 14507. They want people to live there and help operate and maintain their fully equipped studio. 10/13/96

THE STUDIO OF THE CORNING MUSEUM OF GLASS - [Amy Schwartz, The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass, One Museum Way, Corning NY 14830-2253, (607) 974-6467, FAX: (607) 974-6370 Classes in the fall include Beadmaking Weekends (10/19-20; 11/9-10); Beginning Glassblowing (10/26-27, 11/16-17); Beginning Lampworking (10/26-27, 11/16-17). One day programs in Glass Jewelry 12/7, Snowflakes and Ornaments lampworked 12/14 and Paperweights at the furnace 12/7 and 12/14. Weekly programs, 10 - 3 hour sessions began Sept.30 and include Beginning Glassblowing, Continuing Glassblowing, Advanced Glassblowing-Venetian Style plus lampworking and flat glass classes. William Gudenrath and Amy Schwartz teach several of the courses. One week courses will be offered in January. Details can be found on the Web site. 10/13/96

OIL LAMP - I blew an oil candle, not much, and used the fiberglass wick and Pyrex stem I bought over a year ago in Austin. Make sure that you use candle oil and not lamp oil, which as the warning on the back of mine said, "gives off damaging amounts of smoke." The light playing in the clear oil and mildly colored and bubbled glass is fun to watch. 10/13/96

Blow Good Glass

Hot Glass in Texas

A Gathering of Glass runs for a while longer at Sable V in Wimberley. Studios are open as usual. The new studio, Medore von Koffler Studios and Gallery, east of Wimberley is planned to open for Halloween, as mentioned in the last issue.

North Texas Glass

Almost everybody is hot or getting hot in the next week or so, heading for production for the holidays. Although I may miss them for the next issue, most North Texas studios hold some kind of open house and sale during the few weeks after Thanksgiving. Its Just Glass may or may not happen in Ft. Worth in early November, see above. A Gallerie of Glass happens at Carlyn Gallerie.

1 In this space is pasted an ad

containing the following text.

2 Joppa Glassworks, Inc., We make and sell annealing kiln elements and

Giberson Ceramic

3 Burner Heads for your gloryholes and furnaces. For ideas on how to improve

your studio equipment

4 call or write Dudley Giberson, Warner NH 03278, 603-456-3569 fax:456-2138

5 ------------

6 Divas Glass Art, Terry Maxwell, Shirley Daniel, Classes, Pipes, and Blocks

7 1100 East Rendon-Crowley Road, Building #7, Burleson TX 76028, (817) 293-


8 Fax:(817) 293-9565



1 In this space is pasted an ad containing the following

2 Gabbert Cullet Company, Dealer in Glass Cullet,

3 Frank G. Lane, Owner, 700 Cherry Avenue,

4 Williamstown WV 26187 304-375-6435 Office

5 ---- 304-375-7790 Home; FAX:304-375-4832




9 10

For your convenience, the form below is printed opposite the mailing label on the back page, so you can cut it out to renew, etc. and leave the information intact.

I send Hot Glass Bits to: Those who are mentioned in an issue, Hot Glass Texans, others I feel like sending a copy to, and those who have paid for it. The only ones guaranteed to get the next issue are the last group.

Mike Firth. Send to Hot Glass Bits, 1

Contact Mike Firth

Prev.Issue 32 Link to HGB Table of Contents Next Issue 34

Contact Mike Firth