Hot Glass Bits #34

Contact Mike Firth

October 13 - December 19, 1996

Prev.Issue 33 Link to HGB Table of Contents Next Issue 35


This issue contains the following date/deadlines.

G.A.S. NEWS - Conference Dates - April 10-13, 1997
GlassWeekend '97, Wheaton Village NJ June 13-15, 1997
[capitalized KEYWORD starts a paragraph below]

Additional contributors to this issue: Roger Peterson, C&R Loo

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 54 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.

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


INTERNET I - (Bonnie Allen) writes:

>>I've recently moved to a home that has a large LP gas tank to serve the furnace and hot water heater. This question has probably been asked before, but is it possible to get the local gas company to make me a connection to use in my glass workshop? <<

PROPANE - Unless, by "the local gas company" you mean the guy/company that delivers propane by truck and fills the tank, the other post is correct about not bothering the local gas company, that is a natural gas delivery company, since they are unlikely to handle LPG.
The plumbing may be done as a service by an LPG company, or you can hire a plumber or do it yourself (depending on your local zoning, which often does not exist where LPG tanks are used.) Depending on how the plumbing is now set up, you may wish to have a different regulator mounted on the line or tap the plumbing between the primary regulator and the one that provides low pressure gas to the appliances.
For those who don't know (as Bonnie may not) an LPG installation involves a number of costs, all of which can be negotiated and many of which be modified by changing companies that deliver.
There is often a siting fee for hauling in and placing the tank. Whether connection is made to the plumbing depends on the company. Furnace glassblowers often use so much gas that this fee is set aside.
There may be a monthly rental charge for the tank (or the tank may be bought.) Again this may be set aside or reduced if a lot of propane is bought.
There is a charge for the propane. Usually the cost per gallon goes down as more is purchased. Once usage is established, and about once a year, any heavy user should contact other companies delivering in the area and ask about costs. One user in our area shifted from $.90 a gallon to $.75 a gallon with no siting or rental charge for the new tank. Furnace glass blowers can easily be the heaviest users of propane in a rural or recreational area, especially in the summer. If you are a good customer you can ask for good rates. 10/18/96

LEARNING ABOUT CASTABLE - I would consider the one of the better skills for a beginning glass worker is to handle castable, insulating castable. A 50 pound bag from National costs under $20. Two early projects could be a burner port or a furnace or gloryhole door. The advantage of the former is that it need have no fittings cast into it.
A burner port serves several purposes. It moves the burner head back from the heat of the furnace and reduces the thermal shock of turning on or off the flame. When a furnace is built in two layers, as I do, the port provides the penetration through the hidden layer, vermiculate in my case, frax in many cases. If built with a flare to the hole, as Dudley Gibberson suggests, it spreads the flame as it leaves the head.
Since the Gibberson head (4" in diameter) wants an inner hole 4.5" in diameter. For stand alone strength, I would want a minimum thickness of 0.5" which suggests an outer diameter of 6"-6.5". The easiest mold is layers of paper shaped with wood or cardboard disks or sand inside.

RAMBLING - Thursday (10/24) and Friday were constructive and wide ranging. I picked up a barrel (used, open head, repainted, $15) to hold broken window scraps from work.
I picked up a sack (70#) of premixed sand casting agent (Acme/Borden, Aridry J-82MX, $40) to do some aluminum and glass casting. It is activated by tiny amounts of oil (0.1%-0.5% by weight, so 20# sand mix requires 0.02-0.05# oil. An ounce is 0.0625 of a pound and with water there are 2 tablespoons in an ounce; oil being somewhat lighter - maybe 2.5 T/oz - so we are talking 1-2 tablespoons (0.3 - 0.8 oz) well mixed into 20# of sand.)
I went to Divas to interview Terry Maxwell for my Common Ground: Glass (the IGGA newsletter) article. The last wind storm had peeled the tarpaper off the metal roof, letting rain in to soak everything. Terry has been working with Shirley McDaniel's multicolored vase types, adding small (10-25 watt) bulbs inside after abrasive blasting the outside. The effects are stunning, with deep inside color showing through white or mostly white outside color. Several have been sold at $250+. Terry is in the pleasant but awkward situation of having an invitation from a new gallery that is, perhaps, too close to other places that have carried their pieces before this. Terry gave me some cullet, which I transferred to my new barrel and quickly learned that even a partially full (1/4th) barrel is very heavy.
Friday night I rebuilt a broken pallet scrounged from work to fit under the barrel and added a backstop so when the catch box of broken glass is dumped it will not spill over the back. Saturday I hauled the barrel to work and placed it (the result of several exchanges of negotiating) and last night I welded, finally, the fourth upright to the furnace and extended the third to equal height so that I could add an arched piece of barrel as a roof to shed rain from the castable and any insulation blanket I add. [I collected about 1/4 barrel (crushed, 1/2 before) during the week. 12/19/96]

INTERNET II - (Lori Hultman) In a message dated 96-10-25 23:44:04 EDT, you write: << Now that you are on your second round of glass equipment, what did you do with the first? How big is your furnace now? >>

My first round was a cube of insulating firebrick with a burner in the side and a shallow pot in the bottom. I took it apart. The new furnace is 24" OD, 18" ID with a pot that will probably hold 25-30 pounds, but will hold a bigger one if I make it. It has a domed top and I am using a Giberson burner head with blower and propane. I had built a 1.5 cu.ft annealler (1x1x1.5) with 6" of insulation part of which was later removed to make a 2 cu.ft. (1.33x1x1.5) That I intend to keep virtually forever, using it for various things including longer term annealling of paperweights, garage for parking partially done projects and reheating, color oven, preheating cullet, etc.

<< What do you know about electric furnaces? I have been told that electric is so cheap in Florida that I should seriously consider that. Any thoughts? I know whatever electric furnace I bought would have to have those 'starbars' at $300 a pop, but it may still make sense? We wanted to build a furnace for about 125 lbs., but maybe something even smaller makes sense. >>

Everything I have heard about electric glass melt counts against it. It works better with smaller amounts of glass, but as you say, the cost of the elements wipes out most of the savings, if they exist. Electric elements are generally running at the very upper limit of the material and I am told that if there is a power failure, the chances of losing an element are very high. Lundstrom Studios is making some color pots with coils wrapped around the pots which are imbedded in frax, and this sounds reasonable, putting the heat at the glass rather than trying to heat the space around it. If you are trying to compare cost the first step would be to take the costs of gas and electricity and take the Btu's from gas and the Btu's from electricity and get a rough figure, for melting glass, you need to work at 150,000 - 250,000 Btu/hr. (If I have done my quick calcs right, 200,000 Btus/hr is 58.6 KWH = 58,600 watts or 244 Amps at 240 volts. Can you get that much power? Of course, lots of insulation would make it better and I am saying 200,000 based on the input heat of suggested burner heads and electricity is more efficient, so 100,000 Btuh may be a better choice for that.

Natural Gas 950-1050 BTU/cu.ft.
Butane Gas 3210 BTU/cu.ft.
Propane gas 2558 BTU/cu.ft. or 93,500 BTU/gal.
#2 Fuel Oil 135,00-139,000 BTU/gal.
Electricity 29.3 KWH/100,000 BTUs/hour 3409 BTUs/hour/KWH

<< What kind of work do you make and do you show in galleries or do art shows anywhere in Florida? I'd like to know more about your studio, your work, you know, glass stuff--Anyway--thanks for your thoughts, whatever. >>

Stuff about the "studio" will appear in Hot Glass Bits in pieces. I work outside in my back yard, so studio is strictly in quotes.

So far, my efforts have been strictly keeping up my skills. Nothing in galleries. I did witch balls as gifts last year and am thinking of oil candles this year. Maybe with the new equipment, I will turn out what I like and make enough to consider selling it. I lean toward clear work with shapes that clearly indicate that this stuff was molten at some point. 10/27/96 WINDOWS & WEB - Last night I went wandering for a few moments to Dale Chihuly's home page- - and looked at what was there. His cast stump series looked interesting, so I clicked on that and then clicked on one of the samples (yellow stump, etc.) When on the Web, some pictures are part of the text and thus cannot be easily saved since they were sent and put on the screen as they arrived. Others, often larger with no text around them, can be saved, which is indicated at the bottom of the browser screen by a file name that ends in .gif or .jpg rather than .htm Stump2 was a .jpg so I saved it. I then loaded it into Hijaak which allows viewing and converting images and saved it as a .bmp file in \WINDOWS. That allowed me to scroll down the list in Main - Desktop and select it as my Wallpaper, thus replacing the small image of Macchia (also from Chihuly) with a larger image of Stump2, which is very bold on the screen, with a black background. 10/27/96

INTERNET II: From: (Lori Hultman) Date: 96-10-30 00:43:48 EST I am so scared to do something wrong, that it keeps me from doing anything. All I want is a backyard furnace, gloryhole and annealer, and I can't or won't figure out HOW TO GET STARTED! Maybe corresponding with you will help.

We want to put this into a greenhouse we have that is 12'wide and 24'long. It has concrete block walls of about 36" high and then screens supported by aluminum up to about 10'. The Plastic corrugated roof is supported by wood trusses (?is that the v'shaped things that the roof panels lay on) and wood braces inside at either end. The floor is only concrete walkway tiles and pebbles over dirt. There is no foundation or pad. It has electricity and running water, but it isn't high powered. How much power should it have?

What kind of protection does a hot shop need? To convert our greenhouse into a 'hot shop', we have thought of a few things: replacing the roof with corrugated steel/aluminum. We also assume we need to have a level floor, although don't know if it needs to be poured concrete. Any suggestions in this area? I would like to use it also for fusing which I am currently doing in the garage, so I feel the screen thing isn't a good idea. But I'm not sure how to enclose it cheaply, without losing too much ventilation and light. Using windows seems like it would be expensive and we didn't know what to use to wall it in around the furnace. We want to put the furnace and glory hole at one end of the building, furthest from our house.

Are we insane? And can you help with this kind of prelim stuff?



>> The Plastic corrugated roof is supported by wood trusses and wood braces inside at either end. <<

I am afraid the plastic roof is going to have to go, unless you can set up astonishing ventilation. One college hot shop has problems with a tar roof that is higher than yours. I would plan a metal roof, at least for the hot half of the building. Since you are going to have to change that, you can mount exhaust fans and intake vent holes. You might also wish to make sections that lift so you have a long slot for ventilation at the ceiling where the hottest air collects. The width of your space should allow you to move the furnace and glory hole far enough from the walls to avoid overheating problems although placing sheet metal or cement board between the heat and the walls will reduce the distance need and using sheet metal for the walls will allow placing vent fans there if you wish.

>> The floor is only concrete walkway tiles and pebbles over dirt. There is no foundation or pad. <<

I do not consider this a serious problem, but it can be a nuisance. One artist here in Texas wishes he had put in concrete when he built because when it rains the dirt floor is slippery when wet. I worked for several years in my garage with a dirt floor and am much happier with the concrete. Furnace and glory hole can weigh 200 pounds or more. On a non-concrete floor, a larger wheeled dolly will be needed. When I move my stuff on grass, I have a really juggling match as otherwise small changes in level of the dirt can halt a wheel or try to tip the load. All my equipment for outside use is built with rails to provide more support than legs would and provide ventilation under the equipment.

>> It has electricity and running water, but it isn't high powered. How much power should it have? <<

Assuming you are going to use gas as much as possible (no electric furnaces, etc.) then you should try to have at least 20 amps at 240 volts. It is barely possible to get by with 20 amps at 120 volts by overinsulating the annealler(s).

COLD WORKING - Since I have been unable to find a book that details the steps in cold working hot blown glass, having asked companies who supply the material and several experienced teachers of glass blowing, I am going to write a section for my Virtual Glass Book on that topic. I would appreciate any notes or comments from people with experience in this area (who presumably learned by watching) and any references to (or copies of) articles or books that discuss choices in detail. Cold working of blown glass is all the steps of removing glass that are done by grinding and blasting. The most common activity is flattening the bottom to remove or reduce the punty mark. Other activities include grinding flats for optical effects on paperweights, grinding though opaque surface color to reveal the inside, removing glass to leave a pattern, sculpting the glass (like jade is carved), and shaping the glass so it can be glued to other pieces of glass or other materials. The basic steps are easy to put down, but details (like how smooth the grinding must be for the polishing to work) and problems (like overheating the glass or the grinding plate) come from experience. For some kinds of work, the steps are the same as sandblast etching while for others they are the same as beveling plate glass. I would also like to hear from any experienced person who would be willing to review the chapters when they are done.

SESSIONS - In my last session I learned that using the little 4C440 Dayton blower from W.W.Grainger to supply two reasonable sized burners is really pushing the limits. Tonight I needed to heat some of the window glass I brought home from the hardware store and learned that I needed to go beyond those limits. Since I had bought a second blower, while I was heating, I finished the mount and valve for the second one and put one blower on the glory hole and the other on the furnace. Then I learned that my plumbing isn't adequate to fire both to the higher level. As soon as I turned up the glory hole, the furnace fire slacked off. At a minimum, I am going to have to go back to the regulator and bring full diameter piping to each burner. I may have to get a second regulator. I think I will try saving the money and rearrange the plumbing first. I have a lot of bends and restrictions and I am sure there are a few too many. 11/10/96

GFCI - A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is a device that detects when the current flowing out one prong of an outlet is different from that flowing in the other by 50 ma. and turns off the power. It is required by law where outlets are placed near water, including bathrooms, kitchens and outdoors. GFCI outlets cost $12.99 or less and each can be wired to protect several additional standard outlets as they are typically rated at 15 amps at the outlet and 20 amps feed thru. The sensitivity of a GFCI is based on tests which demonstrated a healthy adult could stand that current across the heart without the heart stopping. Today I was setting up the heating element used for preheating my furnace and touched the tip of the thermocouple to check its location. Something was at 120 volts and I got a brief shock. The GFCI tripped. I don't know what might have happened if I did not have the GFCI, anything from a sharp jerk of muscles to severe damage and burns. I don't expect to give up using GFCI's to find out. 11/10/96

SESSION - "Have been busy rebuilding gas and air plumbing for the furnace/glory hole. Earlier I tried to run both off one blower and couldn't get enough air, so I bought a second blower. Now I had enough air, but when I turned on the gloryhole, it stole so much gas from the furnace, it almost went out. So I redid the plumbing so that it was balanced. Then I couldn't get enough gas at the furnace to hold a flame on the face of the burner, it burning and roaring inside the head as I cut back the air. As I was about to shut down, I decided that this was the moment to check the hose I had just installed. The intake seemed a bit plugged, so I used a drill to open it up. Then I applied 120 psi of air and there was a moment's pause before a bit came blasting out, followed by a good air flow. Having gotten that in hand, I rerigged everything and got a roaring blaze in the furnace and quickly ran it up to 2050°F. Unfortunately, now I was back to stealing gas from the furnace when I tried to get the gloryhole up to a higher temp. Gave up. Next step, buy another regulator." 11/14/96

YELLOW PAGES OF TUCSON - I bought a copy of the current YP for Tucson in preparation for my trip to the Glass Art Society Conference in April 97. I wanted it to know where grocery stores were for cheaper food, for more choices in renting cars, etc. The book turns out to be one of the best guides to a city I have seen. Beyond a full page Tucson Vicinity Map that is much better quality than many, there is a fold out map four times the page size with all the streets and a street guide. There is Emergency Preparedness Information that includes Desert Survival, Wildfires and Africanized Honeybees. There is a full map of the transit system with route numbers and of the airport. Golf courses have a map after three pages of Parks and Recreation. There are pages of Area Attractions and Performing Arts with seating charts. Color pictures through out this info. $22.42 from US West Direct, 1-800-422-8793. 11/20/96

HENRY HALEM'S GLASS NOTES, 3RD EDITION has just come out and it is terrific. If you saw the first edition, which was reported to me as basically a reprint of the notes given students, or the second, which added some information about furnaces and annealers, the difference in the third will astound you. In the first place, it is organized, so that related information is together. Second, it has complete information on building the equipment a small studio needs (while the first had, for example, only information on building a big tank furnace, while this one repeats that information and adds both invested pot and free standing pot furnaces.) While the first edition had specifics on things that Halem had experienced, this edition has tons of specifics extending details in many needed areas. For example, there are three pages of adhesives with sources, advantages, disadvantages and applications. This opens a section that includes decals, enamels, paints, sandblast resist, mold separator, photo emulsion, silver nitrate use, and copper electroforming. There are 12 sections covering formulas, annealing, casting, pot furnaces, tank furnaces, blowing benches and people, annealers and electric elements, glory holes, burners and reference lists. Lots drawings to support the text. Like the first edition, this book does not discuss studio layout or techniques of glass blowing. This is a terrific book. $30 per book plus $4 s&h for the first book, $2 for each additional. Make checks to Franklin Mills Press [P.O.Box 906, Kent OH 44240, 330-673-8632, FAX 330-677-2488,] and MasterCard or Visa may be used. 11/20/96

JACKS ON COMPUSERVE - #: 326288 S5/Glasswork, 15-Nov-96 23:05:40 Sb: #Jacks Fm: Cathi (CJ) Westerly 71623,3617 To: All

I'm wondering if anyone has a recommendation to make where jacks are concerned. I've heard some good things about Jim Moore's products (out of Washington, I believe). Anybody out there have any suggestions for some good tools?????

Thanks- Cathi

As you have already seen [in other replies] Jim Moore's jacks are highly recommended. I have enjoyed using them when they were available. I once got the chance to use the only jacks more highly thought of by some, the Italian ones that cost $250 or more a pair. I didn't feel that I had to have a pair for the difference. Moore's are about $150 now. [Jim Moore Tools for Glass, Box 30936, Seattle WA 98103-0936, 206-522-6046]

I have made (and used tonight) my own jacks. I bought a 1/2" x 1/16" weldable (ungalvanized) steel flat 36" long at the hardware store. In the center I made a U-bend around a piece of large pipe so the bend was about 2" diameter. A bit less than half way from the bend to the tip, I grabbed the flat in a vice and used a pair of vice grip pliers to twist the metal 90° over about 1.5-2". I made the twists in the two flats opposite so the jacks have a right side and a "wrong" side, when they fit in my hand (in other words, I twisted clockwise in one case and counter-clockwise in the other.) Thus of the roughly 18" available for each half, about 1.5" is tied up in the curve, about 2" in the twist, about 7" is handles and about 7.5" is the blades.

I then worked with the jacks, refining the bending until the blades came naturally and evenly together when I closed them. After using them for a while, I found the working edge too thick and began grinding and filing on them. This made them better while keeping the straightness. After I began doing some forging and had a nice flat surface on the anvil, I heated them in the glory hole and hammered the edge thinner. This required a complete reworking because hammering to thin also bends the nice straight blade.

Note that I do not use spring steel for the bend. If you are going to make a wide bend, you might as well use spring steel. A wide bend helps hold the blades in alignment. With a narrow bend, after adjusting the blades for alignment, it still takes technique to keep them aligned in use, a slight change of grip and they are jacking spirals in the glass rather than necks.

SESSION - After a rather complicated day, I got my fully working glory hole up to full heat along with the furnace. RULE: One blower and one regulator per burner, none of this sharing unless you have really high powered stuff. Was nice to blow, but the crack in the pot let go, so now I have to disassemble the furnace (remove the burner, remove the door, lift off the crown) to take out the busted pot and as much as the dumped glass as I can. I have a drain hole, but when I pulled the stuffing out, I saw a wall of glass about 1.5" high that had the consistency of a caramel candy and wasn't flowing anywhere. 11/21/96 [Therefore, the outside of the pot was much cooler than the inside.]

ITEMS - While looking through a bound advertisement called Dallas Ft.Worth Design magazine, I saw two uses of hot glass that I had missed before. One was ends (finials?) for drapery rods, these being pulled into a general cone shape with prunts added. The other was door knobs, looking a bit like paper weights. Both require special hardware, a mounting socket on the end of a pipe for the draperies to take a stub and a more complicated fitting, (from people who make acrylic door knobs?) for the door handles. Know ye that makers of glass door knobs have almost stopped because of lawsuits from people (and kids climbing) who have cut themselves on breaking/broken knobs. 11/24/96

JUNCTION TEXAS TECH CLASSES - Texas Tech announces the summer 97 schedule of graduate art classes at their site in Junction TX in the Hill Country, straight west of Austin, just off I-10. Advanced Hot Glass with Bill Bagley will be July 13-25. Experimental Hot Glass with Bill Bagley will be July 27-Aug.1, consent of instructor required, a team approach for all registrants to produce "show quality" sculptural forms. Beginning/Intermediate Hot Glass with Bob Mosier, June 29-July 11, primary emphasis on functional forms. For people who wish to share a creative time, other classes offered at this site at the same times include Waterbase Painting, Waterbase Screenprinting, Kite Design, Works on Paper, Mixed Media, Jewelry, Drawing, and Raku. Earlier in the summer, Collagraph, Papermaking, and Ceramics are offered. Tuition cost is (Texas/non-resident) $141.80/$327.80 for one week, $226.60/654.60 for two. Weekly room and board (15 meals) is $88 for an open dorm cabin, $98.50 for air conditioned dorm. A materials fee is applied. Thus the cost for Beginning Hot Glass (two weeks) for a Texas resident is going to be about $227+$200+$50+$33+$25 ($535) plus transportation, a real bargain. [The $33 is for weekend meals and misc., the $25 for graduate registration.] These are graduate art classes, designed originally for continuing education for high school art teachers, so a person must be admitted as a graduate student to Texas Tech. #11; For information contact: Betty Street, TTU Center at Junction, Dept.of Art, Box 42081 Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock TX 79049-2081, 806-742-3026, FAX: 806-742-1971 11/26/96

THE STUDIO AT CORNING - [The Studio] of The Corning Museum of Glass, 1997 Winter Program, Spring 1997 Weekend Programs [The description for Lampworking Classes has been deleted.] Information saved from Studio Home page

JANUARY 6-11, 1997

An Introduction to Venetian Techniques - Instructor: William Gudenrath - Technique: Glassblowing Intended for students with substantial experience in the fundamentals of glassblowing, this class will provide a firm foundation in the basic maneuvers of virtuoso Venetian-style glassblowing. This includes the making of well-formed, thinly blown vessel bodies, excellent necks, delicate mereses, and blown feet and stems. Objects from The Corning Museum of Glass will be closely studied, initially to frustrate, and then to inspire students. This class may be combined with "Advanced Venetian Glassblowing Techniques" to create a two-week session.

Human Anatomy in Glass - Instructor: Emilio Santini - Technique: Lampworking

JANUARY 13-18, 1997

Advanced Venetian Glassblowing Techniques - Instructor: William Gudenrath - Technique: Glassblowing This class, which can be used to follow up "An Introduction to Venetian Techniques," will concentrate on the mastery of goblet- and cane-making, and on caneworking processes. Students will study and emulate examples in The Corning Museum of Glass. Instruction will be by demonstration and extensive hands-on coaching.

Flameworking from A to Z - Instructor: Loren Stump - Technique: Lampworking

JANUARY 20-25, 1997

First Steps in Glassblowing - Instructors: Michelle Plucinsky and Chris Nordin - Technique: Glassblowing In this class, students will have the opportunity to learn the basics of furnace glassblowing thoroughly. Daily practice, exercises, and teamwork will be emphasized. Students will learn the skills necessary to complete simple blown vessels. Class size is limited to nine students, which will enable the instructors to provide each participant with considerable attention. No glassworking experience is required for this class.

Basic Flameworking Practices - Instructor: Sally Prasch - Technique: Lampworking This course may be combined with "Next Steps in Flameworking" to create a two-week session.


Perfecting Forms in Glass - Instructor: Jack Wax - Technique: Glassblowing Articulating form in glass will be the focus of this workshop. Taking a variety of forms from nature, we will investigate the expressive range of hot glass, utilizing its inherent ability to mimic different surfaces and exploiting its built-in memory. Students should have at least one year of experience in hot glassworking.

Next Steps in Flameworking - Instructor: Sally Prasch - Technique: Lampworking

FEBRUARY 3-8, 1997

Advanced Glassblowing - Instructor: Lino Tagliapietra - Technique: Glassblowing Master glassblower Lino Tagliapietra will teach advanced furnace skills and techniques for glass artists. Students will participate in demonstrations and discussions about glass, art, and life. The Venetian teamworking approach will be used throughout the class. Generous amounts of practice time and hands-on instruction with Mr. Tagliapietra will enhance the students' skills and offer a greater appreciation of the expertise and philosophy of this noted Italian glassmaker. Students should have extensive glassblowing experience. Please submit three slides of recent work with the application.

Making Technique Disappear - Instructor: Kari Russell-Poole - Technique: Lampworking

Revised November 20, 1996

C&R LOO - Date: 01-Dec-96 13:08 CST From: Roger Peterson [71565,411] Subj: C & R Loo

Had a little extra time today so went to the only supplier of hot glass materials I have found in the San Francisco Bay area. This is; C & R Loo 1085 Essex Ave. Richmond, CA 94801 (800) 227-1780

It is an interesting business. They are located in a rather large facility in the industrial (refinery) area of Richmond, CA, and have a large display room with lots of stained glass. They are distributors for several major manufacturers -- Bullseye, Uroboros, etc. -- but only sell stained glass products to studios in $100 lots.

They also carry color bars, frits, etc. for the hot glass trade. These are manufactured by; Q-Colors, FA-Powders, Kugler, Zimmerman, Weisanthalhutte, Uroboros, Bullseye

C & R will sell hot glass materials to anyone. They gave me a 40-page catalog that lists the colors by manufacturer. Kulger bars range in price from $19 to $55 per kilo. Q-Colors, Kugler, Zimmerman, and Uroboros 96 are reported to be compatible with Spruce Pine 87 cullet. Kulger seems to have the widest range of both transparent and opaque colors.

I also looked at the lampworking materials manufactured by Bullseye. I picked up some 90 COE "Colorstix" to try out on beads. Colorstix are produced by Bullseye and are just thin strips of their stained glass -- 3mm x 6mm x 16". That shape and the fresh-cut glass edges makes using them for lampwork somewhat challenging. This glass seems expensive -- $5.40 for 7 strips that weighed out

at 5 oz. That figures out to be $17/ lb or $38/kilo. Puts it right up there with premium Kulger bars.

I did a few test beads to see how the Bullseye works. It definitely will require more care with annealing than Moretti or Pyrex. Three of the five beads cracked when I only used flame annealing and vermiculite. Still, it has promise -- particularly with the pastel colors.

You might want to get one of C & R's catalogs. It has some interesting information in it about COE and compatibility of the various glasses, including Spruce Pine Batch 83 & 87. Of interest to us here in California, is the data they included on East Bay Batch -- also located in Richmond.

MOSAIC/MILLIFIORRI - I have mentioned before reading for pleasure and bemusement my 1912 onion skin copy of the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. This time I was struck by a paragraph under Mosaic which describes exactly the making, in Egyptian times, of millifiorri or murrini, in this case a picture of a bird, by bundling together rods to make the picture, which are then heated, fused, and drawn down to make a 3/8" square used as a bezel on a ring.
The latest issue of Glass Line reviews the latest edition of James Kervin's More Than You Ever Wanted to Know about Glass Beadmaking [GlassWear Studios, 1996] that speaks positively of coverage of Millefiori and Mosaic Cane, which would be the only available coverage in modern books that I know of that is that extensive.

GOOD BOOK - I don't spend much money on art quality books, I don't have that much free, but I gave myself a present of the book William Morris artifacts/glass by Gary Blonston, photographs by Robert Vinnedge and Russell Johnson [1996 ISBN 0-7892-0167-4 Abbebille Publishing Group, 488 Madison Ave, NY 10022 $40] Besides lovely pictures, the text is well written and the final section, Studio, contains some of the best pictures and expressions about glassworking I have seen. After description of the work on a piece that falls from the punties during a transfer, the following words appear:
"For every piece of glass standing resplendent in a museum, gallery or collector's home, there are the floor models, the accidents, miscalculations of heat or timing, misjudgments about the thickness of a surface that has cracked or the temperature of a quick-cooling protrusion that has snapped off There is no way to fix it. There is only starting over, and grappling once again with the only artistic medium that actively fights back.
A sculptor's marble block just stands there; so does a painter's canvas. But glass tries to flee, refuses to obey, remembers every mistake. Always its accomplice is gravity, tugging away at an artist's best intentions."

AMERICAN STYLE, the quarterly from Wendy Rosen [3000 Chestnut Ave., Suite 304, Baltimore MD 21211-9895, 1-800-272-3893, $7each/$19yr] on "The Art of Living Creatively" which again gives great prominance to glas, especially hot glass. If you have been trying to convince a gallery to carry glass, your glass, this issue might be a good one to get in their hands. Aimed at the collector, it lists over 600 events and shows, but also has excellently photographed glass in articles on Studio Glass Blows Its Boundries and Collector's Corner: Scent Bottles as well as glass in many of the bits and blurbs. The first article focuses on glass vessels with the next issue covering sculpture. Included in the article is a ranking of vessel making glass artists as "Elite", "Established" and "Emerging" which were chosen by talking to leading curators and galleries. Each artist is given a brief blurb with history and current price range of pieces and most get a small picture of an example work. Without further comment the names included are "Elite": Dale Chihuly, Dan Dailey, Richard Marquis, Harvey Littleton, Joel Philio Myers, Klause Mohe, Mark Pieser, Thomas Patti and Frantisek Vizner; "Established": Robert Carlson, Fritz Dreisbach, Dante Marioni, Jay Musler, Danny Perkins, Stephen Rolfe Powell, Lino Tagliapietra, Cappy Thompson, Mary Van Cline, James Watkins, Mary Ann "Toots" Zynsky; and "Emerging": Jane Bruce, John De Wit, Shane Fero, Dorothy Hafner, Janusz Posniak, Ann Robinson, Laura de Santillana and Charles Savoie. 12/15/96

NEW ORLEANS SCHOOL - Just before closing, I received a reprint of a story about (and sent by) the New Orleans School of Glass that appeared in Southern Accents (1-800-882-0183) Nov-Dec. 96 While discussing the school somewhat, the primary focus of the story is the custom glass for house use and decorating that is available from artists who work with the school. 12/15/96

GLASS MAGAZINE - #65, winter 96 arrived just before closing and features installations, particularly Steven Tobin. A set of photos of Pilchuck, Year One, almost looks like an installation. 12/19/96

WHERE I STAND - As I close down this issue, I have taken apart and temporarily reassembled my 'Phase II' Furnace so that I have a blowing pot while I do the other things I have in mind and so that I can take some pictures of how I have it rigged. It is using a smaller pot I cast last spring when I thought I was going to build a smaller furnace (as Phase II and then do this size as Ph.III.) I also want to see how the pot reacts when I don't freeze glass in it. In the process of lifting off the dome and I extended/opened cracks across it from port to port, which closed up, mostly, putting it back.
While using the revised rig, I will get cheap metal bowls or make a mold for a new pot and get the ingredients for it and mix or have them mixed. While I going through that process, I will have do decide whether I will make a new dome. If I do, I will most likely put the burner port in the center top rather than at an angle at the side. I am going to cut the end off a barrel, with 3-4 inches up the side, so that I have a more rigid bottom under the dome. I used a flat steel barrel lid, which warped from the heat when I cut the circle out of the bottom. I will also cut a number of 2.5 or 3" pegs/toothpicks to better determine the thickness of the dome, having found the old one quite uneven. Then off we go.
As you may be able to see, I have bought a new printer, a second to the least expensive inkjet that can do color but also has a black cartridge to be more efficient. The quality of printing is much better and the warped letters of recent issues on the old printer should no longer appear. I expect to post some images of Texas glass on my web page. I have just scanned some files of Divas' work, rather too costly to use the same method in the future. I will have to try getting film processed at these places that put the images on disk for almost nothing.

Blow Good Glass

Hot Glass in Texas

No time to research, no details to add.

North Texas Glass

Hickory Street Hot Glass, Dallas, has a phone number, 214-827-7776, and people working most of the week. Hugh Irwin reports that the facility is working well but tends to collect water when it rains. It is in the basement and has two sump pumps, but the floor is uneven.

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) 293-0190

8 Fax:(817) 293-9565



1 In this space is pasted an ad containing the following: 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

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.

Make check to Mike Firth. Send to Hot Glass Bits, 1

Contact Mike Firth

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