Hot Glass Bits #35

Contact Mike Firth

December 20, 1996 - February 20, 1997

Prev.Issue 34 Link to HGB Table of Contents Next Issue 36


This issue contains the following date/deadlines.

PILCHUCK GLASS SCHOOL - Application Deadline March 1, 1997
G.A.S. NEWS - Conference Dates - April 10-13, 1997
THE STUDIO - Application deadlines March 1 - April 15, 1997
GlassWeekend '97, Wheaton Village NJ June 13-15, 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 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.

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

Antique Notes; Common Ground: Glass; G.A.S.Notes; Glass Art Magazine; Glass Artist; Glass Focus; Glass Gazette; Glass Line; GLASS; Independent Glass Blower; NEUES GLAS/NEW GLASS.

Comments on current issues in this HB, ask for addresses

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


If I could, I surely would:

Spend the summer in Corning NY at The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass, see below.

C.E.R.F [Craft Emergency Relief Fund, P.O.Box 838, Montpelier VT 05601, 802-229-2306] has a new address and phone. The Fund provides relief for artists and craft workers who have been struck by disaster. Among other recipients have been people who were burned out in the San Francisco fires, people who were flooded out in the East Coast hurricane flooding and people who had their van with all their tools and much of their craft production stolen on the way to a show. If you need help or know of someone who does, keep their new address in mind. If you don't need help now, send a few bucks to keep the fund around for a while. 12/22/96

ISSUE TIMING - I have been concerned about the delay in getting issues out, since it is much easier to define a goal at the beginning of the month. But rather than working to shorten the time with this issue and the next, I am going to keep to about the middle of the month. That will mean that the next issue will come out after the G.A.S. Conference in Tucson in April and I can report on it. 12/22/96

NEW RATE - Hot Glass Bits has been available by snail mail or in text, htm, or eps versions via e-mail. Subscription rates via US first class mail are $15 per year, add extra postage for other countries. Starting with this issue, I will be offering a lower e-mail rate for files that I can reasonably create (those listed above plus MS Works, MS Write, MS Word, Word Perfect, and RTF) sent anywhere in the world. The new rate will be $11/year. A land mail address or phone number will still be required because of the disappearance and changes of e-mail services. 1/30/97

SESSION - Had a lovely session today in ridiculous weather, about 70°F, sunny and clear, with the same or warmer forecast for the rest of the week. Everything got nicely hot and I got some good work done and a few nice pieces in the annealer. The furnace is working although it won't last too long as I cracked the dome taking it apart and putting it back together after putting in a new pot. I am going to work with the leaks until I see how the pot behaves in the direct blast of the burner and then decide whether to build the new dome with the burner aimed straight down or at an angle as it is now. The latter makes it easier to protect the furnace from rain and other weather. I measured the wall temperature on the outside of the barrels when the glory hole and the furnace were each at about 2000F. The furnace was running about 340F in line with the burner, some of that probably being conduction from the leaks at the join of the top and the base. The glory hole was about 285F at the top center above the burner. The glory hole was lined with 2" of fiber board before adding 1" of insulating castable inside. The furnace base has 2" of vermiculite and 1" of castable. 12/29/96

GUEST SESSION - Hugh Erwin came by the store yesterday and urged me to come by Hickory Street Hot Glass today. The weather turned cold and I had other stuff done, so I went for part of the afternoon. Had a good time blowing a couple of small pieces. Since working with the brass at the store, I have been thinking of making a crimp like the one I saw in Gaffers of New Jersey, where it did not say how to use one. I had been thinking that it was the negative of a rose, the brass forming the spaces of between the petals. But I realized that in a sense they are the same shape, the petals and the spaces. So I cut a piece of brass I had in the shop to make a row of sort of petals added a narrow spacer and soldered the whole up with a torch on a tubing handle. I asked Hugh if I could try using the tool and when I dragged it out, he said, "Oh, a crimp." wherein I found that he had used one some years back. Rather than making the spaces of the rose, he said that it was used by pushing it through a layer of color to actually make the shape of the rose into the clear glass beyond. I had been working on some color, which we transferred over to a clear base and tried. The result didn't look much like a rose, but next time, after I rework the crimp a bit, getting some solder off the petals due to my large torch, I want to try a thinner very flat layer of color and a cylinder closer to the size of the crimp. [Looking at the cooled weight, deep inside you can see a ghost of a form of the crimp, lost in the color and the flat dented top, which resulted from putting the weight in the annealer while it was too hot. 1/12/97] I watched Hugh and Mat work a couple of pieces and assisted Hugh and his son a bit before I had to continue my delivery trip after what was supposed to be a short stop.
Hickory Street is looking very good, with organizational meetings working towards incorporation and other planning matters for demos, etc. Hickory Street Hot Glass is at 501 Second Ave. 214-827-7776, with the entrance on Hickory St., which crosses First and Second Avenues, exits from I-30 east of downtown Dallas 1/5/97

Subj: Re: glass blowing Date: 97-01-12 10:28:06 EST From: Sztreker
At this time mostly furnace work, am wanting to learn torch work & have just recently received all the equipment to try out it out. Here in Stillwater we have a small city funded studio, with two glass furnaces, one for clear & the other for color, along with three lehrs, a grinding wheel but no polisher. Everything in our studio is pretty much homemade but it all works. There is so much to tell about our glass lab (we're pretty proud of it) that I just don't know where to start. Tell me what you'd like to know. [see reply below STILLWATER]

HORIZONS, The New England Craft Program [108 North Main St. Sunderland MA 01375, 415-665-0300, FAX:413-665-4141] offers Early Spring Intensives, April 26-28, including Glass Casting/Hot Glass with Neal Drobness and Glass Beads with Kristina Logan and 8 other topics. Late Spring Intensives, May 10-12 has Glassblowing: Beg. & Int. with Page Hazelgrove and Kaleidoscopes with Scott Cole and 8 other topics. Early Summer Intensives, June 14-16 has Kiln-Formed Glass with Mary Ellen Buxton-Kutch and Forging: the Basics of Blacksmithing with Bill Senseney and 9 other topics less related to glassblowing. Late Summer Intensives (Aug.7-10) include Glassblowing, 6 days August 4-12 with an optional 4 day add-on Aug.13-16 and Lampworking: Shaping Glass in the Flame with Bandhu Scott Dunham. 1/16/97

BOOK REVIEW - Glass Animals, 3,500 years of artistry and design by Albane Dolez [Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York 1988, NK5440.A55D65 748.8 D663g ISBN:0-8109-1034-9,Oak Lawn Branch, Dallas Public Library] This is a marvelous book constructed by a writer, with research by several other named people, simply to produce a nice book on a topic she loves. Because the focus is on animals portrayed on, in, or with glass, virtually every technique of working with glass is shown in very fine examples with very good color and good black and white pictures. An indication of the generous proportions of the book is that in a 223 page book it takes 40 pages to get past 1,000 AD and 1900 occurs almost exactly in the center of the book. Unlike other books I have reviewed, this one is generous with the years just before publication. Most of the glass is blown or hot formed with some stained. Many of the animals are engraved on crystal. Techniques include fused, cast, pate de verre, lampworked, Graal, and many variations of furnace blown. Certainly, a book worth looking at for exposure to the many techniques. 1/18/97

WYRTHEN MOULDING - (fine spiral reeding) I really like the effect shown in a good B&W photo, p.60 of Glass and Glassware, George Savage, [Octopus Books, London, Dist in US Crescent,div.of Crown 1973, ISBN: 0-7064-0143-3] "first occurs as far back as the 5th century" The photograph of a cone shaped stemmed ale glass seems to clearly show that the reeding is done in a second partial gather, marked several (7-8 pair) times with jacks from the end, and then twisted. Example has crimped leaves at top of stem.

Subj: Apprentices wanted: Calif. Date: 97-01-08 06:50:43 EST From: Glassegg   I own and operate a hot shop in Santa Cruz and I am currently looking for 2 apprentices to join our team. Experience with hot glass a must, but this is a great opportunity to learn the fine art of hot glassworking. This is not a production oriented studio, rather we do all types of work, mostly large scale, blown and solid, commissioned, sculptural work. I have over 10 years hot glass experience, including 5 years teaching at the college level, numerous trips to Pilchuck, Penland, and glass studios abroad. This is no picnic in the park position, actually a lot of hard work , yet we have our fun as well. Possible trade for room and board to start out. work into full time, good pay position. NO FLAKES PLEASE! Send E-mail to or mail to PO Box 742SoquelCA95073 Pictures of your work would be helpful. Feel free to pass this on. Experienced/advanced position open as well. Ciao!

COMMENT - I have been trying to use a small venturi burner that I bought years ago for various tasks and it has always come up short. I am becoming convinced that it should be run off of high pressure propane with a smaller jet. Tonight I was using it to heat my little forge/aluminum-melting box and got so fed up that I waded through parts to finish rigging a burner that would use the blower. The result produces far more heat than I ever got out of the venturi, still running off low pressure. I went through a pile of aluminum cans and scrap in about 20 minutes that would have taken me over an hour to do before I changed burners. I may try to find a use for the venturi with high pressure (a color garage and pipe warmer?) but I am certainly going to use blown and high pressure T burners before fighting with this venturi again. It worked well at Northwest Butane when I took it in, but always was reducing (not pulling enough air) around here. 1/20/97

VISITOR - I had a very pleasant visit with Randy Lisbona, both on the phone for about an hour and a half on Thursday and mid-day Sunday. He came over and showed me some of his glass and pictures of others and we looked over my rig. He commented that I certainly worked at using everything and finding ways to solve problems. We went over to Hickory Street Hot Glass and I introduced him around (the whole crew was there) and looked over the equipment. We watched a few pieces being made and I left to take my wife shopping.

Randy does some very nice things with fuming and pulling the fumed lines. He has been blowing glass at Iowa State University (his alma mater and mine) at a club. He works in R&D at Lennox and when he travels back to Iowa on business goes over for a late night session at the Glass Gaffers club. They have a web site http://WWW.MSE.IASTATE.EDU/GAFFERS/ that shows equipment, etc.

Subject: Re: Flameworking Classes at A Touch of Glass From: (Nancy Block) Date: 22 Jan 1997 23:14:58 GMT In article (BarbaraBGS) writes:>Thanks for telling us about these classes - I wish more people would do this when they learn of them. Barbara Fernandez - Breckenridge Glass Studio Good idea. Sundance Art Glass in Mountain View, CA is giving a 3-day glass blowing class on February 5 - 7. I don't have their phone number, but their area code is 415-964-7248. Nancy

QUONDABEAR - In a message dated 97-01-22 23:46:06 EST, you write: It was neat to find your homepage. I wish someone would do a similar one for Oregon. It was also encouraging to hear that you set up your own hot shop in your home. I'm a dreamer of blowing at some point in the future, at least to try it, as I seem to have a passion for glass. How long did it take to build your hot shop? If you don't mind, what did it cost you? How long did it take you to learn enough to do it alone? I'm just starting to scratch the surface, but here in Oregon there's lots of activity, with Bullseye, etc. Would love to communicate with someone who did it themselves as you have. I seem to have a passion for glass. 1) How long did it take to build your hot shop? 2) If you don't mind, what did it cost you? 3) How long did it take you to learn enough to do it alone?
1) It is still in progress, but I first blew glass from something I built about 3 years after starting to learn to blow, working intermittently until I felt comfortable with my knowledge. Much of that time was spent finding information and places to scrounge because I am cheap and had little money to be fancy. Knowing what I know now and recommend to others, it would cost somewhat more and take less time. I would expect that a person with moderate skills, and an existing suitable space, could setup a small studio in about 100 hours work spread over 1-3 months depending on loose hours per week. Some of the calendar time would involve waiting for things to be shipped, for electricians, etc., to show up and for concrete, castings, etc., to set.
3) Learn to blow glass alone? About a week during summer class at Junction, since I knew I was going to be working that way, there being no other glassblowers in the area when I started. So I asked the instructors and other more experienced people around the class for suggestions on working alone and watched for alternative ways of doing things. Learn to build it alone? About 50 years, since I have been a do-it-yourselfer most of my life and have courage, sometimes to the point of stupidity.
2) Since I did not build a building (my equipment is outdoors, impractical in Oregon) and have not yet wired for 220 for larger annealers, the cost of my 'studio' does not include some important factors. I just looked at my somewhat sloppy records and I have spent $9,000 1991-1996 for classes, travel, equipment, tools, tanks, burners, craft show fees, and putting out Hot Glass Bits. Against that, I have made perhaps $200 selling glass and $2,000 in Hot Glass Bits fees. A person who expected to buy stuff (not scrounge) from the start, and bought for the duration could probably do equipment and tools for $2,000-$4000. Add the cost of the building. Furnace glassblowing is the most expensive way to work glass. My total scrounge cost before the first piece of glass was about $900 and I spent about $1100 on classes during the same few years.

CASTING PRACTICE - I did my first pot using a version of the technique outlined by The Independent Glassblower. The recipe I use for pots is too weak to dry unsupported. So the technique is to form the pot by slamming clay against the outside of a core mold, smoothing all the seams, then placing an outside mold, removing the inner mold, smoothing the inside and letting it dry in the outer mold, where it shrinks. Because of the shrinkage, it would crack if left around the inner mold.
So, how to make the two molds? IGB suggests making the inner mold any of a number of ways (including using a bowl) then slamming on the clay, then making the outer mold on the outside of the clay with something that sets faster. For smaller molds, plaster of Paris reinforced with cloth (like a broken arm cast) and for larger, fiberglass. I am going to try fiberglass for the next pot for the furnace, but I need a small pot to melt aluminum and brass in for some casting, so I tried the plaster method tonight. It seemed to work pretty good, although plaster can get messy. I used pieces of old sheet for reinforcement, dipping them in plaster nearing the setting point, and then applied more plaster to the outside. As soon as the plaster was set (still warm) I began working on getting the combination up off the board I was working on, which took a while. When I took out the core, wrapped in plastic as suggested, I found a couple of voids and several areas that needed some smoothing.
Next time, I will only have to apply a layer of clay of about the right thickness, push the outer mold into place and pull out the inner one.
I am finding that the clay keeps very well and is still workable in the rather air-tight container I kept it in. I added a little water several days ago, having neglected to over many months and found the upper part firm and the lower quite soft and used both kinds in building the pot. 1/23/97

SESSION - Casting and Blowing - Got everything hot, melting down some brass on the way up and some aluminum on the way down. Things were nicely hot. Wasted some fuel with a not well adjusted furnace burner, so it took too long to get to heat. I had not worked with the casting sand before and I have a lot to learn, but it was neat. The sand is very fine and keeps sharp edges. The blowing went very well. The glory hole was hotter than I have had before, I believe, and working went nice. I spent much of my time on versions of an oil candle with a wasp waist, learning to jack the piece and the waist and get the piece off. 1/26/97

GLASSBLOWING IN STILLWATER, OK - Date: 97-01-26 22:30:52 EST From: SZN00
Have not forgotten your questions, just been very busy. You asked about how we screen for new students. Well basically that what we've been doing, you see our studio time & space is very limited, since we have classes most week nights & then studio time for advanced blowers. Our classes are usually 4 to 6 people at most. The best way we have found to start new students into glass blowing is to start them with an intensive 1 day workshop just for paperweights. In the past our classes were open to a first come first serve basis, then when someone decided 2 classes into the semester that this wasn't for them we would have an unused space in the class but classes were usually to far along by then start someone new. We just finished a workshop this last weekend in which 4 people attended. Of the 4 people 2 will probably return, the other 2 had fun but realized that the heat was just too much. There is so much I would love to discuss with you about your glass set up at home and our studio here. I just don't know were to start. I'm so used to our tanks running full tilt 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that I was amazed when reading your notes that you start from a frozen tank each time you blow, this just can't give you much blowing time. Not to mention your glass has to be difficult to work with and keep clear. Our most recent problem has been trying to keep our clear tank clear & free of bubbles. We believe it is partly due to powders being used as color which if not heated properly would contaminate the tank, also could be due to dust being sucked into to the blowers for the tanks, still it could just be humidity and weather affecting the temp of the tank..... Any thoughts??

In a message dated 97-01-26 22:30:52 EST, you write:
< that you start from a frozen tank each time you blow,&>
Actually not. Freezing the glass will destroy the pot/furnace rather quickly.
What I do is scoop out all most all the remaining glass at the end of the session then close up the furnace and let it cool at it's own rate.
Whether or not I might have stumbled on this myself, I learned it during a visit with Drew Eblehare, nationally known millefiori paperweight maker in Houston, when he finished, scooped and shut down.
< this just can't give you much blowing time.>
It gives me enough. These days I am preheating the furnace early morning to drive off the moisture, firing with a small burner to bring up to about 1000, and then firing off the big burner. When all goes well (I don't botch the settings on the burner), it takes about 90 minutes to get up to 2000F.

< Not to mention your glass has to be difficult to work with and keep clear.>
Actually, the glass is quite easy to work with. I melt from cullet each time I start. At this time, I am not worried about producing clear bubble free glass, just keeping up my skills, although I am rapidly approaching that point.
< Our most recent problem has been trying to keep our clear tank clear & free of bubbles. We believe it is partly due to powders being used as color which if not heated properly would contaminate the tank, also could be due to dust being sucked into to the blowers for the tanks, still it could just be humidity and weather affecting the temp of the tank..... Any thoughts??>
Although others might give you more insight, I don't think any of the problems you mention should be causing a bubble problem. Although getting colored powder in the clear is something that should be avoided for other reasons; make sure the powder is fused with glory hole work before gathering more.
Bubbles in tanks are usually the result of chemical action releasing oxides. I have always been told that the way to handle them is to raise the temperature somewhat, stir the glass (with a punty) if it seems useful, then lowering the temperature to below the working point (say up to 2250 and down to 1900) to squeeze the glass, forcing the bubbles back into solution. As I learned early in my melting; raising the temperature of a tank too high can produce masses of bubbles.
Are you melting batch or cullet?
Are you monitoring the temperature at all? What is your working temp? Holding temp? (Having a lower holding temp, for overnight, can squeeze the glass.)

NEW TIPS FOR OLD PIPES -In a message dated 97-01-28 19:30:12 EST, you write:
< I have a 20 year old set of steel pipes my mom used in Arizona that has a brazed metal tip. I am looking for a source that I could purchase a Teflon or "softer" mouthpiece, that I could install on my pipes. I have found no resources on the Internet, and was wondering if you had any sources locally (Dallas) for such items, or even mail order. < I start blowing soon, and most of our "school supplied" pipes, I've been told, are not straight. My pipes are very heavy and very straight so I'd like to use them if I can find such parts.>> The most commonly used plastic tip is Delrin, acetal plastic. Steinert [1000 Mogadore Rd, Kent OH 44240 1-800-727-7473] lists an "Additional Mouthpiece Delrin $15" However, their mouthpieces are attached (I believe) with a collar or part of the handle, so they would not fit over or replace your mouthpiece. Teflon (and probably Delrin) are available at Regal Plastics (off I-35) and other places listed under plastics in the Yellow Pages. It can be worked like wood if you are careful. I don't happen to recommend the plastic tips. They aren't very soft and if you (or someone blowing for you) gets at them with their teeth, they scar easily and the scars are very rough on the lips. Although it is a courtesy to ask first, I have round it rather easy to straighten a pipe or punty. I do it over a soft piece of wood, like a 2x4, ideally part of a saw horse so it springs more, although I have done it on the end of a 2x4 clamped in a vice. I use the weight of the pipe to straighten it, positioning the high point of the bend downward and dropping the pipe on the 2x4 repeatedly, turning it as necessary to remove the bow. The soft wood prevents damage and using the weight spreads the force in a way that can not be duplicated with a hammer.

STUDIO AVAILABLE - Date: Wed, 29 Jan 1997 21:45:58 -0500 From: H C Maunsell Newgroups: Subject: Hot Glass Studio Available! I run a fully equipped hot glass studio (which includes all cold working equipment) and have done so for the last six years. However, I am having a baby in May, and need to reorganize my life. Offers to purchase the equipment as a whole would be considered. My preference, however, would be to bring in a partner(s?) so I can continue to work part time, and have time to be a mother. Advantages of this arrangement would include reduced operational costs for each partner and the benefit of my experience. Interested people are encouraged to contact me as soon as possible. A complete listing of the equipment is available.The studio is located in Kingston Ontario Canada. (scenic, historic, university town)

BABY BILLY FURNACE - Tom Bellhouse has sent a video tape showing construction of his new Baby Billy furnace (after Billy Bernstein at Penland NC) and the layout of his shop. The method begins by cutting down a metal garbage can then putting 3" of soft castable in bottom and adding more to make a nest. He then used frax to fill the space between the can and his used crucible which he had cast over with 1" of cruzite. Between the can and the barrel is packed frax again topped with cruzite. The barrel is cut to form the top and bottom with cuts to form tabs on edge to fit together. Cruzite cast about 1-1.5" thick is cast above the crucible in two sections. Aluminum flashing was used for the lower walls and after that was set, foam board was used to carve the dome's shape. In the upper section ports were defined for the burner at the top and for gathering at the front. The very deep gathering port is framed at the bottom with a 1/2 brick and on the sides with high temp hard brick added after the casting. Also added is a cast arch over the bricks angled high to get into small crucible. Thickness of crown, about 1.5 inches. Used crucible. Cut edges of barrel sliced to form tabs that allow it to overlap. 2800 F frax against cruizite. "No guarantee it would make glass, lot made that did not make glass. About 4" of frax inside barrel. Shop in the woods downhill from the house along the drive. Frax tied in place with nylon twine and wooden lath to hold blanket, pickets pulled together at top to aid fitting top of barrel. Add steel framing and channel above door for door two flat wheels in V groove. Add more framing to hand burner. Pipe handle out from door to open. Lights furnaces with newspaper burning inside. Turns on with orange flame. 12-24 hours to dry out furnace. Has large billiard table in shop Makes perfume, Italianate, small. Annealer, two door top loading, 2-220 elements. Glory hole has yoke mounted on glory hole. Works sitting down some times and glory hole lowered (by hand) Bench of angle iron. Pickup box and mini-annealer, first built of wood frame, burned up when left on and got up over 2000F. High capacity dimmer for chicken house. Furnace uses first Giberson head he bought, smallest made 6-7 years ago, #75 orifice, 7-8 psi to cruise, $12/day retail to run. Head just barely at lip of opening. Uses snap fittings on rubber hose on high pressure gas for flexibility in location of equipment. Reactions: Having built furnace with an angled door, I am increasingly wondering at the contortions people go through to get a punty past the thickness of the insulation and into a pot to have a horizontal door. Use of the rubber hose, especially inside, I consider very risky. I would want anyone thinking of doing it to set up a tank outside and light the end of what is coming out of the hose. I would want a very certain cut off that would be well away from the hose end.

VISITING SESSION - It was cold and nasty today and after too much time inside, I went over the Hickory Street Hot Glass. Friday and Saturday nights, I worked in the chill of the garage to rebuild the rose crimp and I wanted to try it, besides watching what was going on. Both Hugh and I made a piece using the crimp as we grope our way toward the best use. In both cases, we pressed the figure in the glass so close to the end of the punty that as we jacked it off the figure looked less like a rose. In my effort, we tried picking the piece off with a flattened punty load and then gathered on the combination. It looked interesting, but we have a linear air bubble all the way around the join. Hugh worked his base to a smooth ball, after nipping off some extra glass, and merged it with a very hot gather. His ended rather high in the weight, but looked interesting. Several other pieces were blown and a good time was had by all. 2/9/97

GLASS BALL - This will have passed by the time I get the issue out, but I thought it sounded like so much fun I would mention it.

Subject: Hearts of Fire From: (Mickey Sadler)
It's that time of year again. Join us at the GLASS AXIS "Hearts of Fire" 5th annual benefit ball.
- Beer (and soft drinks) - Food
Saturday February 15, 1997 8p.m. till ????. $7.00 per person donation
Bring your friends (lots of them), and help us maintain and improve our studio.
Glass Axis, 280 Cozzins Street, Columbus, Ohio 43216 (614)228-4011, Central Ohio's only public access glass studio, is a not-for-profit organization partially funded through the Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Ohio Arts Council. Visit the Glass Axis Home Page at
Mickey E. Sadler, Dublin, Ohio |Member Glass Axis |Member The Glass Art Society
Ask me about Glassblowing |Member Ohio Designer Craftsmen

THE STUDIO of The Corning Museum of Glass [One Museum Way, Corning NY 14830-2253, 607-974-6467, FAX: 607-974-6370, email: AMYGLASS@AOL.COM] has got a schedule to make me drool and wish for the money and time to spend the summer there. The 1997 Summer Program arrived today and it starts off great with a cover painting, Glass Blowers by Charles Ulrich, 1890, which shows a mustachioed gaffer eyeing the gals who sit eyeing him and the goblet he is making.    Nine one and two week sessions are scheduled from June 2 to Sept. 19. [Sessions listed as furnace glass, lampworking glass, and other.] The first session (6/2-6/7) has no less than Lino Tagliapietra and Paul Stankard at the furnace and lamp respectively along with Donna Milliron doing a multi-hot approach to small scale glass sculpture. #2 (6/9-14) has three beginning classes with William Gudenroth, Will Stokes and Jiri Harcuba the last doing engraving. #3 is two advanced weeks (6/16-27) with Gianni Toso helping "experienced artists translate their best ideas to glass", Cesare Toffolo Rossit will work with larger forms and shared ideas, while Harcuba will offer more engraving. #4 (7/7-18) will have Pamina Traylor using the furnace for casting into Plaster Investment Molds and Shane Fero and Frederick Burkhill exploring flameworking frontiers. #5 (7/21-26) has Katherine Grey doing Intermediate Glassblowing (at least one year experience) and Roger Parramore doing a lampworking survey, while Daniel Clayman does Kiln Casting into Plaster molds. #6 (7/28-8/2) features Josh Simpson covering efficient ways of working with glass for intermediate blowers and Sally Prasch with basic flameworking. #7 (8/11-22) is two weeks with Stephen Rolfe Powell (intermediate +), Emilio Santini and Shinichi and Kimiake Higuchi doing pate de verre for those with some experience. #8 (8/25-30) is Laura Donefer for beginners, Brian Kerekvliet merging lampworking with furnace working while the Higuchi's offer a pate de verre introduction. #9 (9/8-19) is William Gudenrath doing Venetian techniques with those having at least two years experience and Sally Prasch will explore very large and small (postage stamp sized) lampworked elements.
Tuition is $440 for one week and $770 for two weeks. Scholarships are available. Room and board is $300 per week using a Days Inn near the studio (2 per room) and local restaurants. Hot shop classes are limited to 9 and lampworking to 8. All applications will be held until March 1 and then processed randomly. After March 1, spaces will be filled on a first come first served. All juried classes (intermediate and advanced) will be processed after April 15 which is also scholarship deadline time. 2/14/97

COST SUMMER CLASSES- Place Tuition 1 wk 2 wk Rm&Bd (cheap) Other Transport* 1 wk total
Corning $300 $770 $300 Penland
Pilchuck $2,300 dormitory $2,650 cottage
* Transportation costs are based on flying from the middle of the country - specifically St. Louis and include lowest air fare to nearest city and reported fee for getting to school.

PILCHUCK GLASS SCHOOL - Has a totally terrific web site at, [September 3, 1996 - May, 1997: Suite 200, 315 Second Avenue South, Seattle, Washington 98104-2618, U.S.A. 206.621.8422 - office, 206.517.1351 - event reservation, 206.621.0713 - fax,] nicely arranged and complete, from which the following information was collected, so I didn't have to copy it from the catalog, which I just got. Deadline for application is 1 March and the application has many steps, get it if you want to go, go to the web site to explore.

Subj: Re: On Line Catalog Date: 97-01-26 22:32:29 EST

From: To: MikeFirth

Soon, Mike, Soon. Our Internet provider was in one of THOSE houses that slipped down a

hill in the recent rains.!!!

This week I hope.

Thank you for your interest in Pilchuck.

Information below should answer your question.

If you need more info, e-mail me again!


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Marjorie Levy, Executive Director

Pilchuck Glass School, 315 Second Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98104

Pilchuck website is at

Internet e-mail to:

Phone: 206 621 8422, ext 22 Fax: 206 621 0713


Note the following:

* Pilchuck course catalog is complete and was mailed out to everyone on the mailing list as of December 15. If you requested a summer program catalog by e-mail before December 15, we sent one to you by mail. It can take up to 5 weeks to reach some people so be patient.

*Everything listed in the 1997 catalog is ON the Website, OR WILL BE WITHIN A FEW DAYS!

*Send a post address or FAX # for an application FORM.

*International students wishing a paper catalog by airmail should send $10 to Pilchuck and we will airmail a catalog.

Class designated as Glass blowing include Beginning Blowing and Mixing That Media - Laura Donefer; Beginning Hot Glass Forming - Jocelyn Prince; Beginning Glass Blowing - Ken Ikushima; Intermediate Glass Blowing - Randy Walker; Introductory Solid and Blown Sculpting - Louis Sclafani; Advanced Glass Blowing - Tom Farbanish; The Art of Blown Glass Design - Philip Baldwin - Monica Guggisberg; Advanced Glass Blowing - Dante Marioni & Dick Marquis; and Collaborative Advanced Glass Blowing - Richard Royal.

Other Techniques available include Kiln Casting; Fusing; Hot Glass; Crossover Classes; Sculpture; Advanced Hot Glass; Flameworking; Painting and Glass; Neon; Solid Glass Forming; Mixed Media; Design; Pāte de Verre; Furnace Casting * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

CRIMP RESULTS - I have sitting on my desk the result of using the crimp last Sunday. In terms of what was intended, it is a failure, but in terms of interesting results, it is most successful. The failure is that the crimp form is barely noticeable inside amid too much surrounding color. There are white paper trash markings also. The success is multiple. The color we used was a scrap of vessel blue on the bottom side and white on the top. The crimp pushed the blue thru the white, a very nice effect. I mentioned the way we applied the bottom above, and not only did it result in a marvelous wavy circular air bubble around the color, but the crimp points have bubbles also.
As I was leaving, it suddenly occurred to me that I was making life difficult for myself in building the crimp. I have been carefully silver soldering petal shaped pieces of brass on to a flat plate on the end of a tubing. But I could modify the thing far more easily if I braised the individual petals onto pieces of stiff brass rod and then bundled the rods. It would be easier to adjust each petal, each petal would be cleaner, and I think I could get more in the space if I needed to. 2/15/97

In article <>, Jesse &/or Tobi writes:
>Anybody going to the Glass Art Society show in Tucson in April? This
>will be our first year there and I'm curious to know what it's like.
>Thanks very much.
I am going to be there, having gone two and four years ago. Each conference is different, the last one in Boston having had a very strong lampwork influence the one before that leaning a lot more to furnace work. This one seems to have some strong furnace workers on hand though the state seems to have more lampworkers than furnace.
Two things that GAS offers every year are the chance to see the top glass workers in the country actually working and the chance to see, in one large room, all of the good tools for furnace working and lamp working. Actually handling pipes, jacks and shears made choices about spending $60-120 each a bit easier. This year scheduled demos are available for Lino and Shane and Dante and Dino, Bandu, Powell and Lundberg (and others)
Sessions may explore starting in a career after college, building a studio, safety and glass on the Internet (golly gee whillikers, Mike, who could be on that panel?)
About half the value of the Conference is the ability to visit studios and talk with people at the studios and at the conference. The people who come are very open and I have asked the question "How did you do that?" to some very good artists and got very good answers.
Unlike previous conferences, most of the open houses are after the Conference. The fee for the conference goes up in three steps and for non-students it is $199 plus membership ($40) until March 3 (higher until April 9, opening day, then even higher). Membership also gets you a quarterly newsletter and the Journal. reporting on the conference. [As I was folding the issue, it slowly dawned on me that I had not put in any address or cost information for the G.A.S.Conference, even though I mentioned its different format. It is: Executive Director, Glass Art Society, 1305 4th Ave., Suite 711, Seattle WA 98101-2401, 1-206-382-1305, FAX: 206-382-2650. Cost is $199 before March 3, $235 March 3- April 4, $250 April 10 with membership adding $40 for Individuals in the US, Canada & Mexico. Full time student membership is $15 and matching Conference Fees are $85, $110, $135. By the way, G.A.S.98 is to be in Japan.
I will be flying to Tucson thanks to the drop in rates following the threatened American Airlines strike. I am flying America West which charged $375 before and $267 after. I will renting a car and driving to Tubac on Wednesday and to Phoenix and Prescott on the Monday after. Let me know if you are going and would like to visit either of these places and a ride would help.]

Blow Good Glass

Hot Glass in Texas

Dallas - Kittrell-Riffkind Art Glass, [5100 Beltline Suite, Suite 820, 214-239-7957] April 4-26 - Newi Fagan, Mary Entner, Lucy Berganini (a 30 foot necklace, blown glass beads), Emilio Santini (lampworker), Newi doing a workshop (5th) May - Hot Glass Weekend (5/3-4), Art Allison with his portable rig in the Courtyard on Sat & Sun, Bandu Scott Dunham doing lampwork in the gallery and both will be featured through out the month; June 6- July 5th will feature Mark Abildgaard, John Chiles, John Littleton and Kate Vogel, and John Gilbey - jewelry (blown flasks, silver) July 11- August 9th - Goblet invitational.

Dallas: Carlyn Galerie, [6137 Luther Lane, 214-368-2828] March 13 - April 16th "Animal Crackers" in metal, glass, ceramics, jewelry, and fiber. Glass artists include Robert Mickelson and Michael Schmidt-Rhea.

In Wimberley, southwest of Austin, Sable V Fine Art Gallery, [The Courtyard Overlooking Cypress Creek, 512-847-8975] is opening Art of Wimberley on April 19 (to 5/12) which will include glass artists Tim de Jong, David Folia, Robert Mazur and Don Davidson (who makes glass furniture) along with painters and other artists. On May 17 (to 6/16) Art of Women will include the glass nudes of Mark Butte and David Wilson along with many other forms. The Art of Children will include work by artists under 18, including Alex Mack, 9 years old, who works in flat glass doing sculptures and wall hangings. The 5th annual Gathering of Glass will open September 20th and artists who are interested are invited to send slides. Gathering includes all forms of glass work.

The MSC Forsyth Center Galleries [Student Center, Texas A&M University, College Station, 409-845-9251] continues Look for the Label: Fifty Years of the Libbey Glass Company, until May 11. Although better known for commercial glass, Libbey produced fine art glass. This show includes work from the move to Toledo OH in 1888 to the 1939 New York World's Fair.

1 In this space are pasted ads 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 are pasted ads 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


7 punty grinding wheels, perfume reamers belts (diamon, sil carb, cork) sawblades.

8 Parts and pads for dremel, cerium oxide, etc. Call for catalog of kiamond grinding and polishing

9 supplies HIS GLASSWORKS INC, 91 Webb Cove Road, Asheville NC 28804

10 Phone 800/914-7463 fax 704-254-2581

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 34 Link to HGB Table of Contents Next Issue 36