Contact Mike Firth
June 1, 1999 - Dec 31,1999 Rev. 2003-02-14
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|KOHLER GLASS BOOK||THE INDEPENDENT||GLASS #72||HORIZONS|
|WHOAMI||CREATIVE GLASS CENTER||CASTING (METAL)|
|A CLASS AT THE STUDIO AT CORNING||GAS REGISTRATION|
GLASSBLOWER [% David Gruenig, RFD #2 Box 238-B, Lyndonville VT
05851, email@example.com, $25/yr qtrly] has sent #51
GLASS #72 [GLASS Magazine, UrbanGlass, 647 Fulton St., Brooklyn NY 11217-1112, 1-718-625-3685, $28/yr, $52/2yr, qrtrly]
HORIZONS [The New England Craft Program, 108-P N. Main Street, Sunderland MA 01375, 413-665-0300, FAX: 412-665-4141, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org] announces
CREATIVE GLASS CENTER - A notice from the Wheaton NJ Creative Glass Center of America tells of a 9/15/1999 deadline for year 2000 fellowships. These fellowships allow unlimited access to a substantial hot glass shop with technical support for 3 months (1/10-4/7; 4/24-7/21; 9/11-12/8) with room, board, and a stipend. The only obligations are to work in public view (not on demo pieces, which are done by techs) for 12 hours a week and provide one work made during the fellowship to the CGCA Collection. A bunch of stuff is needed - slides, multiple copies of resume etc. - so get detail and application early: 609-825-6800 x2733; fax 609-825-2410 Creative Glass Center of America, 1501 Glasstown Road, Millville NJ 08332-1566. (Millville is the center of early glass making in the U.S. (until all the trees were burned) and the modern studio is located in a representation of an early glassblowing factory. It is west of Atlantic City in south central New Jersey.)
DIGITRY writes to remind us that they have been at their new address for a year [Digitry Company, Inc., 188 State Street, Suite 21, Portland ME 04101, 207-774-0300, FAX: 617-484-5220, http://www.digitry.com, email@example.com] and the post office is about to stop forwarding. Ron Shapiro also mentions several products of interest: The GB1 is now available with 4-20 Milliamp output as well as Pulse-Width Modulation and Time-Proportioning Control. A graphic output will send data to a PC for graphing and the information can be stored for input. A GB4 PowerLimiter will time apportion power between two to five units. Each unit gets up to two minutes of power, less if it is progressing nicely, so units can be used totaling more wattage than the capacity of the supply. 7/11/99
CASTING - I have been teaching myself
casting, borrowing generously from books, web sites and suppliers.
My purpose is to be able to cast aluminum parts for tools to
manipulate glass and brass or bronze pieces into which I might
blow glass - goblet stems and feet, cages, etc. The aluminum I am
using is from melting soda pop cans, most of which I drink - far
too many as I see the accumulation. The brass, which hasn't been
used much so far is from some old brass letters and keys around
My experiments this summer have been aimed at making a tool for shaping the necks of bottles so standard caps will fit with the additional goal of trying to put threads on for standard screw on caps. I have already learned that the latter is not going to be easy. In exploring for materials, I rather quickly settled in on Swest, a national supplier to the jewelry industry that is located here in Dallas. I gradually learned various things through books and looking at the supplies offered. I learned most of all that what I wanted to do was a rather awkward size, being big for jewelry related stuff and small for foundry casting sort of stuff.
Previously, I had made an expedition to Ft.Worth and from a foundry supply company (all of them seeming to be over there) gotten a bag of premixed foundry sand (it has a chemical that forms a binding agent with the very fine sand when an astonishly small amount of motor oil is added.) It is interesting stuff that I have not worked with very much. From Swest (and with their advice) I bought a box of investment, a modest supply of green casting wax, an alcohol lamp, and several tools. Investment looks like plaster, is much less complicated to mix and stands the heat of molten metal. It is not waterproof and in fact is removed from the molds and molded material by soaking in water. Investment is not strong enough to stand alone (I learned in one failure) when molten metal is added and must be contained inside a sleeve. Swest sells stainless steel sleeves with rubber bases and I bought one, but the sizes are limited and the prices go up rapidly. I happened across a length of 3" (nominal) thin wall conduit at the used metal yard and bought it for several purposes one of which is making these sleeves. I am thinking of getting some 4" conduit.
[CUTTING large tubing so it has square
ends: Wrap a piece of typing paper around the tubing until the
ends (nearly) meet, line up the edge, tape it in place. Use a
marking pen around the edge. Cut the tube with a saber saw or
When using a proper SS sleeve, a rubber end cup both seals it and supplies a pattern for pouring the metal because the wax is built on the ring of the cup. I build my pieces to sit with flow tubes (vents and risers) pointed up and put a layer of thick investment in first after wrapping the bottom opening of the sleeve with alumium foil and sitting it on a plate. Then somewhat thinner investment is poured around the wax model as I support it in place. Before pouring the metal, I carve out a funnel shape at the end of the risers, usually just before the final heating after wax melt out.
These mentions of wax make it obvious that I am using the lost wax method of casting. Getting the wax model that is to be lost is a multistep process which I will go though without trying to cover everything in the books on casting. The overwhelming advantage of lost wax is that all the considerations pattern casting - drafting the edges to remove the pattern, designing the pattern to avoid or relieve undercuts, getting the pattern out - can be set aside (mostly.)
Make a pattern of the piece in wax, pour investment around it, and go (well almost, see below.) These are the steps, with added comments, in making the molds for the bottle neck former I am fooling with now. The design (evolved while working on the wax models, I will admit) is a three part unit to be mounted on a 1/2" tubular shaft: a center post to form the inside of the bottle opening and support the neck as two blocks shaped to fit the neck ridges are closed with a plier action to form the glass. The blocks have enough aluminum to carry the heat (I hope [yup, when tested]) of the glass, which is way above the melting point of aluminum. The center post is now two cylinders in line, a larger short inside the neck and a rod of smaller diameter but longer.
|The original model was made by taking plasticine clay (children's modeling clay), forming a roughly shaped rod and fitting it in the bottle being used as a model. This soft clay model was then used to make a plaster mold in the halves of a small plastic bottle using standard clay mold techniques. (i.e. support the model so the plaster will come to the centerline of the model, pour plaster and set; treat the surface with English soap as a release, add the other half mold, cover the rest of the model, set and unmold.)|
|After the model was made and used to make one aluminum casting, it became obvious that the core was too thick and too long. The original plaster was used to make additional wax models by adding plastic clay to reduce the diameter and length where needed. The final form is a rod 3/8" diameter about 2" long attached to a cylinder about 3/4" in diameter by 1" long which is rounded opposite the rod to more easily fit in the bottle neck and has a lip opposite (around the rod) to form the inside of the lip.) (PIC B) The two halves of the body of the former started by taking the same plastic bottle halves used above and making a plaster cylinder 2" in diameter and 2" long. Originally the plan was to use this to make the pattern of the outside of the shell which would be filled with hot wax into which would be pushed a prepared investment core|
| Latex rubber molding compound was used to make
molds of several bottle necks and several cores were poured. (PIC C) When the first attempt was made to carry out
this idea, problems that would be obvious to anyone with
experience with plaster molding and which are mentioned in the
books became obvious to me: There was no way to accurately align
the core, so making a good cut for a split was impossible, so the
fit on the glass would be uneven. Further, getting the cylinder
out of the unsplit plaster mold was very difficult.
Never the less, the whole process was carried through once, just for practice (and hope it might work.) A wax impression of the cylinder was made with an investment core pushed in place with enough hanging out to lock the core into the surrounding investment. The wax was used to make a lost wax mold (see more below), the wax was melted out, and a casting was attempted.
For a first try, the results were okay as castings. However, the core broke free on one and was badly misaligned on the other and attempts to saw the cylinders cleanly in halves were absurd. Having the cast cylinders in hand made it clear that it would be hard to make a unit that could be handled easily, so the mold was used to make a new plaster cylinder model that was tapered to allow easier and closer attachment of the spring supports. This model was further carved to shape and was used to make a more traditional split mold. A small cardboard box was taped up and lined with thin aluminum foil. The model was treated with separator and plaster was added to the box and the model pushed into the top. When set, the box was built up, the surfaces treated with release and the top of the mold poured. This gave a basic working mold. (PIC)
A CLASS AT THE STUDIO AT CORNING - For the
week of Labor Day, I traveled to Corning NY, for class in mold
glassblowing with Walter Evans, who makes wooden blocks and molds
for over 1000 studios. This is a report on that class with
discussions of the place, the methods, and the particular class.
Corning is a modest sized town (14,000) in a river valley below tall overhanging plateaus that are ideal for soaring and the shared airport with Elmira is a center for soaring and making the gliders. Corning's downtown is a very nicely preserved older buildings with a lot of restaurants, glass studios, arts and knickknack galleries, an Eckerds, and sales outlets for Corning and Revere housewares. In other words, it is tasteful touristy. The edge of town along the river is dominated by the long black glass building of the Corning headquarters and across the river at the other end of a broad walking bridge is the Corning Museum of Glass including the library and the Studio. There are also a number of buildings used for research. The arrangement at the Studio is that students are housed double rooms in a Days Inn just down the river with meal tickets issued for breakfast at two places and dinner at four or five. One of the breakfast places is a bakery with light cooked breakfasts and the other is an employee food place with rather heavier meals. The dinner places range from the Glory Hole Pub with fairly good bar food (burritos, chicken breast) to Medleys, a pure vegetarian restaurant, to a Chinese restaurant, to Rouseau's a very nice classic cooking place just around the corner from the Inn. Lunch is brought in each day, something different each day with vegetarian included each time, ranging from pizza to Medley's food to sushi/teriaki to cold cuts with rolls and bread with salad. Days Inn is a nice ordinary motel with a pool I used almost every day.
[More pictures and commentary here c-99glry.htm and here corning.htm ]
The Studio is three smaller classrooms for torch work, kiln/paint work and wet moldmaking, a meeting/lunch/video room, cold working room, offices, and the hot glass studio which occupies about half the space.
The whole arrangement has windows for public observation with bleachers in the studio and references are made in the museum to the chance to visit the Studio. (More on the Museum below - Visits.) The classes offered the week I attended were lampworked paperweights, reverse painting on glass, and moldblown furnace glass. Both students and instructors were encouraged to visit the other classes and try their hand. For a weeklong class there are 12 three hour sessions, morning and afternoon Monday thru Saturday with practice use available from 4 to11 (and less used than I expected, I was very tired.) Representatives of the library and a curator at the museum came in at lunch. During the evening slots were provided for a tour of the museum, the Steuben blowing floor, a look at the study cases in the museum, a visit to the museum photography space (PIC), along with slide shows of instructors' work (very impressive) and student work (depressingly impressive for me.) See visit notes and classmate notes below. Walter Evans will be celebrating his 65th birthday and his 50th year in the handblown glass industry early next year. The first 31 years involved working his way up through factory glassblowing from a bit boy to a gaffer at Pilgrim Glass. He then spent 8 years as a foreman and then switched full time to making molds, something he had started after taking a woodworking course and being asked to take over when the Pilgrim mold maker died. Walter has a lot of stories to tell about mass production of glass by hand methods and is firm in his opinion that art glass is destroying the glass factories because the factories haven't moved with the time. Until he discussed the number of people involved in making some products, I guess I did not realize how much of a factory it is.
One small example: glass basket has a handle and the guy who does the handles all day has two bit gatherers working with him because it takes two people gathering to keep up with handle placer, who does nothing but that. The class is built around the kinds of molds that Walter makes: split molds that are symmetrical around a vertical axis where the glass is placed as a hanging blob after preshaping and the halves are closed while the glass is rotated and inflated until it is shaped to the form of the mold. Walter's molds are turned from cherry wood which is soaked in water. Heavy use industry molds are made of iron or aluminum which is finished on the inside with a sticky goop that holds cork powder or similar material that is burned in place to provide a carbonized surface for holding the water that makes the steam surface the glass is blown against. Thus, we are not talking about two piece bottle molds with pictures of log cabins or George Washington (usually iron and hot) or three piece contact molds ("three mold blown") used to make pitchers, etc. in early 18th Century American blown glass. An important difference between the iron molds and Walter's type is that Walters much more obviously provide a starting point for working the glass. Mold blown bottles were normally taken from the mold, the neck worked briefly if at all, and the bottle annealed.
Three mold blown examples include clear cases where the same mold was used to create a pitcher, a vase and a bowl, but those involve working the top of the glass and avoiding damaging the detail of the mold below. Much of what comes out of a turned mold could be done by hand on the pipe. It would take longer and not be as uniform. By using the mold, a glass worker can get to a specific starting point for further working the glass in, say, 8 minutes instead of 15 minutes, or 7 minutes instead of 20 when the piece is more complicated in shape. Some effects from a mold are simply much more difficult to keep in crisp shape by hand, like blowing the basic shape into an optic before blowing into the mold, to get the mold shape with optical ridges on it. The glass going in can be colored or have other variations. Once the piece has been molded, that may be only the beginning, with the molded part ending as only the base of a bowl, or forming the body of a vase, or making most of the shape of the piece with added lip details and wraps. Our class began with basic shaping of the glass to get the desired result. We used two basic molds: a tumbler
and a vaseEach mold was turned from a single block of cherry that was sawn down the center and hinged above a disk shaped base that formed the bottom of the piece. The problem in both molds, but particularly the straight sided tumbler mold, is that once the glass hits the wall it stops moving up or down. A thick blob of glass of too round a shape will result in the thickness hitting the wall and then the bottom moving down getting thinner and thinner because that glass at the wall is not being stretched. The ideal pattern is a necked blob that is allowed to stretch to the bottom of the mold without being inflated against the sides and then it is inflated so the center touches the bottom and the sides are blown out against the walls, actually (in a simple mold) forming the shape from the bottom up. The glass has to be kept rotating and the inflation matched to the glass forming inside the mold as revealed by the hot glass glowing through the seam and the locations of the steam coming out the vertical seams and the vent holes, gently at first, then more firmly to press into the corners. When the blower judges the glass ready, a tap of the foot signals the person holding the mold and the blowing must stop to prevent disforming the piece as the mold is opened.
Among the flaws found in poorly done pieces are: a twisted neck from too hot at the neck; thin bottom from wrong inflation timing, twisted body marks from stopping rotation and starting up so the mold drags the glass (PIC), and indentations from stopping rotation and blowing so the steam pushes the walls back in between the vent holes. (Actually, the last two can be a neat effect if desired.) A well maintained and used wooden mold can sustain 600 uses without clear damage and if a person doesn't mind the size of the mold growing, up to 2,000 impressions can be done. Obviously, mold growth is more important in trying to make matched sets of goblets (especially matching a set made a couple of years ago when one breaks). Walter says, in comparing the cost of a wood mold ($60-100) to a much more expensive metal mold ($600-800), that by the time a blower has gone through a couple of wood molds, if the design is any good, it probably has been stolen by mass production people. The hot shop at the Studio is a very nicely built fairly standard layout with the addition of extra secure areas for the public. Some people remarked on the somewhat odd arrangement where the public enters and walks in a narrow hallway behind the hot wall until reaching the outer wall of the building along which is the viewing area with bleachers, the complaint being that if the hot wall was on the outer wall, the "wasted" space for the walkway would be part of the blowing floor. I rather liked this arrangement, because the outer wall is a window wall, giving light and with them open, ventilation and the floor was hotter than I expected. The hot wall is effectively an L shaped room with walls on both sides and ventilation on top. There is enough space to walk around the equipment and storage shelves and spaces are included, which makes the shop floor look neater. Also, with doors on the public hallway, staff can get to the space without crossing the shop floor. The shop floor is actually surrounded on four sides with equipment, with one wall side not part of the "room" described above. This side includes the sink and a front loading annealer
along with a
small furnace/gloryhole and station used by Bill Gudenrath, who
holds several positions including advisor to the Studio and
consultant to the museum. Bill makes his famous dragon goblets
for a portion of almost every day, working alone. Across a gap
leading to the offices, is the start of the main wall is a vented
fuming hole, followed by gloryhole, main furnace, pipe heater
with color oven above, glory hole, white board, entry, pipe
storage, color furnace, and glory hole. The glory holes are
basically identical, one slightly bigger with two sets of
overlapping doors, all with cast doors. Two roll top annealers of
a discomforting design are on the fourth side of the floor. The
anneallers give visitors a good view of placing the glass, but
the tops are very heavy and neither easy to move or to replace.
Each lid actually has a rolling bridge with a cam lever that
lifts the whole top up about an inch so it can pushed to one side
or the other. Because of the width of the bridge (about 15")
and the fact the track does not extend beyond the base, there is
a space in the center that can be filled only by reaching in
under the lid. Further, the lid must be exactly centered (there
are lineup pins) before lowering or the safety switch that turns
on and off the heating elements will stay off, chilling the
annealler. The anneallers are identical and made of insulating
fire brick with 8 or 10 rows of elements in grooves, thus making
them suitable for casting and slumping if desired. The track is
not very tall and I have been told that people have knocked the
bridge off the track trying to push the lid. There are three work
benches on the floor for the class, each with full tools, and
three marvers on wheels with good thick tops about 2x3 feet.
Additional tools can be requested from the techs and we had out a
table with many steel plates and kiln shelves with a rack and
heavy iron tool for heating cane arrangements in the glory hole.
(parsifoli? sp?) The rack for setting the plates down has a nice
touch - a ballbearing swivel for swaping the plate end to end as
one end tends to heat faster in the glory hole. Curiously, there
are no pipe hangers and many of the punties and some of the pipes
have no collar for hanging.
Since most/all the names of people in the class will be unknown to readers, I will describe a few of their characteristics. The class itself had 8 people, 2 women and 6 men, plus a technical assistant who was well known to me as he comes from down the road in Austin. The distance record in our class was a guy and a gal from far southern CA (although a gal in the torchworking class was from Alaska.) Not counting my strange situation, the lowest experience guy was a year, while several people in the class had well over 10 years experience. The guy with the most public experience is probably the one who works at the Ford Museum. One gal had one of the Glass Center fellowships at Wheaton NJ. Two people came from the ends of MA, one each from NJ and PA.
A part of the class was guided tours of special areas of the museum operation, including the Steuben glass factory located next to it. Bill Gudenrath led the tour of the museum itself, in the evening near closing. His historical information was especially useful. The museum, at the moment, is much reduced in size as it is being rebuilt in anticipation of its 50th birthday and the city's 150th. The historical glass shown is contained in a Best of the Corning Museum gallery, arranged as much as possible by technique, so similar work on the glass down through the centuries is gathered together in groups of six to ten pieces.
Recently opened are the newest parts of the museum, including one area featuring scientific uses of glass, including the damaged blank of the first Palomar mirror disk, and another gallery of contemporary art glass. The Rakow Library is getting its own building near the Studio and space freed up is being converted to galleries. Two specialized visits were to the photographer for the museum and the glass study rooms.
The manager of the photographic department and chief photographer, Nicholas L. Williams, showed us his rig and set up a couple of pieces brought by students. My photos make it clear that good lighting does great things to glass even if the camera is handheld with fast film. He shoots slow fine grain film with long exposures for depth of field. He uses a large sheet of white Plexiglas sandblasted F95 on one side and lights from below as well as all around above. He has many fairly low power lights and snouts that fit them so he is highlighting with beams of light an inch or less in diameter in some cases. He likes a 105mm macro lens, but is often shooting 6x6 film format. We had a considerable discussion of the state of electronic cameras, he saying they are continually improving and liking one I won't name because it might imply museum endorsement.
The glass study rooms give a suggestion as to how complete the collection in the museum really is. In a rather small space set aside from construction are a dozen or more examples per shelf, 4-5 shelves per case, 4-5 cases per row, 4-5 rows of glass. The cases are well lighted for selecting glass and specific areas (such as mold blown bottles) may include a dozen or more examples. We were able to examine several pieces close-up (without touching) and the instructors discussed features of them.
For me, a highlight visit was getting out on the floor of the Steuben factory next to the museum. Not many people were working as late in the day as we visited. The steps taken to keep the glass pure and consistent are impressive: a platinum rod is moved constantly through the furnace, stopped with a foot switch for smaller gathers. Larger gathers are taken from the underneath the furnace where a stream of molten Steuben crystal runs constantly at a rate of 2 pounds per minute (the runoff into water being remelted) When a specific product/team needs a "gather" they set a switch and a worker puts a cylindrical collector in the stream for a precise time, like 2 minutes 35 seconds. The collector is spring loaded so the glass is always added to the top (not collected at the bottom then filled up the sides, possibly adding bubbles). The worker sets a switch for a light at the team and the container is raised to floor level where a worker punches a pipe into it - one "gather" for the whole piece. All the marvers and containers are highly polished and wiped before every use. Two pieces were being made during our visit, a large plate worked traditionally and a star vase that was punched in a mold and then pulled and the neck turned in a loop to the final shape. In addition, one person was making air twist stems to add to something else, pulling a cane about 15" long and getting five or six stems from the middle each cane. Our teaching assistant, Matthew Labarbra got to work some of the glass and found it so long working that it completely upset his timing. A new site for Steuben is www.steuben.com. (Cameras are not allowed on the factory floor.)
By the way, the museum provides access to a close up glassblowing demo on a balcony over the factory. One of the neat points is that a series of cameras and monitors show close ups of the work being done, including one shooting through a silica plate into the back of the glory hole. The camera views are controlled by rubber footpad switches on the floor and while the gaffer is standing on one, if the narrator steps on another, a computer selects which combination of views are to appear on the monitors, preparing for the next move of the gaffer (i.e.. show the mold while the gaffer is still at the glory hole.) At almost the last moment, I remembered my ongoing interest in Hands On Glass, an operation that started as a non-profit in Corning and has continued for more years than some of these operations have. I called on Friday night to see if someone was still there and how far out it was and hiked on over.
Studio Description - Hands On
Hands On Glass is a small operation a brisk walk from the Corning company campus offering torch and furnace working and rental. Pictures are shown on the hotwall page and in the class gallery.
Block given to members
KOHLER - My new (2000-3-6) nominee for best book on all aspects of glass working is the 1998 book by glass artist Lucartha Kohler, Glass, An Artist's Medium, [ISBN:0-87431-604-x, Krause Publications, 700 E. State St., Iola WI 54990-0001, orders 1-800-258-0929, 715-445-2214; Dallas Public Lib. CFA 748.2 K79g]. Because Kohler has worked in many of the variations of glass that she is writing about, she gives excellent coverage of almost every aspect of glass working (except furnace glass where casting gets more coverage than blowing and that not much.) More importantly, she seems to give enough information about doing stuff, like glass painting or kiln working or cold working that a person can understand how to do it. This is not an elementary exercise book and it is not a complete coverage of all aspects of glass; it is a good coverage of some aspects of many ways of working with glass with particular attention to kiln worked and cast glass which she has done a lot of. A good list of sources, a glossary, and notes on Safety.
GAS REGISTRATION Subject: G.A.S.
Conference Registration - FEES INCREASE 4/15
Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2000 09:07:26 +0800
From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: mikefirth
Dear Mike Firth,
Don't Delay Register Today!! (before registration fees increase on April 15, 2000)
For the Glass Art Society's 30th Annual Conference "G.A.S. 2000: Bridge to the Future", June 8 - 11, 2000 in Brooklyn, NY USA.
Register on-line with Visa or Master Card:
Pre-Conference Information is available from the Glass Art Society web site:
A Registration Form can also be sent via "snail" mail and by fax however we will not be able to
take registration over the phone.
After May 15, register on site. ($275 per person/ $150 per Full- Time Student.) We are unable to process registration forms received in the office after May 15.
Regular- $225 per person January 15 - April 15 $250 per person April 16 - May 15
Student - Must include copy of student ID to be eligible for Student rates.
$ 100 per Full-time student January 15 -April 15
$ 125 per Full-time student April 16 -May 15
Daily/Auction Party Fees: (If you pay Regular or Student Registration Fees (above) you do not need to pay Daily/Auction Fees.) $100 per person, per day $50 per Full - time student per day
$50 Auction/ Party ONLY (Attn. Attendees: the party is included in your conference fee)
Special Tours and Events
NoHo Loft Party (Wed., June 7, $150 per person)(limit 100 people)
Stained Glass Windows Tour (Sun. June 11, $35 per person)(limit 35 people)
VIP Tour of the Met (Sun., June 11, $100 per person)(limit 35 people)
If you would like additional information or have questions please contact:
Elizabeth Byrd Tel: 206-382-1305
Registrar/Administrative Assistant Fax: 206-382-2630
Glass Art Society Email: email@example.com
1305 4th Ave.,Suite 711 Internet: www.glassart.org
Seattle, WA 98101-2401
Glass Art Society
Advancing the Appreciation,
Understanding and Development of the Glass Arts Worldwide
****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.
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. 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. Blow Good Glass
Hot Glass in Texas Dallas - Kittrell-Riffkind Art Glass, [5100
Beltline Suite, Suite 820, 214-239-7957]
Dallas: Carlyn Galerie, [6137 Luther Lane, 214-368-2828] A Gallerie of Glass into November In Wimberley, southwest of Austin, Sable V Fine Art Gallery, [The Courtyard Overlooking Cypress Creek, 512-847-8975]
The MSC Forsyth Center Galleries [Student Center, Texas A&M University, College Station, 409-845-9251]
I send Hot Glass Bits to: Those who are mentioned in an issue, Hot Glass Texans, others I feel like sending a copy to
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