Contact Mike Firth
Return to Sitemap
|2001-07-01||2001-06-28||2001-06-24 1:23 AM||2001-06-09 11:30 PM|
|2001-06-08 11:25 PM||2001-06-01 11:10 PM||2001-05-22 7:33 PM||2001-05-20 10:03 PM|
|2001-05-17 11:58 PM||CHUNK GATHER|
Unlike most previous issues of HGB, this one is in reverse date order (for online reading of the newest stuff at the top.)
2001-12-25 E-mail message
Houston is starting……
CONTEMPORARY STUDIO GLASS COLLECTORS GROUP
Thursday, January 24, 2002 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
Houston Studio Glass
610 Jackson Hill
Hosts: Richard Moiel and Kathy Poeppel
Meet with other artists and collectors who are interested in sharing their interests in contemporary studio glass.
Highlight of this meeting: Video Legacy of Glass
For more information: Contact Ardis Bartle at (281) 340-3600x222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To All Art Lovers interested in Collecting Contemporary Studio Glass Lover:
You are invited to our First
Thursday, January 24, 2002 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
Houston Studio Glass
610 Jackson Hill
Hosts: Richard Moiel and Kathy Poeppel
Determine Name for the Association
Possible Names Include:
Houston Alliance for Contemporary Glass
Glass Alliance Houston (GAH)
Houston Contemporary Art Glass Group
Houston Contemporary Glass Alliance
Houston: Metropolitan Glass Group
Determine Purpose and Direction of Group
Determine function and structure of Group
Discuss Upcoming Calendar for
View Film on Legacy of Glass
Calendar of Upcoming Events in United States for Glass
Collectors and Artists
RSVP, please: Ardis Bartle (281) 340-3600x222, (713) 927-3650 email@example.com
Ardis Bartle, Sales Representative, PGAS Systems, (281) 340-3600 x222, Fax: 281 340 3609, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.pgas.com
2001-12-21 I haven't been keeping up my notes here, but I have been working and noting elsewhere. Finally got the glass sagged for the whirly jig and installed it with silicone sealant for glue. Have built and almost finished the glass garage doing a test run tonight on the element after pinning it and shorting the split bolts, so they are now insulated with sealant and setting. Opened my tube of E-6000 and glued up some window glass in a test piece. So stinky I shall not use it in the house again and thinner than I expected.
2001-11-19 Just finished a week of vacation, including several days in Louisiana, got a bunch done, none of which was glassblowing although some of it was related. Taking down the pecan tree leaning over the garage hardly counts, except that the bottom section of trunk became the new support for my anvil - the old one having turned to punk. I shaped some clay for the whirlygigs' glass and fired it. Designed and mostly bent up a garage for saving pieces in progress.
2001-10-07 Had a good session today, not a lot done, but several new things. Used the cylinder punty for the first time to shape the bottom of a solid piece and used the wire goblet punty to make a second piece with smaller wire. Learned in both cases that care must be taken to secure the piece. The cylinder needed to have additional frax stuffed in as the piece flopped around inside - it obviously works best with uniform pieces, like bottles. The wire goblet punty needs to have a precise center hole and/or extra secure wire tie down as it wobbled.
2001-09-22 Updated the page of my glass, adding to notes on glass already there and starting to log what I am working on. Here are some of the other photos I developed with short notes.
At the right is photo stand I made, modeled after the much larger one seen two years ago at Corning. The 2x4' piece of sandblasted plex has been tucked in the office for a year. The stand is made of 1/2" square welded tubing and much of the delay has been working out and then making it so it would fold up and not take space when not in use. The plex is stored between two sheets of 1/4" plywood covered with a heavy sheet of wrapping paper. The frame is 24" x 48" tall with the base being 30" and the front rise being 18" (so it folds up to 24x48) Mounting the plex for a test run showed that the stress of the plastic would hold the frame without further braces to get in the way of lighting. I intend to make a base, also folding, to raise the unit to a more comfortable height. To take the photo of the goblet below - in the position shown in this photo - I turned the unit in the sunlight until I was happiest.
This is the new metal hut I built to protect equipment for overnight running, metal for heat resistance, replacing a wooden unit still up to hold the annealler and cold working, which has a dirt floor. Most of the tubing is 1/2" square 16 gauge. The four corner posts are 1" square so the verticals below the horizontal rail slide in. Bolts through holes support the top on the posts and it is, at the moment, literally tied down. It was made tall, so I could walk under the horizontal, but it seems a bit high for rain protection. Still thinking on that.
The base is poured concrete with reinforcing mesh. The tubing is held to the concrete with lag screws into lag anchors drilled into the concrete. For more on concrete
I also welded up, some time ago, a new base for the annealler, again of 3/4" square tubing, to replace the wood base that had slowly deteriorated after 9 years outdoors. The only notable things are the side rails being my standard 6" up from the bottom supports, here raised higher by the addition of wheels and leveler block, and the bent 16 gauge metal angles screwed with self drilling screws onto the corners, right, to keep the unit in line on the stand.
2001-09-20 Took some pictures and went to Eckard for development and a photo disk - 1 hour, $15, could have gotten a CD. One photo below right. The picture at right (from the same roll, taken earlier) shows the specially built punty to hold the wire frame base to work the goblet glass. When making this one, light wire was twisted around one leg of the base and through the hole in the plate. At the time is it was blown there was a center wire coming down from the base into the center of the punty. More
2001-09-13 11:45 Just finished a good session, the first one in a long time and the first with the rig on the concrete pad. Things went fairly well. Lost a bowl at the start, but made a pretty good marble and several bowls and a neato (technical term there) large goblet in the second twisted wire stem I made, using the new punty designed for the purpose - which needs its jam nut jammed or something to keep it from loosening. Pictures when available.
2001-09-06 I have done a couple of
nights of a pattern of falling asleep (intentionally) instead of
fighting it, and getting up about midnight (11:30 tonight, now 1:36
am) and working for several hours. Last night I was outside
wiring the new metal shed; the rain had stopped and it was
pleasant although nearly 100% humidity from lots of rain (fog
rising off arms while working) to bed at 4:15 to get up at 5:45.
Locked Blackie cat in the garage, although I called, and missed
that she was in there when I went out with food this morning (9-5)
in rain. She was complaining in the evening when I went to feed
Some time in August I went out to Paxton Woodworking and bought a 5/8" board of cherry and a 5/8" cherry dowel. I cut part of the board last night and cut dowels (square, then drove them through holes in steel plate to round) to dowel the board into a V without glue. After handling the V, I added a handle from the dowel (which I also use as a rod for working the glass) to grip along the spine. I put it to soak for supporting long thin pieces.
2001-09-02 From the Corning Museum of
Glass site "New Glass Review Competition 23 - All
glassmakers, artists, designers, and companies are invited to
participate in New Glass Review 23.
Only glass designed and made between October 1, 2000, and October
1, 2001, may be submitted for this annual survey.
Each year, The Corning Museum of Glass conducts a worldwide competition to select 100 slides of innovative works in glass. A committee drawn from designers, artists, museum directors, curators, and critics will make the selection.
Entry Deadline: October 15, 2001
The New Glass Review competition will be judged during the first week of December. All entries, accompanied by a $15.00 U.S. entry fee*, must be postmarked no later than October 15, 2001.
for more see Corning Museum of Glass - NGR 23
2001-08-23 From: "Palapas of
Araby Cove" < email@example.com
Subject: artist request
Date: Tuesday, August 21, 2001 9:17 PM
Greetings from Palm Springs,
We are the local art colony in Palm Springs called Palapas Art Gardens. 30 artists maintain their studios on the grounds where we give classes, hold special events for large companies and sell art to the public. Locally owned, world reknowned.
We currently have only two glassblowers and are looking to add two more.
If you have a glassblower interested in spending the season in Palm Springs (Sept-May) please let me know. This would be a great oppotunity for an artist with an established body of work. We sometimes have orders of 200+ pieces at a time.
Thank you for your interest.
Cindy Taylor (760) 416-1818
2001-08-08 Watched videos of Chihuly I got from the library, notes in BIBLIO. Stumbled across the fact that Glass Axis, the public studio in southern Ohio, moved in July.
2001-08-05 A frustrating weekend - very hot 102.3F in shade on front porch - and when I did the concrete work, I used the rented truck to get new tanks of O2 and Acetylene. Which meant the regulator was encountering 2000 psi on the O2 for the first time in 2 years; and the diaphram blew out. I'll get it back Tuesday, but no welding in the meantime.
2001-07-29 Well, I spent part of the day moving the furnace and the gloryhole to the new concrete pad and some of the rest of the day (besides sleeping) setting up a new web page to group page listings for better control and access. I will post some pictures when they get developed. The hole and furnace are very heavy and I used a set of casters mounted on wood plates that have great capacity that I take very good care of, and I moved everything very slowly. As I look out this evening, I wonder if I have made the roof too high, so am I providing any real rain protection? We actually had some rain today, dripped off the back edge of the roof onto the back of the pad. I shall have to add some panels, I think, that will shield from the side and I already have planned a flip up front that will add sun shade when up and rain protection when down.
2001-07-19 I spent the day working to my limits in the hot sun and I am feeling the pain at 11 pm. My original plan, which would have allowed working in a cooler part of the day, was short circuited by having a $19.95 (plus $14 insurance, plus $.59 per mile) box van available only from 9-5 instead of 24 hours. I could have put it off for a week, but a better plan would have been to hire some help. In any case, having gone ahead, I biked over to U-Haul and with the rented truck I 1) swapped out my almost empty rented O2 and Acetyline tanks 2) bought a supply of 1" and 0.75" square 16 gauge tubing [partly for glass step up, but also steps for rehab strength building on my legs.] 3) refilled my half empty 100# propane tank 4) came back to the house and unloaded 1,2, & 3, then 5) went to Home Depot and rented a small electric motor driven concrete mixer, buying 18 80# bags of Quickret mix and 5 50# bags of sand. Then I returned to house, started work and half DIED.
What I was doing was pouring a 5.5 foot by 6.5 foot by 3" slab on which I will bolt down the 5x6 foot shelter I have already welded up. Under the shelter will go the glory hole and furnace so the furnace can run overnight and in rain without also drying out the wood structure it is under now on dirt.
Besides the effort of moving 18 bags (2 or 3 at a time) in a wheelbarrow or on a handtruck from the middle of the driveway to the center of the backyard and picking them up and dumping them in the frame, it was way too hot to be outside working. I was working until I was dizzy, even though I had rigged shade of a sort and had a fan blowing. I drank, today, a gallon of Gaterade, a couple of quarts of water, and over a quart of soda pop. I soaked my hat in water, sprayed myself from the hose, quit work to sit in deeper shade of the garage with the blower on in there. Finally, I was so shot, about 2 pm, that I went in the air conditioned house, stripped off my soggy clothing and laid down for half an hour. I may have created a problem with the slab doing that, because the work before the break hardened up rather too fast. I got the last of the crete poured, the mixer cleaned and returned just at the time due, cleaned the truck and filled it with diesel fuel and returned it 20 minutes early. I biked home and took a hot then cool shower, afraid if laid in the bath, I might not get out, because several major muscle groups either cramped or started to as the day ended. The concrete is curing under plastic with a fair amount of water. The highest temp I heard was 97F, but there was little wind and a lot of direct sun. Still officially 88F outside.
2001-07-12 If you are in Corning NY on a Tuesday evening in July or August, you might wish to stop by The Studio to share in a discussion called The Gather. Basically this is the instructors from The Studio classes for the week sitting down together, but since the instructors are pretty good people, it can be worth while. Call 607-974-6467 for details or check the website page with details.
2001-07-09 The lava lamp people have come out with sparkly flecks in bottles shaped like the original. More at Lavasubs
2001-07-01 With reference to blowing glass in metal, Guild.com is showing Jorg Zimmermann's pieces blown through wire mesh. shown in an ad in the Summer 2001 Glass magazine, p.13, the glass passing through the mesh (which ends enclosed inside the piece) is merged back together, forming dozens of prisms/rooms/chambers inside the wall of the piece between the surface and the mesh. As of today, nothing is on the site.
2001-06-28 Having cast a new aluminum cone, much smoother than the old one, I drilled it 7/16" and tapped it 1/4" NPT (pipe thread) to allow use with the valve in my shop blower. When I went to buy an adaptor from soft copper tubing (so I could have a manual tube) to 1/4" NPT, was astounded at the cost of sweat copper fittings. The smaller they got the higher in cost, $3.99 for 1/4" tubing to 1/4" NPT. A more complicated item machined from solid brass with a 3/8" flare to 1/4" NPT was only $0.79. Which is what I got. PIC
2001-06-24 1:23 AM During
this week, while
getting ready to blow glass again, I have enhanced the version of
rod optic shown below. Using the pattern at right, which offers
layout lines for 3, 4, and 5 prong, looks sketchy, but clicking
on it will show it full sized (the inner circle being 1"
radius, 2" diameter.) Actually, 3 is easy, just use dividers
set at the radius and mark off two spans around the circle (a
radius marks a circle 6 times) 4 is fairly easy if you remember
how to construct a perpendicular. 5 is hard so here is it handy.
My plate has tapped holes for 3 and 5. The top center line is
included in all layouts.
Although it is not exactly how I did it, here is how I would suggest making one of these.
Materials & Tools: 1/4" steel plate, 6-8"x 1/4" hex or carriage bolts with smooth shafts, #25 & #7 drill bits, #10-24 and 1/4"-20 taps, tap handle, drill press, cutting fluid, bolt cutters or hacksaw.
2001-06-09 11:30 PM - I have been working on puntying metal forms to blow in. Posting to the Craft Web Hot Glass site produced two interesting suggestions with problems. David W. suggested fusing a button to the metal in the kiln and puntying to that. 'simple man' suggested just getting the metal hot and picking up with glass on the punty. My problem with each is the need to keep the glass connection hot, especially on a brass form, while working the blown glass. But while replying, I had my brain stimulated and here is most of my reply.
: Hi Mike. I think I understand what you are doing; it would
help me visualize it if you could
:describe in more detail what the finished piece is intended to look like. But I'll go with my
:[Do a button of glass in a kiln and fire it to metal]
... the problem of keeping the punty link hot seems critical
to me and limits choices.
I want to keep my options open, whether tight metal on glass (like Lalique) or loose (Mexican glass in metal), low pieces or raised. A glass punty connection will be really tricky to keep hot when there is metal around it (imagine the goblet with the wire base bent down like the top - spider legs, then imagine brass or bronze which melts at 1500. I am going to have a tricky enough time keeping the metal okay around the blown glass.)
With iron I can go to red heat, as I did working the goblet lip close to the metal, but I can't with brass. A cast brass/bronze piece with legs and a glass connection inside the legs would be hard to heat. [The browser crashed while I was working the previous reply and while composing, I realized that I could cast/weld not just a loop, but a lot of extra metal, say between the legs, to give me a connection point, cutting off the extra and grinding/polishing the metal as part of coldworking cleanup.]
There are some things I won't be able to do, but I would like to work the lip/top after the glass is in the metal to share the form of the lip/top with the form of the blown glass bulging through the metal. I would also like to try (try I say) adding glass bits, like a handle, that loop from the glass, over the metal and back to the glass, that make it clear that the glass and metal are integrated, not a glass piece with metal soldered/welded around it.
Even as I say these words, new ideas come to me - if the glass is bulging, I should be able to form a wrap from bulge to bulge - like a cage cup.
My next steps will be to make a better mount and more complicated forms and work on getting the glass into the form either already on the mount or transfering to the mount. Process is sometimes my most important product.
2001-06-08 11:25 PM - I spent part of tonight fooling around with two video sources that I bought cheap. Both are disappointing, but they let me show some images now of my work described below. The first picture at the right is one of the pieces I blew into the triple rods mounted on the plate. The picture was taken with a little Aptec UBS camera and has been cropped and is only 172x152 pixels. Getting the camera to the best focus was a hassle. The camera produces 320x240 pixel images. The piece was fun to blow, getting the glass shaped to fit in the rods and evenly centered was the primary learning experience. Here is picture of the tri-rod plate. The 1/4" thick plate is about 4x4 inches. The rods are 1/4"x 6" carriage bolts with the head cut off. At the time of the picture, the extra thread had not been trimmed.
The other picture is of the goblet blown in the wire form. To the right is a snip from a photo of the original wire rope. Below is the result of the work, taken with the X-10 wireless remote camera feeding through AVer USB video tuner, again 320x240 originally.
Bigger picture taken with Aptek.
The goblet barely works. The glass is not well gripped. In the photo, the center wire of the stem has not been cut off. It was used as support during working the edge of the glass, but the holder was not well prepared so the piece wobbled.
2001-06-01 11:10 PM
Had a good session last night, using some of the new tools I had
made up, and even wrote up some notes only to have the computer
lock up before I saved it. I was on vacation for the last week,
half of it in Louisiana, and spent a couple of days welding the
new support for the annealler (PIC to come) and the basic frame
for the new metal cover for the furnace and gloryhole. (PIC)
I drilled a plate with 3 holes at a 10° angle on a 2" circle and tapped the holes to take 1/4" rod. (PIC)
I also cut a 12" (30 cm) length of wire rope (from a 15' (5 m) piece found by the street about a year ago) about 1/2" (12 mm) dia. made of 7 3/16" (4 mm) wire strands and then braised the middle to hold them together. Then I used the torch to bend out the strands on one end to make a goblet base, leaving the center straight as a support. On the other end, I bent the six outer strands to make a cup (finger?) shape and burned off the center wire.
During the session, I was able to blow 3 lobed
shapes in the rod plate and work them to make squat little vases
with triangular openings. (PIC) I was able, with less
certainty, to make a goblet in the wire cable form. Problems
included not having a closely matched hole in the pipe to hold
the bottom post, so it wobbled. Not having a sure target - it was
on the wobbly post - or a tall enough step to do it stuck in the
ground. What did work was having a wire to hook the foot and hold
the form against the pipe, so I was able to reheat and shape the
mouth of the piece in the wire form. The glass is too small in
the fingers, but shaped right. A good first pass.
I also converted an over stretched piece to a folded vase that looks interesting. One failure was picking up the vase shape from last session to open the top out; although it was at 890, it cracked on applying the hot punty. Not sure if the punty was too hot or the annealler too cold.
Used about 1/3 tank (33# or 6-7 gallons) of propane from lighting up at about 5 to shutting down at 11. I need to keep a more exact log; I even have the book.
I am very impressed by the quality of service from the 1 hour film processing from Eckerd Drugs. After a recent experience where a previously good (3 days) place took two weeks to get film and computer disk back, I asked about the disk at Eckerd and found they can do both diskette and CD. Not only did I get a diskette with tiny color images on the label, but there was an index print with the regular 4x6" prints and the cost came in under what I had paid before by a buck or so. Ask about all the services and be sure the person on duty knows what to do; mine had to ask, having done CD's before, but not diskettes. [On a second trip, took under one hour, still good.]
2001-05-22 7:33 PM Ron Marrs came into the Store today and we had a brief conversation about Hickory Street HotGlass. He and his son, Chris, and a couple of other people are going to stay there, gaining more time to blow, including a couple of commissions. Jim Bowman is moving to new quarters over the expressway across from downtown. Hugh Erwin is backing off a bit from blowing.
2001-05-20 10:03 PM Spent
portions of a very humid, hot day working on welding frames and
cleaning up yard for monthly curbside trash pickup. Took the
annealler off the disintegrating wooden frame it has had since
the early 90's and began preparing a welded frame for it. I
braised a couple of more cross pieces on the track for the thread
puller, so that the light sheet metal (flashing) will be better
supported when I am using it to sort glass chunks.
I am planning a metal cover and concrete base for the furnace and gloryhole to protect them from rain without risking wood drying above them. I had planned until today to put it at right angles to my current shed so its back would be to the sun and and extension would provide shade for blowing in the afternoon. Now that I have cleared out the annealler frame and a 20# propane bottle frame, I find there may be enough space along the fence between the BBQ/foundry brick and the wood shed, which would put it more out of the way. That concrete base is going to be very permanent. More thought.
When I looked over the glass that I did last Thursday it was both better and worse than I expected. The air stem was evenly spaced and nicely shaped, but there was more ridging in the outside than I expected. The marbles were okay, but I clearly need more work.
Vacation starts Thursday and we are going to Louisiana for part of it, but I am going to do as much glass as possible.
2001-05-17 11:58 PM Just
came in from a session blowing glass for most of the evening. I
will be using this space from now on to write paragraphs that
will be moved to the current issue of Hot Glass Bits. The session
went well, at least by my standards, which are fairly low right
now. I was able, again, to get the clear bubble freeglass that I
had gotten before, by cleaning and sorting the cullet, melting it
fairly hot and then squeezing/cooling it. This was the first
session with a new flat pot, having wrecked the last new flat pot
by heating too fast, although the glass was very clear.
I tried a number of new things while also working on old skills. I made a couple of marbles, including one with a bubble supposedly in the middle. I did an air twist stem that had evenly spaced bubbles, but it still tapered too much. I tried putting my initials in bubbles in a paperweight, got something, but clearly need to make the bubbles bigger to start with and really cool the glass down before casing it. I tried for a good sized bowl, but lost it off the punty while working on the rim, so I have a sort of a vase.[It came out good enough, I think I will reheat it and reform it.]
I made more use of the chunk of cherry wood that I have cut with a long curved slot to support long thin shapes and drilled with hemispheres to help shape marbles, etc. I had not made up newspaper pads for some time and used one a bunch.
I wonder if a tool with a curved shape on one tweezer arm and an edge on the other would work better for air stem bubbles than the current tool which is two edges and clearly takes practice to get evenly spaced on the glass.
2001-04-15 Received Press Release from Henry Ford Museum for Internship for 1 year
2001-04-01 The marbles I made are obviously chill marked as well as having grotesque punty bumps.
2001-03-22 Very nice evening session after spending the morning doing some shop welding. Got to use the gimmick mentioned below and will post pictures sometime soon. Mostly practice new techniques - pulling rod and stringer and handling torch, but made some marbles and a fairly nice bowl. Am working toward a bigger bowl to put a glass ball with drilled holes and marbles and a pump and some water!
2001-02-23 Working my way through building a trolley for spinner for glass that carries the Hot Head torch. I am impressed by the Hot Head as a braising torch, it really throws out the heat, but is not very adjustable.
CHUNK GATHER - 2001-02-23 -----Original Message-----
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
To: Mike Firth
Date: Thursday, February 22, 2001 8:50 PM
Subject: Re: Have you ever heard the term "chunk gather"
On 20 Feb 2001, at 21:10, Mike Firth wrote:
> The only thought that occurs to me is picking up hot (900F) color or clear
> chunks of glass, which is often done, the result being taken to molten in
> the glory hole. I have not heard it called this, usually called color
It apparantly is something similar to this. It's a way of making a blown object using only chunks of glass (clear predominantly) picked up from an annealer. No furnace glass is used at all.
Oakville, ON Canada | http://www.creativethink.com
firstname.lastname@example.org | http://srn-022-120.sheridanc.on.ca
Ah, well. I just haven't heard the term. I am familiar with the concept and have done it. I think the people who get the most out of it are paperweight makers who buy hockey puck sized/shaped glass, like from Schott and use the blob to encase lampworked material. There are people who go to a furnace glass place and blow a series of 2-3 gather hollow blobs, anneal and take them home where they don' t have a furnace, but preheat and pickup on a pipe for further working.
If you want something weird to play with, put some beer bottles (or other bottle glass) in the annealler and a small piece of kiln shelf in the glory hole so you can melt a bit of broken bottle glass to put on the end of the pipe. Heat the pipe, work the bit of glass around and go into the annealer and get the bottle, sealling the mouth to the pipe. Play around. Caution: if you are using Spruce Pine, that melts at a much lower temp than the bottle glass and keeping the bottle under control on the pipe is nearly impossible, that's why the scrap of bottle glass. Cheers, Mike Firth
2001-02-?? Had a very nice session, with the clearest glass I have blown out of this rig, by carefully selecting cullet, heating and squeezing.
2001-01-31 This is sort of a summary. I got my knee worked on 01-12 with the artroscopic surgery relieving the pain immediately, although it is taking time to recover and I am still having feet problems from the Lyme disease.