Hot Glass Bits 2003 Notes

(Hot Glass Bits #45)

Last Rev. 2009-08-27

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Wimberley 2 2003-12-09 Broadnax
GAS Thoughts
2003-12-01 Wimberley 2003-11-10 2003-11-08 SCHMID CALL 2003-10-23
2003-10-06 2003-09-07 2003-09-04 2003-08-27 2003-08-03 2003-07-04
2003-05-22 2003-05-11 2003-04-27 2003-04-20 2003-04-03 2003-03-28
2003-03-15 2003-03-09 2003-03-01 2003-02-13 2003-01-23 2003-01-19

Like other online issues of HGB, this one is in reverse date order (for online reading of the newest stuff at the top.)

2003-12-27 Schiffer Publishing, 610-593-1777, sends a flier promoting two new books, Women Working in Glass, by Lucartha Kohler, who did a nice overview of glass book; and International Glass Art, by Richard Wilfred Yelle, founder of UrbanGlass.  The first features 40 artists on 192 pages with 350+ photos at $59.95 [ISBN 0-7643-1807-1] while the second has 175 artists on 400 pages with 750 photos at $95. [ISBN 0-7643-1843-9]

I commented below on Wimberley Glass Works December Show flier and today I find in the mail an absolutely stunning WGW 2004 Catalog.   My first reaction, perhaps unfortunately, was "How can they afford this thing?"  The photographic and printing quality is exceptional with pieces presented in nice settings as well as isolated art shots.  Unlike the flawed show flier, the web address or 800 phone number appears on virtually every page.  A healthy dose of lampworked jewelry that I had not identified with WGW before fills 15 early pages (and the only flaw I have found so far is a page 4 reference that gives jewelry the page numbers for lighting.)  Vases with color themes are in the $300-600 range.  The lighting section features some interesting iron work holding some interesting glass at very interesting prices (chandeliers $3499-6499, table and floor lamps $500-800, tree lamp $2200).  There is some glassware at more modest prices and down near my price range are some very good looking posters of the glass in the catalog at $9.99. 1-800-929-6686 P.O.Box 1724, Wimberley  TX 78676 

2003-12-09  The Randy Broadnax Show here in Dallas returns to the Sons of Hermann Hall near downtown Dec. 12 (5-9pm), 13 (10-6), & 14 (10-6).  Randy is (has been) an art instructor at Cedar Valley Community College in SW Dallas County for some time and he started this thing quite a while back.  This year it involves over 40 artists working in clay, iron, wood, mixed media, soap and glass. The last represented by Bowman Hot Glass and Texas Hot Glass. Food and music available.  3414 Elm St @ Exposition 214-747-4422

2003-12-03 I have been thinking about what is apparently missing from the Art Glass literature.  Partly this is due to Pete Vanderlaan ticking off the GAS people and quitting the board apparently over his feeling that all the work he put into the technical presentations wasn't appreciated and not enough was reprinted in the Journal.  His response is to set up a technical conference in his home town (Santa Fe NM) about the same time as the GAS when it is in Australia in 2005.  But when I look at what is going on, I see a lot of information on technical stuff, which really hasn't changed that much since the Glass Exchange, which Pete was part of 25 years ago.
  What seems to be really missing is two areas, Business and Technique.  Glass magazine absolutely refuses to consider showing the techniques that go into making pieces, I have asked and the editor says the board doesn't that - so we get critique and history and no record of technique for the future or the present.  And while GAS has presentations on what young people have to do to get through those tricky years after college, there is not a lot of sharing of information on the hard figures of running an art glass studio.
  Which, of course, is an opportunity for me, but wondering if I can find money resources for getting me to places to take pictures for technique and people willing to expose business plans and expenses.  If this is a "retirement" option.  More thought needed.
   There is the question of what the GAS Conference should be and what changes might be made.  I like what I have attended but then I have pick'n chose which ones I went to based on my perceptions of what is going on.   I skip if too much lampworking or if the town will be too awkward for my style of visit. 
   For me GAS Conference is:

Other things which happen at GAS Conf which are not of much interest to me include

2003-12-01 Wimberley Glass Works has sent out a complicated brochure featuring a lot of coupons "gift certificates" good for roughly 10% discounts (i.e. $50 off a single item of at least $495) keyed to 5 separate "shows" The brochure is a 6 section fold out, mailed from Ohio and, unfortunately, arriving at my place at the end of the first show.  The shows are Nov.28-30 Lighting Preview Show (reception 7-10 on 11/28, 15% coupons); Jewlery [sic] Preview Show Dec 5-7; China Red & Mediterranean Series Even Dec. 12-14;  Everything Else Preview Show Dec 19-21; and Slightly Irregular Clearance, Jan 2-4.  Although it is full color on heavy gloss paper, the only actual picture of glass is a tiny one of Tim with a roundel on a punty next to his signature, his name not given - you have to know.  Either a brilliant marketing ploy or an expensive failure - it feels like six J.C.Penney discount cards folded together.  [I just noticed that the brochure has no address, phone number or web page printed on it.  You REALLY have to know. ]

A reference website that looks useful Glassblower.Info - Glassblowing Information, Photos, Videos Lots of images and movies - a high speed connection looks vital.... Yup.

2003-11-13 It is my 61st birthday and 19th wedding anniversary and weather has turned chilly and windy while we wait for the replacement furnace and AC to be installed tomorrow.
  The artists in The Cedars area across I-30 from downtown Dallas are also having an Open House on 22 November, 10-6 for them.  This includes Jim Bowman's blown glass, his wife - Mary Lynn Bowman - fused glass and about 30 other artists of many different media scattered across three clusters not far from Cedars DART train station - enough it would be a stiff walk, especially with my legs.  Roughly Akard and Griffin, S.Ervay and Gano and further over at 2201 S.Harwood.

2003-11-10  With some trepidation, because I don't know how much I want to turn the site into an artist's sales reference site, I want to aim you at Romanus Glass for two reasons.  The glass isn't bad.  The site is sensational if still needing some work.  If you have a dial up connection, you will have to wait for a while - worth the wait - and if you don't have a really big screen, you should scroll to look at the details.  In the Gallery section, you can click on the pieces in the background and they will turn into the spot light and there are arrows to move the parade of pieces.  No real idea of how much work it takes to get the page done.

One of 3 cards sent out by Texas Hot Glass for Open House2003-11-08 Texas Hot Glass on Hickory Street is having an open house November 22 - click on image at right for more details.

VIDEOS from the Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass
Number 6 has just been announced - 1 thru 6 are
1. Cane Working with Lino Tagliapietra
2. An Introduction to Venetian Techniques with William Gudenrath
3. Engraving on Glass with Jin Harcuba
4. Pate de verre with Shin-ichi and Kimiake Higuchi
5. Flameworking with Cesare Toffolo
6. Kiln Forming with Rudi Gritsch
Price per copy: D $29.95 (VHS) D $35.95 (PAL) D $34.95 (DVD) Museum members less.

Champagne flutes from Lillian Veron CatalogI wander through catalogs and look at glass, often being horrified as to how cheap it is, sometimes liking ideas.  Here is one where I like the idea a lot better than the execution.  The footless flutes are held up in a vase that double tapers to spread them.  The hard little blobs of color bug me and I would like a finer line of color that extends up into the bowl.   This are easy to tell apart (handy since they have to rest in the vase) and quick to make.

SCHMID CALL - Ed Schmid of Beginning Glassblowing book fame has a call for humorous and grim stories about glassblowing, running a studio, assistants, etc. Deadline Christmas 2003 -, 927 Yew St., Bellingham Washington 98229, ph/fax 360-733-3497 [from Olympic Color Rod site]

2003-10-23  If a definition of a successful day is getting everything done that was in mind to do, then this was a successful day.  Laundry and cooking the pork roast Mexican style were easy, hauling the 180# propane tank back up the hill after filling took some serious walking.  I forged a sword blade blank and a hand shield as a backup and dummy for the glass one I hoped to make.  I have, for several years, wanted to replace the rebar that is mounted on a chest plate so it looks like it goes through my body with a sword, and I always delay making the parts.  This year I have the steel and succeeded in making a glass handle on a mounting tube and a point.  If they make it through annealing, I will photograph and use them next week.
Glass sword handle and tip   Having mounted gauges on the regulator output and reduced the orifice for the glory hole, I found I could not get enough gas into the GH at 12psi off the fixed regulator.  So I swapped the copper flex lines in mid run to put the adjustable on the glory hole.  It was already at 15psi and that was enough.
   In making the sword handle, I used the garage for the first time to hold the grip.  It seems to hold about 1050 all by itself, without a controller. The first time I made the hand guard, I gathered glass and began thinning it down.  That was a bad move as it left it very thick near the punty, the coldest area, and hard to work with the floppy thin further out.  For various reasons, it ended up a floor model (over-chilling while necking, etc.)  The second one was kept thin from the start and built up with gradual thin gathers on the outer edge.   Fitting the cut notch around the handle was a juggling act, but the thin snapped off nicely and I it came out as you can see.

PENLAND SPRING 2004 - Claire Kelly and Anthony Schafermeyer will teach an eight-week glass class at Penland School of Crafts, March 14 through May 7, 2004. This intermediate-advanced hot glass workshop will focus on blown mosaics. The class will be divided between the hot shop and the cold shop, covering a range of Venetian cane and murrine techniques. Cane and objects created in the hot shop will be cut in the cold shop, assembled into a design, then picked up and blown.

Applicants are required to send five images of their work along with their application. The application deadline is December 1, 2003. If you are interested in a work-study scholarship, the deadline is October 17, 2003.

Claire and Anthony are collaborating artists specializing in blown mosaic vessels and sculptures. They have taught at the Pittsburgh Glass Center, Firehouse 12 (WA), and Penland. Their work has been exhibited at the SOFA and ACC shows and they demonstrated at the GAS conference in Amsterdam.

Complete information, application forms, and a picture of Claire and Anthony's work are available at Click on the link for Spring classes. For any other information, contact the Penland registrar at 828-765-2359, ext 15.  2003-10-15

2003-10-06 Installed a T and gauge just down stream of each regulator on the propane.  Found that the furnace regulator was set at 25 psi while the more fixed unit feeding the glory hole was 12 psi.  Braised over the 1/16th inch hole (0.0625") in the glory hole burner, which was only allowing about 3 psi reading at the head and put in a #60 (0.0400")  Before the area of the hole was 0.00307 and afterward  0.001257 so the new hole is 0.4096 or 41% of the old.

Meet the artists Saturday, September 20th   Glass Demonstrations 10am to 5pm ~ Artists' Reception 6pm to 9pm
515-847-8975  Sable V Fine Art Gallery is located in Wimberley, Texas, between Austin and San Antonio. Take 1-35 to San Marcos exit #205 (RR12), travel west approx. 12 miles and north 4 miles on RR12 to the Square.

2003-09-07 Did not get a glass session in today, although I may regret it because the weather was fine.  Ran five invested castings though the burnout cycle and cast 4 brass and 1 aluminum.  The brass look great - MF imprints, threaded neck molds and a little heart for casting for cane - the aluminum very good except for some extra space up in the inside of the optic - a large bubble in the aluminum perhaps.  It will be usable.  I tried an open face casting of the bottle mold again and it bubbled up ferociously.  Going on rec.crafts.metalworking to ask for some help.  [not much on these topics.  Suggested a top of sand - which I will try - perhaps with foam sprue.   I think I will cast optic other way up, opening up, so air will exit.]

2003-09-04  Well, I finally got in a glassblowing session.  Temperatures are down and the rain has stopped, so I might be able to get one in on Sunday also.  Today started fairly early with melting brass keys and aluminum cans to bullion (ingots).  I have a brass threaded neck mold waxed and invested, but haven't ever used the plain one, so I put off casting that or the new optic mold in aluminum that is almost ready.
I melted some of Art's intense blue cullet I have had for a couple of years.  Had a moment of panic when the annealer was not firing, turned out to be a connection on the controller output to the SSR.  Will have to clean up the connections and better house the controller, but it worked for tonight.
First fired up furnace about 4:30, but with delays to get Gigi home and us fed, didn't finally start blowing until 8:30 and then worked to 11:30.  Did a couple of optic pieces with the second, thin, optic from the first mold, and worked several necks, both as a dummy and on small bottles.  Also did a bowl for the heck of it and for Empty Bowls.  Almost all the punties worked and I rehung one that didn't, gripping the bottle neck with the diamond sheers and then reheating the punty and sticking it, then carefully reheating to avoid cracking.  Used (mostly) Fritz' recommended cold body hot end for the punty. Also practiced making a foot a couple of times, using the wooden foot shaper.  Used the more recently made, much sharper jacks soldered into the stainless steel handle, and they worked well when I could use them but found the handle and blades too short so my hand was frying on anything but the smallest pieces.

2003-08-27 On the bus this morning, it occurred to me that an interesting choice, instead of glass flowers in the garden, would be glass shoes and glass footsteps, particularly a man's shoes.  In this neighborhood, a concern would have to be fastening them down, and they would probably be broken rather quickly, but three steps and two shoes around the corner of the garden plot in the front yard would be interesting - one shoe flat with a slight bend showing weight applied, the other flexed with the heel off the ground.   A glass spike under the ball of the foot to hold it in.  Use Art Allison's dark glass cullet perhaps and perhaps a kiln form for the soles with heels; the same form making the "foot prints" which should be thin and slightly hollow on top.  Same glass or window glass, or both?

Subject: Glassblowing Classes now forming in DC Metro area   Date: Wednesday, August 13, 2003 7:18 PM
Glassblowing classes for September-October are now forming. DC  
GlassWorks is located just outside Washington DC in Hyattsville, Maryland and is accessible to the greater Washington DC Metro area. For more information, call us at 301 972 8271, email us at  or go to

2003-08-03 I spent a goodly chunk of the day (when not sleeping) melting metal and doing a fairly poor job of it.  I was trying sand casting and doing a lost wax optic and I don't think I had enough metal to pour for the latter and the sand was too wet so bubbled for the former.  When I tried to do another casting, I kept packing the sand into the bottle shape, so it came up with the positive.  I finally got a good positive for the log mold, an ongoing battle.

2003-07-04 Working on posting images from GAS 2003 in various places on the site.  Over 600 images to choose from (128 Meg digital card, plus 32 Meg.)  Don't have a lot of free space on my site (20 Meg total.) 
Swest, my source for casting supplies, is shutting down, selling stock locally at a discount, but Stuller, taking them over, proclaims itself wholesale only.

2003-06-20  Notes from GAS travels [I took so many pictures, I had to use another site to hold them, so this page provides a listing and links to the two sites and other pages here.]
I saw jelly fish, domed top, tendrils hanging down, in several studios. animals-octopus jellyfish, shells w/pearls 
One of the demos poured a glass disk on threaded rods across the bottom of a cylinder for the base of piece to give an optic effect.
The Czech production glass blower using molds used beam clamps used as handles on cubical molds, so that the handles were not in the way when in the water.
? cup & groove on cylin.block 
Projects:  slump bay window pane foil shelf for plants  
    make hex mold for nut w/bolt thru & head and plumbing parts 
    glass clock hands   
Seen: thin eccentric matched bowls that nest  
    cast heads-small kissing  (turned out to be cast guy at Tacoma Museum show) 
    narrow marver shelf on heat shield, heat shield cut away at bottom
Cutting Edge shears rod handles welded to flat blades,  jacks-good feel   
Nowak elec.melt at far end of shop: cooler, near power, free floor space
Blomdahl- cullet Seattle Batch   
Edge - just cut corner of paper pad-not diag., multiple box fans in window  
Seattle - brass blocks on cooler   
Totally - thick pads & skeletal shears as all over   
why not - furnace insert panel when all small    [Problem - if furnace insulation is thick, then door is thick, therefore long reach past door to get glass.  ? Thinner working door? 
Freidman-Kirks Lane lamp parts can order catalog online, but not parts   Wholesale only, Tax ID required.

2003-05-22 Nice session of glass with not much output, but a lot of learning.  Bob came over Sunday and we spent part of the evening blowing and I kept on till after 11.  Tried using the optic with lead in the bottom to flatten the bad casting and it really made punty attachment bad.   Today, I tried blowing into the bigger new aluminum tri-arm goblet base and both times lost the glass from the aluminum at the gloryhole - reworked one on a punty, dumped the other, having done one.  I think the aluminum is expanding away from the glass during reheating.  I think I may have to pre-heat the aluminum to reduce the expansion amount.  I tried using the three prong goblet foot holder by making a stem and cookie foot on a punty - which I need to do about two dozen times - and found the adjustment of the prongs - a knob on 1/4" all thread - so awkward that I am going to have to find a replacement - a clamp or something.  I made a large marble after a piece choked off the bubble and decided to put a bird on it, so I fired up the garage part way through the process and stored stuff there.  The body of the bird went on fairly well, but the wings turned into a total fiasco.  I made them on a punty, pulling and crimping with pliers and then cutting the root free, which left the root fairly cold and me looking for a way to punty for reheating.  I think I am going to have to think the process through, do the final tip shaping on the object and preheat the root after cutting, leaving the tip on the punty - make them the other way round.  Annealing the ball and bird. 

2003-05-11  Next weekend, Saturday, May 17 is the annual open house for Jim Bowman, this year being called Griffin Street Studios Grand Opening presumably because of the other studios (ceramics, wood) that have opened in the space. If you have not visited Jim this will give you exposure to his work and his space and you will see some glass working demos. Based on last year, it will NOT give you a chance to get close to the glass working. Noon to 10pm, Live band from 6-10 pm, traditionally he has kegs of homebrew beer, wine and cheese noshes. The card sent says free Pedi-Cab rides from DART Cedars Station and several of the others Cedars District art studios and lofts will be open for tours.
My trip to Seattle has finally settled in and I have a place to stay and have spent all the big money for tickets, etc. Now just have to get everything together for shipping and taking. Gone from June 6 to 18.

2003-04-27 Nice day for glassblowing and did it.  Fired up at 3 pm, full hot at 4:15, melted to working by 6:15, blew until 9:45 or so.  Tried a number of things.  Reblew the larger brass base goblet. Looks like it came out okay.  Should have cut back the glass edgewise and then cut the sections off instead of trimming round and round, because the glass pulled in from the metal.  I had good tightness at start by blowing to stiff, then holding my thumb over the pipe as I cracked off.  When I did a small one (like this) I also blew it out, but with less glass to start with, I used the puffer to swell the glass out and form the rim.  This wouldn't work with the large one unless I did a bigger puffer or some variation (plate? flat cone?)  I tried working a goblet in glass, with a tri-lobe bowl, twist stem, and cookie foot, but let the bowl get too cold and it cracked on reheat after the first working the foot.  I was going to try again with the garage working, but lost the bubble and ended making a marble, then partway into pulling stony glass for for another try realized I was so tired I was botching it and shut down.  Did a nice little tri-flat vase with pulled edge to start the evening.  Besides the bigger puffer, I need to route out a triangular dent in the cherry wood plank for 3 sided cookie dropping or a 3 sided base.  I am doing continuing work on the 3 piece mold unit housing while also making molds for bottle and log to fit in it.

2003-04-20  Had a very nice session blowing glass last Sunday and didn't record it on this page but did put some pictures on metal and my glass pages.   While it looked to be a good day today for going hot, somewhere about noon I decided I wasn't going to. The day felt more like one for doing shorter tasks so I did some clean up and yardwork and some welding. Also caught some zzzzz's and tested the trailer for the bike, taking the propane tank to swap at the Carnival and then loading the 100# to try for U-Haul.  It worked, but put a strain on me - hauling 500# back up the hill, I had to get off and walk: 260 for me, 180 for the full tank and 40-50 pounds for bike and trailer.  The trailer welding was carefully done and tested as 100# of propane getting loose really could be rocket science.
  I continued working on the 3 piece mold project, welding tabs to the three V shaped sides (to make a hexagon) and welding the wider foot piece on.  Previously, I welded a 10" ring for lifting.  During the week I decided that rather than casting refractory into the body, dedicating it, I would cast interior pieces in aluminum that could be removable - allowing the same body to be a log mold or a bottle mold.   I think I will also try a simple mount with arm for pressed glass, using aluminum or brass molds.

2003-04-03  Oh a lovely looking day... with a wind rattling the treetops, heavy clouds, occasional scatters of rain and high humidity, so I didn't much think of getting hot.  Was fatigued and stayed bed to nearly noon.  Did laundry and mowed.  Got up on the roof and installed the bracket for putting whirljigs on the front peak, with a ground wire and pounded in the 6' grounding stake. Wrote up about the plaster version of a log and photographed it.

2003-03-28  A copy of the Pottery Barn catalog was delivered to the house by mistake and in looking through it I was impressed by a couple of ideas for glass, so I scanned some images.

These are finials, shown attached to the rod and separately below.  Although probably glued to rod end, a neat
choice would be to make rod ends so they could be blown in place and put in the annealer and used.

Round blown finials on rods, from Pottery Barn catalog

Minaret blown finials on rod ends, from Pottery Barn catalog

Minaret blown finials on rods, from Pottery Barn catalog

A very simple wall vase in a wire holder. Perhaps a bit much, but nice clean
blown aquarium for one or two fish.
These are cloth, but nothing prevents
making them in glass, the cord
coming in from the top.

Simple wall vase, from Pottery Barn catalog

Blown aquarium, from Pottery Barn catalog

Cloth lamps that could be glass, from Pottery Barn catalog

2003-03-25 Bob Boyd came over on Sunday.Goblet blown in aluminum frame On the whole, not much glass in the annealer and broke the pipe heater top when glass on pipes stuck to shelf and then popped free.  Felt rather inept.   I cast and blew into an aluminum goblet base, made intentionally fairly heavy to stand the heat and it worked - well sort of.  The first time the glass contracted so much it was flopping inside the metal and I dumped it as a lost cause.  The second time the glass was blown out firmly and let cool more and it was still not snug when I was reheating and flaring the lip.  It looks okay, but detailed exam shows a crack across the bottom of the glass and the aluminum is now really, really snug on the glass - it really contracted tight on the glass. [When I started buffing the aluminum, the glass broke free, it was melted to glass, now wobbles freely. 03-28.]   So here it is, with unbuffed aluminum.

2003-03-15 I had Bob Boyd over on Thursday and blew glass with him. He has a pickup and we got a 100# bottle refilled with propane, 17 gallons at $2.75 = $45.  It's up.  Bob had contacted me by e-mail and after a couple of weeks of missing blowing and a time of him being out of town, we got together.  I talked about my equipment and blew a couple of pieces talking my way through them and then handed him the pipe and worked him through a thick walled small bowl.  It came out fairly nice for a first try.  I worked hard to make each step right so that he wasn't building a next step on a failed previous step so that meant reheating when it got too cold to do a bubble and taking the time to center it, etc.  I gave him choices along the way and explained them - marver vs. newspaper vs. block, etc. - and talked about the way it should go at points where we were reheating to get right - timing, etc.   I was pleased with my efforts and learned a bunch about some ways to say what needed to be said before hand to avoid problems and to get concept across. I have done a lot of teaching in my life, but have never taken a person through a whole piece before.  Bob then told me he had never seen a person blow glass live before and of course had never handled a pipe.

2003-03-09 - I had hoped to blow glass today. A stunning day yesterday, I rode my bike to work for the first time in months. I had invited Bob Boyd over as the weather looked good.  But the forecasts were mixed, the TV saying high in 50's and radio in 60's.  When I awoke it was 48 and stayed there till past 10, then slowly crept into 50's, but there was a 10-15 mile per hour wind.  When quiet, warm in yard, but when the wind rose, chilly.  So I canceled.  Closer to house it was warmer and less windy and as day wore on, I bundled up and melted some aluminum and brass in the Fire Hole.  The burner was being pathetic. I don't know what was wrong, but it finally hung onto a flame and kicked out some heat.  The first mold was an optic which I took up to 890F, but not to 1100, which in hindsight, I should have done as it still had enough wax in it to cause problems (and harder to clean out.)  Further, the investment was apparently too thick, so it did not fill near the lip, leaving a hole which filled with aluminum and one riser never filled - should be bigger.  The second was a three finger aluminum goblet base, which I will try to use like the brass, hoping the thicker aluminum will stand up to reheating the glass.  It was taken to 1100 and poured much cleaner.
I took my paint brush box that was built long ago to be a tool box and step into the van, so is 1' x 2' x 6" with a lid and walls made of 2x lumber.  I filled it with 50# of dry play sand and used that to hold the molds, set down the crucible, and mold the poured off extra aluminum and brass.  It worked very well - a brilliant idea! - and I want to use the sand to support thin clay molds after failures forming them in steel and glass bowls and finding plaster to be too much mess and work.

2003-03-01 WHY GO TO GAS? -


Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Dallas TX
Posts: 93

I do not go to every Conference, but went to 93, 95, & 97 and will go to this one.
I try to see every open studio (Wed & Sun at the Seattle Conf.) which normally takes having a car. I talk to people and ask about techniques and equipment. Most who bother to open are very open about answers.
I try to see a lot of the demos - again questions get answered and seeing people move with the glass is helpful. Since many of the demos are scheduled against panels and discussion sessions, I try to balance areas of interest in those vs. the likely quality of the demo. I do sack lunch/buy portable and eat during outside demos/where not rude.
I try to do two runs through the technical exhibits/sales floor to sample what is available and hit booths where people were missing on the first run. I like the hands on opportunity with tools and pipes to help me make choices.
I have learned to check and recheck scheduled stuff early in the Conference. I still missed a couple of open houses in Arizona that were reportedly good because I didn't know about them until mid-day Thursday.
I don't see a Gallery hop on this schedule, but I took advantage of the buses and the evening hours in AZ and Asheville to see them and got a couple of good answers from artists on site. I want to see Pilchuck on Sunday and will go down to Tacoma on Wed. evening.
Donate something to the Goblet Grab and donate to/attend the auction for the fun of seeing some of the odd stuff and hearing comments.

2003-02-13  Terry Maxwell is closing up her furnace glass studio due to lung fragility and loss of capacity, so I went over to take most of her cullet away in buckets and discuss her plans.  She is looking at some bead work using the Bullseye glass she has on hand.
TIL - (Things I Learned)  While packing some glass for the Empty Bowls project, I was using foam plastic peanuts and plastic bags from the grocery store, when it dawned on me that if I put the peanuts inside the bags, I could make a flexible firm ball for fitting in between the glass pieces and not have loose peanuts all over, including inside the glass.

2003-02-11 1:28 AM  (to As it happens, at the same time this (slumping) discussion has been going on, I have been finishing making some bowls for the Empty Bowls project mentioned in my signature. After blowing some more when the temperature got tolerable, I sagged/fused some during the cold weather (my equipment is outdoors) and am using 1/4" plate glass - a piece of glass that was a shelf or table top that someone left at the curb. My molds are 1/4" white pottery clay bowl shapes with Paragon kiln wash.
On the first run, I ramped up to about 1000F while I was doing other work, then ran it up to 1400 while I kept an eye on it. It never really got to 1400F what with my lifting the lid to peak at the progress, but wandered between 1360 and 1395. When I thought I had a good result, I dropped the set point to 1020 and opened the lid to drop the temp. I held it at 1020 for about 30 minutes and then setup an annealing ramp for 4 hours and walked away.
As it turned out, of the 3 bowls I was doing, one came out fine; the one I was watching most closely sagged around the mold as I wanted, but then broke on cooling as I did not want and did not sag far into the mold; and the third did not sag well into the deeper mold. The one that was fine looks neat as the very sharp cut edges have just rounded the corners while the shallow mold sagged nicely - it looks like a broken piece of glass somehow sagged. All of the pieces were clear without devit or kiln wash.
Tonight, I did a more serious run including the deep mold again, with an extra cross piece, for decoration; the one that sagged outside the mold, with the saggings cut off; and the fragments from the second plus some more in the shallow mold to fuse.
This time I ramped up to 890F (my blown glass annealing point, conveniently in the controller) over 2 hours while I went to sleep, being tired after work. When the alarm woke me, I set the ramp to go to 1410 over two hours, and reset the alarm. When I went to check, all three bowls had slumped well into the molds and considerably more fusing had occurred than before. I dumped the heat down to the annealing point and set up the ramp and came in to write this. It will still be too hot to open tomorrow morning (it was 325F at 6:30 am after the first run above) so I will see the results tomorrow after work.
Mike Firth
Hot Glass Bits Furnace Working Website
Donate a bowl to Empty Bowls Soup Project in North Texas

2003-02-02 First blowing session in a long time, temps in 70's.  Selected clear cullet and took advantage of it.  A fair amount of stones in the glass, whether from the pot or the roof, I am not certain.  Needed today after the Columbia disaster of yesterday.  Used the 5/8" pipe and punty I welded up and worked very well.  Formed another wire goblet of heavy wire, first attempt totally botched, second sort of okay.  A couple of paperweights and several bowls.

2003-01-30  Today was a day to get dog, cat and bird food using the heavy hand truck on the bus.  When I got back, I continued my search for the Stainless Flux that I had used before and mislaid.  I continued cleaning up and throwing out, gaining space in the garage and neatness in the back yard before finding it in the bucket with the grinding grit bottles.  I welded the pipe. Before I put the welding rig up for the night, I cut braces for the garage as it wobbled a bit much and welded them, welded a riser on the frame for the peak of the roof to hold whirlies and ground down another 4" piece for a matching punty and welded that in place. I hope to blow glass on Sunday, the temp is supposed to be about 70F.

2003-01-23 And in contrast, today was bitterly cold, down into 20's last night, not much above 30 today, threatening into teens tonight.  One of the better places for hot glass discussion these days is the CraftWeb Glass forum.  Aside from technical stuff, some offbeat humor and enough control that stupidity generally goes away.  I love Henry Halem's reply when someone complained of chemical formula's and not having a Ph.D. - a Hogwarts guide to glass melting.  To read it, go to the website, sign in, and look at the Casting Glass thread.

2003-01-19 Today was warm enough that I should have blown glass, but I was too tired and slept for large chunks of it.  Took some pictures including Betty's wire sculpture, a wood bottom form,  my grinding of the pipes, and the glass I am donating to Empty Bowls.

Betty Firth's Wire glassblower Drop board to blow bottom shapes
Grinder rig for making mouth pieces
Three small pieces

Sable V has sent a card with their 2003 show schedules for their galleries in Wimberley, Galveston and New Orleans.  The newest gallery in New Orleans seems to have more shows that are obviously glass, but glass is represented well at all three. .
Snow Farm (formerly Horizons) the New England Craft Program includes glass blowing in each of their Intensives and other glass in their Indepth Weekends in April and May. .

2003-01-05 - Had a pretty good session today, after a long gap in blowing with sickness and cold wet days.  I re-drilled the orifice for the glory hole to a #52, expecting the pressure shown to go up, but it didn't still 3 pounds, but the hole was hot, hot, hot.  The furnace was also hot, so much so I cut back to 8 and then 7 psi.  The glass was very bubbly and I did not fine it before starting work.  The first three or four pieces I tried cracked in various ways - puntying took the bottom out of one, one got too cold and shattered going back into the glory hole, one broke off the pipe and punty and shattered in falling.  But I finally got several good bowls with a sloping base with three sides.  Adding to the frustration, the controller chip unit, which seems to be working, didn't on the 14x18 box, which I hoped I could use for some sagging.  It gets up to 1350 or so if just left plugged in (2" frax, 1000 watts), but I need to be able to go up to top and down and hold.  And the pipe holder I rigged for the pipe heater placed the middle of the pipes over the door or burner and gave me hot hands.  I will try rigging it in the space between the glory hole and furnace.  Good news is stainless steel stock I bought, two 304 tubes and unknown solid, when tested proved to be non-conductive, so I can use it to make some pipes - 3/4" OD solid and tube the same.
  I am actually making progress on the garage/shop, with clear passages (for the first time in 10 years) marked for future placement of stuff and throwing stuff out.  Re-melted the lead from the chopper handle and put more in to the head, so it may work as planned.  I need to think about casting the optic.

2003-01-01 - 00:06 AM - Happy New Year, having just set up the file.