Hot Glass Bits 2004 Notes

(Hot Glass Bits #46)

Last Rev. 2008-11-03

Contact Mike Firth

Prev.Issue 45 Link to HGB Table of Contents Next Issue 47

Most recent changes to files

Return to Sitemap

Layout contains most detailed site access

2004-01-02 First Session 2004-01-03 Results GRAPEVINE TX PITTSBURGH
2004-01-18 2004-01-20
BOOK REVIEW NOTICES 2004-03-29 2004-04-04 2004-04-07 2004-04-15
2004-04-18 2004-04-22 VACATION VETRO FLOW 2004-05-30
2004-06-05 2004-06-26 2004-07-08 MAKE A GLASS GLASS 2004-07-22 2004-07-25
2004-09-16 CORNING CLASSES 2005 GAS 2004-09-30 DEMO URBAN GLASS NOV 20
Call for Entries GAS 2006 Planning 2004-12-12      

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

Receive email when this page changes
[And let me know if there are problems. MF]

2004-12-21  We had continuous winds of 25-30 mph with gusts to 45 yesterday (very warm) and my moving glass suffered.  I actually tied off the longest one (with the disk) when I heard it hit the post.  The triangle hit a couple of times but the glass did not break out.  This morning I discovered that one of the 3 curved pieces was broken off the front horizontal.  It may have been just the wind or a branch whipped down from some distance above.  The fan blade with the spiral tail came apart during the wind, but just needed tightening of lock nuts.

2004-12-12 I rode bus out to and my bike back from a nursery to get vermiculite for the bottom of the annealer. [4 cubic feet only weighs 18 pounds in a fragile bag; I should have brought it back on the bus; tore and lost some.] They were selling high fired ceramic mushroom shapes that were a top made like a small handkerchief vase inverted over a ceramic stem with decorations like mushrooms.  When the top was placed properly, the wind would catch the ribs of the folds and swing the rim against the shaft to make a clang bell sound.  Could easily be done in glass.
   I have been wondering about holding the insides in this annealer box which has been sitting in the weather for too long.  While I was on the trip, it occurred to me that fire brick could act as a spacer to keep the inner wall of frax board from crushing the frax blanket and fiberglass insulation I have long planned to use.  The vermiculite (a recent thought) could fill the spaces at the bottom between the blocks.  I can also use the backer insulation board that I bought in one of my mistakes - have not used nearly all of it.
   Also took the bus to a local craft show, the Randy Broadnax Show, which is put on each year about this time by the instructor in ceramics at a local community college. He lists all the artists on a small black and white postcard he sends out about the first of the month.  A lot of pottery and jewelry, some steel and weaving.  Three glassblowers on hand, two from this area (Ron and Chris) Marrs Art  and Jim Bowman  both formerly part of Hickory Street Hot Glass and the third from Kansas, Cecil Gary McKenzie and Lisa McKenzie  Lisa was good enough to talk about their paperweights which involve applying color to a white bubble, pushing it in and gathering over which forms a multi-lily effect with very even, round, large bubbles in each bloom due to their skill.  This image shows the insides to the best effect, but I must say the colors are much more subtle and the whites more impressive on the weights I saw.
  Several of the glassblowers around here participate in cooperative open houses and I like to see it happen.  It means that people who like glass get to see other artists and people who like ceramics and weaving, etc., get to see glass.  Art Allison did an open show (come with your stuff) on the grounds of his place for a while; Jim Bowman participates in the Cedars Studio open houses which include the studios of his complex which was the core of the early events, and Vetro in Grapevine has had other artists in.

GAS 2006 will be in St. Louis, June 15, 2006, and planning is going on now for submission by Feb. 1, 2005 [GAS 2005 will be in Australia May 7-9]

"URGENT!!! URGENT!!! URGENT!!!  Deadline for submitting entries is December 31st, 2004.
From Contemporary Glass in Texas:
The Galveston Arts Center, Galveston, Texas is sponsoring a Texas Juried Glass Exhibition to run March 5 - April 17, 2005.
They've lined up three terrific jurors: Tina Oldknow, Curator of Modern Glass at Corning, Mary Shaffer, internationally-renowned glass artist, and Patricia Meadows, Senior Curator of the Texas Sculpture Garden and member of the philanthropic Meadows family of Dallas.
Or, you can go directly to their website at  TEXAS JURIED GLASS.
Neil Ryan"  2004-11-23
Prizes are $1250, $600, $300 with a $30 entry fee for up to 3 entries.  Submission by slides only, final selection from objects delivered by Feb. 28.

NOV 20 will be busy in the DFW area. 
The Cedars artists near downtown, which include Bowman Art Glass, will be having an open house from 10-6.  There are perhaps a dozen or fifteen studios of various kinds within (stiff) walking distance between Old City Park and the Cedars Station of the DART Rail.  There is free street parking or take DART Rail to the area.  [Cedars is showing great growth, stimulated by the developer of the old Sears warehouse/store giving the city the land for a new police headquarters - not station - headquarters.]
And in Grapevine, north of DFW airport Vetro Glassblowing Studio & Gallery presents
** HOLIDAY 'BASH' 2004 ** This Saturday - November 20  10:00am - 10:00pm
Truth or Consequences Auction starts at 7:30pm!!
Come early to get registered to participate and get a good seat!!
· Glassblowing & Lampworking demonstrations all day
· View Gary Hayes & David Gappa's newest art glass designs
· Ideal holiday gifts including ornaments, flowers, glass pens, unique jewelry & oil lamps!
· Hors d'oeuvres & Texas Wines served in the evening
701 S. Main St., #103 - Historic Grapevine TX - 817.251.1668
View our website for more details!
So what is the Truth or Consequences Auction? The Vetro artists, every now and then, are determined to find a home for certain pieces. And they believe that if somebody is not willing to buy the piece, it doesn't deserve to live! What?! Here's how out it works:
Everybody puts their name in for a drawing. If your name is chosen, you are asked a question. If you get the question correct, you get the piece...for free, no questions asked! However...
If you get the question wrong, it is immediately held for ransom for exactly 30 seconds. The piece goes up for auction and is awarded to the highest bidder, IF the secret reserve price is met. What happens if the reserve price is not met? The piece crashes to the floor and dies...
That's right...dies. It's intense, it's wild and it's even a bit overwhelming for some. The next time you hear that Truth or Consequences is coming, come see if you "can take the heat"!

DEMO - On Wednesday, November 10th, I went out to Vetro in Grapevine to see a demo by Afro Celotto, which I have summarized and installed on a separate page. firthm/celotto.htm

URBAN GLASS has announced classes for Spring 2005.  Classes are held weekly while workshops are consecutive days.  Obviously, classes are appropriate to people living in the area, while workshops are possible for more distant travelers.  Workshops include Building a Hot Glass Furnace (1/22-29), Lampworking with Emilio Santini (1/24-28), Beginning Glassblowing (2/19-20), Open Mold Glass Casting (2/26-27), Melting Pot - variant hot and cold glassworking (3/14-18), Photosensitive Glass (5/14-18), Kilncasting (3/14-18), Adv. Beadmaking (3/14-17), Beg. Glassblowing (5/12-13), Sandblasting Glass Beads (3/26), Hot Casting (4/4-8), Creative Lampworking (4/18-22), Venetian Cane (5/6-8) and April weekend workshops in Stained Glass, Neon, Beginning Glassblowing, and Beg. Bead. 2004-11-07

2004-09-30 Fairly dumb glassblowing session tonight - cold glass and cold glory, adjusted a regulator and disassembled a burner to ream out the orifice and things got nicer although no neat glass.  I attempted to use my new rose crimp and quickly learned that I need to have a lot more glass to work with: There has to be a solid cylinder of glass in support of the really hot tip to push into. With my 1-1/2" crimp, I think the cylinder will have to be at least 2" diameter and 3" long.  I e-mailed Wheaton Village to ask how big were the rose crimps they had, suspecting I was working too small, which I was.  They replied that they were 1-1/2 to 2".  After pushing the crimp into the glass, every step following tends to reduce the size of the rose until the dome of the weight is formed, then magnification occurs.

2005 GAS Conference will be held in Adelaide, Australia, May 7 - 9, 2005: Matters of Substance

2004-09-16 CORNING CLASSES - The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass has announced several sets of classes of over the next 6 months.  For people in the area, starting October 3 there are 10 week long courses that meet once a week, including each week 2 sessions of Beginning Glassblowing and 2 sessions of Continuing Glassblowing with 1 each of stained glass and flameworking.  Weekend workshops and one day workshops are scheduled through October, November, and December including 5 Beginning Glassblowing, 2 Next Steps, and a Continuing.
 Then in beginning January 2005 are a sequence of 1 week courses like the summer sessions. For furnace work these include Intro and Advanced Venetian Techniques,  Beginning, Next Steps, Solid Sculpture,  Classic and Contemporary Venetian.  On my site you can see information about the class I took in late summer 1999.  Details of these courses can be found on the CMOG site. [because of the way the site is built, direct links to the Studio section get broken quickly.  Click on the Quick Links list at the top of the page.]

2004-07-25 A very unusual summer "cold" front (a big High usually keeps us hot and pushes cool air north all summer) brought us highs only in the mid-eighties today and may give us a record low in the mid-sixties tonight.  Blew glass out of the boats in the glory hole - and destroyed both boats while working and cleaning up.  Not very productive.  For the second time, the piece blown in the hammered copper tube broke off the punty - this time in the midst of working instead of while breaking off the pipe.  I did my first attempt at putting a sulphide in a glass pocket and sucking the air out.  The sulphides I tried to pick out of the annealer (900F) shattered, but the one I put in the glory hole was pretty tough - it got dropped twice before it broke in half.  I ended up with a flat cookie or plaque shape with half of Washington's profile in it.

2004-07-22 At the store we sell metal and glass swirly things to hang in the garden or yard and blow in the wind.  When I examined these closely some of them used ordinary fishing swivels as the pivot.  But some had very serious looking little pieces of machinery.  When I went to the internet I found something I had not seen before: ball bearing fishing swivels  Interestingly, of the various forms of attachment, those using split rings which seem the least bulky are the cheapest ($4 for 5 with 50 pound test) although those with snaps might be convenient.  An even smaller item would be to omit the snap ring and thread wire through the drilled hole.   These are black and an article elsewhere on the web says the not black ones are smoother and may be more reliable because to make black, they plate the non-black ones with nickel and copper and blacken that and who knows what gets inside and doesn't get cleaned out.  The writer admitted probably not a problem, but who would want to lose a serious fish because of failure.

MAKE A GLASS GLASS - 2004 Drinking Glass Competition, Entries must be postmarked by August 5, so mark your calendars!!!
• $1,000 cash award for Best-of-Show,  $2,000 in purchase awards, (5) $250 Eugene Glass School class gift certificates, one for each category.
Eligibility: Open to all living artists. Artwork must have been completed within the last three years. Entries must be in one of the following 5 categories:
1. Goblet: Wine, Champagne Flutes, Margarita, Martini, Stemware.
2. Beer: Mug, Stein, Pilsner, Yard.
3. Spirits: Cordial, Shot, Saki.
4. Hot: Coffee Mug, Teacup.
5. Beverage: Cola, Milk, Water, Juice.
•made of glass only
•hold liquid
•stand independently
•be signed and dated by the artist
•be for sale for with a maximum limit of $1,000.
(sets are allowed, but will be treated as a single entry)
Sales: All artwork must be for sale. The Gallery commission is 40% of the selling price.
Judging: based on a slide, CD, or artwork review by the jurors. Upon arrival, accepted works that differ appreciably from images submitted will be disqualified.
Exhibition: The show will open at the Alder gallery and will travel to the Contemporary Craft Museum and Gallery in Portland, OR for the remainder of the year, and finish in the gallery at the Eugene Glass School. 2004-07-08

2004-07-08 For the first time in over a decade, I did not got over to the Lakewood Country Club to watch the fireworks, stayed home and went to bed early.  I picked up a couple of books next to Glass Gaffers which I needed to scan as a favor for an e-mail reply.

2004-06-26 Back from vacation, plus a week of recovery.  Blew glass yesterday.  Not very ept.  Mostly marbles and flat castings in the annealer.  Worked on a blown piece into a hammered copper sleeve, but ruined it trying to juggle the punty while catching the pipe.  All blue glass from Art, with some selected clear in the glory hole boat.
  The vacation went rather badly, as you can see if you care.  On the other hand, I was able to get to and spend some time at Wheaton Village and found it interesting and relaxing.  The glass museum has examples of virtually every piece of glass from the books I have read on American glass as well as Steve Tobin's biggest bottle every blown, examples of the work of all the Fellows in the creative glass program and some modern glass.  I got to watch the end of a demo and watch two of the Fellows work on all white pieces.

2004-06-05 Our power was off for 48 hours after thunder storms took out power for up to 300,000 people.  Almost everybody went out on Tuesday (06-01) at about 9 pm.  I was watching when the wind whipped two of our alley wires together and arced out.  It also took out a transformer.  At the store on the west side of town, we lost a leg of our three phase and our air conditioning and over half of the lighting.  Power was restored just before closing last night - Friday.
The various glass oil candles and votive candles at the house got good use and I got hand work done in daytime on Thursday.  [Sat. night] I have an analog motor driven clock over my computer, which stops with loss of power and starts on return - while the various digitals either keep the time or forlornly blink.  At the moment it is wrong by 3 minutes - the power was off for exactly 48 hours plus 3 minutes!!

2004-05-30 I note that I have really slighted the GAS Conference which is New Orleans week after next.  Usually I look at it in detail and encourage attendance and I guess I can only blame my neglect on my decision not to go when it is so close - other plans and low level of desire to be in New Orleans.
  Wimberley Glass Works is continuing their highly professional promotion of their large production glass with a brochure and introductory open house (which was last night).  They are featuring color and shape related "Collections", like China Red, Mediterranean and Tropical Bamboo which has bright colors with bamboo-like cane inside.  Prices start at $149 for the China up to $599 for platters.  They continue to offer Glass Works Bucks valued at 10% of purchases which can be used against future pieces over $450.

FLOW - While at Vetro, I encountered and bought a copy of The Flow [713 WSW Loop 323 #101, Tyler TX 75701, 1-800-737-1400] a very good magazine with lots of color, devoted to lampworking and showing some detailed techniques. Marcel Braun's 3 foot tall, 100 pound, Boro sculpture I really wish we had a similar thing for furnace glass that was documenting techniques both for artists and history.  Glass Magazine refuses to cover technique by command of its editorial board. This mag is quarterly, $28, single issues $7.99.  The one I have is Vol. 1, Issue 4, fall of 2003.  When I glanced through it before buying, I thought they were doing some furnace glass, but the article I mistook was an astounding project of boro lampworking with a special glory hole.  Marcel Braun and a team worked to create a seafloor sculpture which includes an octopus, urchins, crabs, and 178 fish.  The cane for the fish and the clear curled structure on which the sculpture was built were worked in a 3000F 14" glory hole!!!  The center of the base is a cookie that was built from 40mm Schott rod on lathes to a 6 x 18" cylinder that was later puntied and reheated in glory hole to make a 13x3" disk.  Everyone near the hot glass is wearing silver aprons or body suits. The glory hole was also used for heating 3' pieces of 40mm that were bent and twisted for the arms.  The piece was assembled in a kiln which involved working for 3-4 minutes in full hood and jacket then waiting 20 minutes for the kiln to recover. 2004-05-10

VETRO - I went to the Grand Opening of Vetro's new facility yesterday [2004-05-08] and found both the event and the place good.  A great downpour with wind caused a few leaks, but the crowd was dry and happy and well fed.  The space is near the rails of the vintage train operation in the former farmers market space and will be shared with a sculptor and a bronze foundry for a destination to visit. Vetro 2004, outside view, entry to left
  The space is nicely laid out with aluminum bleachers and lots of display space, both in the walls of the shop space and in the gallery.  I met the owners and got some nice compliments on this operation on the web.   I learned that they used Spiral Arts software to plan the ventilation.  The ducting over the hot floor is make up air for the hot wall exhaust so incoming air comes right down behind the benches - lean back and enjoy. Vetro 2004, hot floor front from behind viewing area
 Swamp coolers will be rigged for summer use and a separate air conditioning system is aimed at the viewing space.  Windows in the gallery also allow viewing. Vetro, hot shop, cooling ducting, 2004
  The space has been in the planning for two years and was installed in what was an open shed in about four weeks of intense work. Vetro, new gallery 2004
Vetro Glassblowing Studio & Gallery, 701 S. Main St., #103, Historic District of Grapevine TX
(just behind the Grapevine Visitor Information Center in the same parking lot as the Tarantula Train depot)
You can always visit for more information or just call or email.


VACATION - My wife and I are renting an RV near Newark NJ airport on 12 June and circling the state on no tightly fixed schedule for what is really the first vacation we have taken together (excluding trips to family.) It will end on 19 June after the 75th Anniversary celebration for alums and staff at the Seeing Eye back not far from Newark. Saturday to Saturday
In between we are doing some things for her - like the seashore she has never visited - and some for me - like Wheaton Village - and some for both - like history sites, nature, and recreations/restorations.
Not going over the other side of NY City (i.e. UrbanGlass), but will visit Philly and maybe some places in eastern Penn. I am having a little trouble scaling this trip as the whole state (once I look up the mileages) seems to fit between here and San Anton' but there is lots to see as shown in various books.
So .... Wheaton Village gets most of a day. Hot Soup maybe.
Other studios?   Good museums or galleries?   Good restorations/recreation sites?
Some good eating places, especially along the seashore or in Philly?  Some place you would tell a person not to miss?

2004-04-22 I have received a very nice CD-ROM with information on the just finished "Vibrant Vessels and Neon" show at Coastal Bend College, which contains images of all the works and artists bios, as well as opening comments by school officials.  The photographs seem very nicely done. I am impressed, although it would have been nice to have the HTML pages with large images and author data linked to each other instead of having to click on the thumbnails for every image.

Two stained glass whirlies mounted on the backyard post2004-04-18 Remounted and patched the swing disk.  The image shows the post in the backyard with the previous triangular piece on the front and the swing disk on the back.  On the short other end is a cast iron ball.  After installation, I discovered I had not fastened the arm though the bearing, so it was shifting and riding on the axle bolt.  Just barely visible in the corner are the thin ropes tying off the beam while the silicon adhesive sets.  The disk is just glued in. [After watching it, now feel glass is too small, may try bigger and rebalance. [-05-01]]

2004-04-15 Bowman Hot Glass will have open studio Saturday, April 24th, 2 to 10 pm.
Snow Farm in western Massachusetts includes various levels of furnace glassblowing (plus many other crafts) in their spring and summer intensives which last a weekend or a week.
Wheaton Village in southern New Jersey has converted its paperweight weekend to Small Glass Works, on May 13-15 this year.  A set of lectures and discussions by people like Josh Simpson and Jim Donofrio, and chances to make paperweights, Flameworking and Sandcasting.

2004-04-07 Dear "Sender Unspecified", I am glad you like my site and would be happy to list your studio in the DC area for classes, but since you didn't tell me a cotton pickin' thing about your place and did not give a reply address or website, it will be really tough to do so.  Lets see if you read this. [Posted to internet also, a suggestion received claimed they were not the source.]

2004-04-04  I was embarrassed to discover that I did not have an entry for Blenko in my sources file or dalle de verre (slab glass) in my glossaries, so now I do.  Besides, it gives me a change to have an entry for 04/04/04 for the date.

2004-03-29 Posted to "Coming up quick is the 24th consecutive Michigan Glass Month! Many exhibitions and live demos this Friday through Sunday,  with other events throughout the month.
 The full schedule can be found at:
 This Saturday is Habatat's 32nd International Invitational  reception, Apr 3rd   7:30pm!  It appears that the Habatat will be  charging a $10 donation this year, with proceeds going toward  your personal choice of "Best Artist in Show".
 Also posted are photos from previous years - take a look to get an idea of the scope and variety of Michigan Glass Month." .

NOTICES - Coastal Bend College [Beeville Texas, 361-354-2322, Free:1-866-722-2838x2322 ] sends two announcements.  Today is the beginning of Contemporary Glass in Texas, "Vibrant Vessels & Neon" 38 Lone Star State Artists, March 24-April 23, with the opening reception tomorrow 11am-noon, 3-25, Simon Michael Art Gallery. They will repeat their early summer workshops, Beginning Glassblowing for $250, May 24-28 or May 31-June 4, and a 2 day fusing class, June 15-16.
 - Fire Island is sharing in the East 4th St. Open House, March 27, 10-4pm for their glass and Circle-in-a-Square Pottery, along with 12-6pm White Mountain Foods and Live Oak Brewing Company - sale demos and tastings all round.  2002-03-24

BOOK REVIEW -  I have been sent a book on burners [Gas Burners for Forges, Furnaces, & Kilns, ...] to review.  My overall reaction was positive at first, but I am rather more neutral on further reading ...

2004-03-02  I did a further run on the wind tunnel after enclosing the space with Plexiglas.  Measuring the wind speed was problematic because I have not calibrated the thing and because it was right behind the object.  I am going to get another speedo and put it on my bike so I can calibrate the anemometer version.  I may also build a more sensitive version of the anemometer with brass cups instead of plex.
  I have been thinking over the last day or so that it might interesting to make small whirlies with a mix of hammered brass and glass, using brass wire structure with bits of glass and brass soldered or glued in.  This thinking came from looking at the brass repoussé rooster I have done.
  I have also been thinking how the repoussé, being thin and durable, might be a way of making a mold and its reverse, either for casting aluminum against as I first thought or for making either wax for lost wax or investment positives or negatives.

WIND TUNNEL - Did my first rough run with the new wind tunnel balance, very rough.  The basic results came out correctly and it seems possible to make some reasonable measurements, but so far the calculations (guessing at wind speed) are only bulk answers. 2004-02-19

REBUILD - Well, I spent a number of hours doing a rebuild on the website.  Waymark, which owns, had the server for the users... sites crash and when they brought it up, they moved it from a Microsoft based server to a Unix based server and that means that all the file names in links and image reference suddenly became case sensitive.  Further, Microsoft by default capitalizes the first letter of the file name and I had accepted that in building links.  But CuteFTP has an option to make all file names lowercase as it uploads them, so I had taken advantage of that - so most (but not all) of my files up there were lowercase. 
   So I wrote a couple of QBASIC programs that scanned all my valid files and changed all the external links and image references (but not the internal bookmarks) to lower case. Once I changed the links, I also wrote a quick batch file to rename all the uppercase files to lower case (now that is interesting - Microsoft is not case sensitive, but it does allow naming a file with specific upper and lower case letters.)  2004-02-11

ILLUMINATA GALLERY, 700 Town & Country Blvd., Suite 2460, Houston, TX 77024, presents CLAIRE KELLY & ANTHONY SCHAFERMEYER, ARTISTS' SHOW AND RECEPTION, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2004, 6:00 P.M. UNTIL 9:00 P.M.  Illuminata Gallery will host New Orleans artists Claire Kelly and Anthony Schafermeyer for an artist show and reception.
Claire and Anthony's glass art is influenced by ancient glass and architectural mosaics, which results in a design that uses the vocabulary of pattern and color to complement the form.
GLASSBLOWING DEMONSTRATIONS at HOUSTON STUDIO GLASS 610 Jackson Hill, Houston, TX SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2004 11:00 A.M. UNTIL 4:00 P.M.  Houston Studio Glass artists Dick Moiel and Kathy Poeppel have graciously offered their studio for glass blowing demonstrations by Claire and Anthony.
Please RSVP to Illuminata Gallery. CLOSED BY 2008 713-467-4494

F.Y.I. Reminder  Claire Kelly & Anthony Shafermeyer did demos on the canal barges of Amsterdam at the Glass Art Society Conference in 2003. This June, they will do demos in New Orleans during the G.A.S. 34th Annual Conference. They are Artists-in-Residence this Spring at Penland and will be teaching at Pilchuck and the Pittsburgh Glass Center. They currently have a show in Louisville. This will be a unique opportunity to see their new work.

CHRYSLER MUSEUM & TOUR Murano: Glass from the Olnick Spanu Collection  October 3, 2003 through April 25, 2004  This exhibition will tour North America with venues following the Chrysler Museum at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington; The Detroit Institute of Arts; and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville.

2004-01-24  I find that I am getting much done and sleeping better by getting up on my feet and out into the workshop in the latter part of the evening.  I have been cutting and soldering brass for several purposes including the wind tunnel and a set of standard wind chimes.  I am getting better at the soldering and shaping brass.  In that time frame, no glass of course.

2004-01-20 Work progresses on the wind tunnel, notes out there.

2004-01-18 As I do, I checked out some books on glass from the library to see what I could learn.  Glass magazine also arrived.  And I was watching some sports.  In the latter, a series of artistic cups, metal in this case, dripping water from cup to cup, made an image that would have been more interesting in glass.  Glass magazine shows the glass wall installed in the Steuben showroom in NYC in the 50's, with lighting from above and water below, now on display in a museum, while also showing a desk with a support of dalles in a metal frame that can be shaped to support the glass top. It made me think that I would like to rig some tension wires on the front porch and suspend some glass in the openings.  

PITTSBURGH GLASS CENTER [5472 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15206, Tel: 412-365-2145 Toll Free: 1-866-742-4527 Fax: 412-365-2140] has apparently decided to jump into the summer weeklong glass class market with both feet, announcing a full May thru July schedule of classes in the hot shop and flame shop for most weeks with casting and cold shop added to some weeks.  Instructors in the hot shop include Paul Cunningham, Tom Farbanish, Fritz Dreisbach, Anthony Schafermeyer and Clair Kelly and Greg Nangle.  One week sessions are $500, the only two week $1000.  Lunches are available at $40 a week and housing (double) at $400 a week.  Classes run M-F 9-5 with open studios 6-9 M-Th.  More information, including a pdf file of the whole catalog can be found at  [2004-01-16]

GRAPEVINE TX - In a note actually sent before Christmas, Grapevine Art Glass, Betty Hansen, announces that Grapevine Art Glass Studio will open in February with Mark Alexander, Kevin McGehee and Clifton Crawford.  All are products of the program with David Keens at the University of Texas Arlington and have been selling in the gallery for almost 2 years.  Vetro! which has been occupying the space originally set up for Betty's former husband, will be moving. 

Production (mostly) for 2004-01-01 session. 2004-01-03 Except for a bowl the size of the one on the upper left, this is my surviving production for my session of 2004-01-01. I lost 3 bowls and a small weight.  Most of these have some dark blue color and show the effort of juggling the piece and the color bit.  The bowl to the upper right is very bubbly, not a bad effect, with color lines from the mix of cullet melted.  The small ball is a small paperweight with color bands inside, not clear enough to be effective.  The miniature fish looks better than it should considering it cracked off the PIPE while being worked on.  It came off while I was adding the fin on the other side.  None visible had been worked, just applied.  In doing sculptural bit work, I have learned that getting them all on, and keeping them roughly in shape is the first process, then shaping the details while maintaining the earlier details is a separate process.  The door handle down front was an exercise in making a smooth handle with color inside (I made a clear/color side by side bit and pulled and twisted it - the casing glass is too poor to see it clearly; it also didn't work very well.  The knob is still mounted on the punty end, taken off in full and put in the annealer.  The first knob I made is still in use on our bedroom door.

Thick walled welding cup.The thick walled steel bowl at right was bought at King Architectural Metals, a national firm with its main warehouse here in Dallas and others in Baltimore and Los Angeles.  King has virtually anything in steel (except 5/8" I found today) that has anything to do with making decorative stuff - leaves, balls, balusters, gate hardware. While the web site shows some images, it doesn't begin to show product - request a catalog if at all interested.    I bought it (4" $4.12), a heavy cast iron ball (3" $6.49) and a 5.5" OD steel ring (0.5" sq.steel tubing, $0.70) to work with.  The bowl is actually a schedule 40 (1/4" thick walled) cap for welding on the end of pipe, as for sealing it off for a pressure test or just blocking.  It is much heavier than the light cups I bought and made into scoops. toolmakg.htm#LADLE1 toolmakg.htm#LADLEBALL  I will probably put a handle on it to try it out.

I discovered, by looking at a display of knobs in our store, that handy dandy mold impressions can be made with old butter molds.  They would have to be carefully selected to stand the heat. If the handles in our store are pot metal (mostly zinc) they are likely to melt.  True butter molds might be aluminum, brass, or cast iron, all of which should work. ... Ironically, now that I go to the internet to check, most old butter molds were wood, followed by glass.  The metal handles may be the best choice! here is one that says it is Brass/Pewter, the former being glass heat resistant, the latter not. Humm.

White clay boats in bottom of glory hole.2004-01-02 Got in a glassblowing session as the temp went up to nearly 70 here in Dallas on New Years Day.  Not a great session for production as I let several bowls get too cold on the punty, cracking them going back into the glory hole the first time.   Used the garage a bunch - it holds about 1100F with no controller.   Made two long boats of white potters clay for the bottom of the gloryhole and melted select clear and dark, dark blue in each to make weights and a door handle.