Thursday, March 8, 2007

Belmont Arts Center Glass Shop Pictures

Ok so, this is our pipe cooler. This is basically a 30 gallon drum with water in it. It has a fish tank pump that pulls water into the angle iron you see. When you put the pipe in the angle iron the stream flows onto the pipe and collects in the angle iron cooling the pipe. Always cool from the back to the front otherwise you will push the heat from the hot part of the pipe to the cool part...where your hands are....
This is our pipe warmer and cane tray. If we pre-heat the pipes a bit it really speeds up the application of punts, bits, and starting new pieces. Just be sure to get all the soot that builds up off the pipes before you gather or you will get all kinds of bubbles. You can't put a cold pipe in hot glass or #1 the glass will not stick to the pipe, and if it does it will be full of cracks and bubbles. #2 It also shortens the working life of the pipes.

Sorry for the sideways pictures here. I am getting a giggle just think of all of you truning your heads to the side to look at this. You are looking at the fabbled Electric Gloryhole. Some would say this is an evil bastardization, I say it is all we have. Ok that is a lie, we have propane glory as well but we never have any propane so we use what we have. This is where we reheat the pieces that are on the pipe so that they become soft enough to shape. Each piece goes in and out of this thing any number of times each time getting a little closer to the shape we want as it cools and hardens up. We have about between 8 and 30 seconds of shaping time each reheat. This glory holds a temp of about 2300f...and yes it is hot anywhere near it.

This is a picture of our electroglass furnace with the door cracked so you can see the heat. It is about 2150f in there. It has a big old pot that holds 140 pounds of molton clear glass. Everything we do starts clear...after that it is only limited to what your skills can handle and your brain can come up with.

This is a picture of my tools. The shop has tools, but I figured I would build my own shop one day and I wanted my own set. I have everything but a puffer. Looking at them they need a good cleaning. As you can tell they are old school tools, in fact they really have not changed for over the years...just better steal. Would you believe that most of my shaping is done with the wad of is a very old school art form..very hands on I think that is why I like it so much.

This is about the middle part of a piece that I was working on last night. It is Iris Brown with Silver Luster Blue. This is design is called a rake, I call it feathering when I go both up and down. This design has been around for as long as glassblowing has. It is easy to do it poorly, and hard to do it right. I did a ok job with this one...but I raked it a bit deep and caused the center to pull some clear. It is going to be a pretty cool light pendant for sure and I really hope it lives. This is the thrid try for the night if you look close you can see the broken bits of the previous 2 tries on the floor. Yea, floor models happen...I was 2 for 3 on hitting the ground last night trying to make this.

Ok that is it for today. I will try to get some pictures of the above when it comes out of the annealers. Before I drop it off at Urban Objects (that is who ordered the pendant but left how to do it up to me)...Hope they order more it was fun to make.



Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bella Forte Glass Studio said...

I like the pictures and the explanations. I will need to get me a pipe cooler some day.

Chris M.

caramaena said...

You do beautiful work! I especially love the kobalt blue and iris purple one from a few posts back.

Thanks for visiting my blog :)

Gnat of Glass said...


They are so easy to make it is not even funny. I saw one a couple years back that was even simpler.

It was a 2 metal hooks on a 2 2x4 in 5 gallon bucks with cement to make them stable. A 3rd hook for the garden hose...alas it was outside shop..


Thank so can pretty much bank on purples and blues. Everyone really likes them for a reason...they are just stunning in glass.