It’s time to make some fall glass. Today at noon I started up the glass furnace. It’s a slow process: it takes 8 hours to heat from 100F to 900F at 100F/hour, then 16 hours to get to 1300F at 25F/hour, and then a further 6 hours to reach holding temp of 1900F.
Once it’s at 1900F, I’ll start charging with raw glass batch. The batch I use is Spruce Pine, or SP87 which is the classic batch for glassblowers. I should have a fresh pot of clear glass early next week. Then it’s time to make some nice things.
I shut down my glassblowing studio in May 2013 in order to attend a glass conference in Calgary. I usually shut down when I’m going to be away for a few days. In addition to this shutdown, I needed to rebuild the gathering port lid for the furnace.
I planned to rebuild the lid over the summer, but discovered the garage wall needed rebuilding due to a poorly installed hot tub by a previous owner. So instead of rebuilding the lid I rebuilt the side of the garage!
Later I started to rebuild the lid, but again there were setbacks. The original lid was built from 3in bricks, but I only had 2.5 in bricks. I tried many times to get 3in bricks, but they simply aren’t available.
In the end I redesigned the lid to use my 2.5 in bricks. I also had to modify the hinges for the different lid height, but that wasn’t too difficult. I also had to relocate the door shutoff switch, and I took the time to paint the furnace black.
Now the furnace was done, but my studio was full of leftover wood. Next came fall, and cold weather. I didn’t feel like blowing. Then came 2014 and spring, then summer then fall, then winter. To wet, too hot, too wet, too cold. I didn’t blow at all from May 2013, 2014, and most of 2015 – until this past month.
Finally in November I decided to fire up the studio again. Of course much cleaning was needed, but in the end the studio is again hot and running every Friday. It’s rather nice to be blowing again.