TLG’s got the Blues

Not the sad blues! I charged the furnace with every piece of glass I could find that didn’t work out or scraps from the pipes of any colour including white, black, green, pink… any colour I have ever worked with in the hot shop I saved in buckets just for this week.

To charge the furnace you have to heat the glass up to 530 degrees to keep it from blowing up in the furnace and damaging the elements. This is all the recycled glass from the buckets – its an all day event.

I ended up with 8 big buckets of glass that really should have gone into the garbage but to glass blowers – glass is precious.  It is expensive and is coveted.  As a result all the glass in the furnace is now blue.  A beautiful transparent blue that makes for great castings.

If given the choice I would rather sand cast over blowing any day.  Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind making balls and jelly fish but the casting – there is no comparison really.
Barnacles and an oyster shell from the first day of casting – beautiful blue right?!

Because the castings are so thick it takes longer to come down in temperature – the wait is approximately 2 days.  But oh so worth it!
Photo credits and video credits go to by brother Dakota… my family, my assistant, my rock.

Gratitude and Perseverance

As time went by without touching glass I was starting to think that maybe I was spending too much time looking in the rear view mirror and maybe just maybe hot glass was something I use to do.  Maybe I should embrace the career woman, become a responsible adult, and do adult things.  (Lets be clear I am still not sure what adults do…).
But alas my father and baby brother surprised me this past June with installing my hotshop that had been stored in a shed out of the weather.  These two guys installed walls in the shop that now home ‘Emma’ the furnace, hung up all of the tin for safety measures around the glory hole, and hung up a paper sign on the door that said “TideLine”.
I was so excited by seeing my own little studio set up just the way I had envisioned it the first time I stood in the shop that I booked my holidays from work the next day.  I am going to blow glass.  Not even considering the rest of the work that needed to be done, including replacing an element in Emma, or removing the 100 lbs plus of rotten ugly glass from her.  I am going to blow glass.
After replacing the element we fired Emma up on September 8, 2015 for the first time in her new home.  She ramped up to 2130 degrees F in four days, on the fourth day we were just going to ladle out the glass and turn it off… but after two and a half years I wasn’t just going to ladle out molten glass without having a little fun! Lets be real here.
That morning I sat in the Canadian Tire parking lot at 7:48am and waiting for them to open because I was in need of some Map gas.  There I drank my coffee and was re reading my notes that I had taken in school, and back when I was blowing full time to refresh my memory.  I was so excited I couldn’t sleep all week, yet I was scared that I may have forgotten.  What if the heat was more intense than I remembered it to be?

It became a family event, my parents and baby brother were present and participated in the mixing of the sand, and we casted for the better part of the day.  And what a great day it was.  It was hot! It was stinky! And it was home!