What is Inside a Lampworking Studio? – Eugene Rain

10 10 2007

What’s inside a lampworking studio?

When you’ve held a glass piece in your hand, for example a glass marble, have you ever wondered what tools were used to create such a beautiful thing? Every glass lampworking studio is different, so we’re going to tell you what you might find if you walked into ours.

When you first walk through our door you might be surprised to see how small our studio is. Were you picturing a large warehouse in your mind? Lots of people blowing glass? Kilns, torches, lathes spread out over the concrete floors?

Our current studio is built in our single car garage. Although it’s small, the two of us are able to produce quite large work. We have 3 generously sized work stations each equipped with a glassblowing torch, ventilation, glass, kilns, and various tools.

A little about the stations themselves – Everything is built with wood and then fireproofed with special hardibacker boards. The stations are well lit with both florescent and halogen lights. The height of the station is around 40 inches from the ground which allows us to stand while working. Each station also has a drafting style chair, to allow us to sit while working. We stand on restaurant mats to help ease long hours on our feet and backs. Fire extinguishers are on the walls and under each station on the floor. Wooden racks are used to hold prepped glass upright, metal buckets for glass scraps, and glass jars or metal bowls filled with water to chill the glass quickly and break the end of the rod off when needed. The entire station is under a ventilated hood, which is manned by two 1500 cfm fans to pull out any toxic fumes or fine dust particles. There are two kilns on site, one programmed for soft glass and one for boro, which uses a higher annealing temperature than soft glass.

We use Glass Torch Technologies torches, because they are the Lamborghini of glass torches on the market. They are able to produce a very hot, very focused, yet very gentle flame. This enables us to work the glass quickly without harming the glass. Because of the special technology used in manufacturing these torches, we are able to obtain some of the most wonderful colors out of the glass, whether using soft glass or hard glass in the flame. GTT torches are very versatile, last a lifetime, and hold their value better than any torch on the market. This allows glass artists to step up in size slowly without losing money invested.

You’ll find soft glass and borosilicate and some quartz in our shop, separated first into large drawers according to manufacturing company, and then into smaller groups by color. We also have lots of various things to use with or on the glass, such as pure silver and gold in coins and foil, silicon, Gilson opals, moldavite, tiger eye, dichroic, cubic zirconium, aventurine, and enamels.

Some of the various tools we use to manipulate and help us shape or handle the glass are: graphite marble molds, ring molds, graphite paddles and reamers, graphite pads and marvers, rollers and yokes, tweezers, pokers, claw and ball grabbers, steel punties and blow tubes, puffers, latex blow hoses, mandrels, bead presses, cup shears and diamond shears, jacks, tungsten rakes and picks, mashers, optic molds, flaring tools, and tons of different things to add texture to glass.

If you’d like to visit our studio one day to see for yourself, please email us from our website at http://www.EugeneRain.com. Maybe you’d like to learn yourself? Come on over for lessons!

M&M

Eugene Rain

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2 responses

10 10 2007
Connie

What a great article! Thank you so much for your articulation so that I might have a better understanding and appreiciation for your work.

14 10 2007
joolzbylisa

Thanks for the insight into how all my gorgeous marbles began their journey!

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