At the end of July I got the opportunity to travel to the Czech Republic to take a class with Frantisek Janak at the new built Glass Art Center in Sazava. On our first weekend off, Frantisek took us to an incredible glass festival in Destne in the Orlicke Mountains. Every summer for the past 24 years, the Museum of Winter Sports and Tourism in Destne (directed today by Mr. Bohumír Dragoun) has held a festival to celebrate and remember the medieval style of glassblowing that was very common in this area of the country. It involves a wood-fired hotshop with medieval style glass and two full days of glassblowers making medieval style cups, goblets, and anything else they can think of from this time period.
Throughout our first day at the festival we had a great time watching amazing glassblowers, visiting the booths of local glass artists, and drinking really good Czech beer. Nearing the end of the day I briefly mentioned to the people at my picnic table that I would love to simply take a gather out of the furnace just to see what it was like. The moment Frantisek heard this he ran up to the hotshop talked to a few people and soon enough I was being herded into the shop, handed a pint of beer and told that in 10 minutes it would be my turn to make something for the crowd of people watching! I was also told that I would be the very first woman to ever blow glass in this hotshop!! Talk about pressure! All I wanted to do was take a gather out of the furnace! A few minutes later I was taking my first gather out of a furnace that was being run by the equivalent of a forest. I’ve gathered out of a lot of furnaces, but I wasn’t ready for how hot this one felt. A part of me wondered if the flames in the furnace would burn up my arm hairs. The glass was also a very new experience. It felt like I was blowing glass with a mixture of beer bottle glass and bubble gum. Reheating seemed to take forever, but it was pretty awesome to simply engulf your piece in flames every time you had to reheat it. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience!Read the rest of this entry »
glassybaby, a local Seattle glass company, has commissioned a new energy efficient glory hole. Local equipment builder Jordan Kube has shared this video shows the prototype. glassybaby will be receiving a custom size to suit their needs.
Just about all the materials have been ordered. There are a few local pick up items left. A fuel/air mixer is on order. Construction can begin much sooner than that, hopefully next week. Jordan would like to have this equipment tested and in place by the end of August.
We had a great turn out for the GREEN FORUM presentation at GAS in Chicago! Thanks everyone who contributed from near & far.
Julie Conway & Chris Clarke presented a discussion on a variety of topics to save energy and money.
Green experts in attendance included Eddie Bernard from Wet Dog Glass, Charlie Correll from Correll Glass Studio, Garrett Wheeler from Green VI. Shop techs and operations managers present included, Ben Sharp from Pilchuck Glass School, Chuck Lopez from Pratt Fine Arts, Slate Grove from Urban Glass, Brian Engel from Pittsburgh Glass Center, , Hakan Kanca from the Glass Furnace in Istanbul, and Harry Seaman from Corning; among others. Big Thanks to all for sharing and furthering the discussion of the future of glassmaking.
Building and running my first woodfired glass-furnace was out of curiosity.
Knowing that thousands of years glassmakers had been making the most beautiful glass(art)work even without the use of electricity it was hard to understand how they were running a studio in the ‘old days’.
My first exempt was a firebrick “Roman”style furnace, build during a glass event some years ago in the small town of Lier in Belgium.
Build it in about two days time with a little knowledge of old designs and after a workshops in The Netherlands with guys building masonry heaters. Masonry heaters were as close as I could get to a combination of glass-furnace building and wood firing.
After finishing building we started firing this first furnace to dry it. It took us about 30 hours of firing to get the temperature up till 1170 ºC. The 4 small pots of glass holding about 25 kg of glass were great to play with and open to anyone that wanted a try. We ran the furnace for about a week and did constant firing (24 hours a day) in shifts. Great fun that was, all those nights at the hot furnace, but lovely to get back to a normal rhythm of sleeping after the final party. Conclusion: ‘Its great to do but there is so much more to learn’ !
In the number of furnaces that followed I changed the interior design from “strictly’ Roman to Rocketstove based, till Rocketstove based with secondary air injection. The differences are enormous, but all of them run/ran totally without electricity.
The Jackson County Green Energy Park (JCGEP) utilizes clean, renewable energy resources to encourage economic development, provide environmental protection, and offer educational opportunities that together will help lead towards a more sustainable future for Western North Carolina. Located in Dillsboro, NC, JCGEP captures methane gas from the old town landfill, then uses the gas as fuel for a series of artisan studios, greenhouses and other ventures.
Seattle visiting artists Robert Burch and Taylor Ames enjoying low-cost fuel usage from methane trapped in the landfill needing to be burned off anyway– might as well make glass with that fuel!!
Looking forward to GAS conference in Chicago- March 2014!
The Ignite Studios, the host for demonstrations, is recognized for Sustainable Building Practices…
Rejuvenate existing urban industrial neighborhood
Re-purpose existing building through selective demolition
Minimize new structure by providing simple new industrial shed structure for event space
Recycle demolition rubble to create a new elevated sculpture garden
Plan adjacencies to promote the utilization of radiant heat from Ignite’s hot shop to help heat the event space
Orient event space garden glass wall to reduce solar heat gain
Install new glass garden wall, with a series of operable doors for natural ventilation of hot shop and event space
Reduce urban heat-island effect by replacing asphalt parking lot with a new garden
Provide infrastructure for future solar panel system
A recuperated glory hole side by side test was done in Seattle in June, 2013 by Jordan Kube and Hugh Jenkins using one of Hugh’s high temperature recuperators. Gas savings were found to be 30- 40% over the typical premix burner system, proving an excellent return on investment. Please stay tuned to BioGlass for the the full write up! See pictures below!
The SUNY College of Ceramics at Alfred initiated this project to address safety and energy conservation issues in the glass blowing area of Binns Merrill Hall. Heat recovery and the safety of occupants were at the core of the project. As the design progressed, additional deficiencies needed to be addressed.
Given the immense heat produced by the furnaces, thermal comfort was a challenge. The most innovative application of this project was the use of displacement ventilation typically used in industrial settings. A combination of diffusers installed in two locations provide a “cool” work zone around the artist, which improves ventilation efficiencies by distributing a greater concentration of fresh air within the occupied zone.
Custom designed stainless steel exhaust canopies located above each furnace vent keep flue gasses from entering the room and capture the maximum amount of heat. Industrial ventilation techniques and calculations were utilized to design each canopy and provide proper air flow to match the furnace being exhausted. Each canopy is movable through the use of high temperature flexible exhaust hoses typically utilized in the transit industry. The 1,200° F exhaust temperatures made material selection a key component to the design, efficiency and useful life of the HVAC system.
The primary HVAC system is comprised of two large industrial style exhaust fans located on the roof, auxiliary exhaust fan, heat recovery coil section, and make-up air unit. The hot exhaust air from the furnaces is used to temper the incoming outside air through the use of the hot recovery section and a variable speed “run around” style hydronic heat recovery loop. The design of the heat recovery is so efficient that the system is completely self-sustaining with an outdoor temperature as low as 10° F.
Safety of the occupants was critical. Safety interlocks and alarms include automatic furnace shut down in the event of exhaust system failure; gas detection system to notify occupants of an unsafe work environment and automatic activation of HVAC system to purge the space; heat detectors at the ceiling to alarm the owner of high temperatures prior to sprinkler system activation; and custom designed control panel with indicator lights identifying occupants of HVAC equipment status.
Sound transmission was a major concern. Prior to the upgrades the instructor would shut off the ventilation system to teach the class due to excessive noise, which presented a safety hazard. The design included various noise reducing techniques and exceeded the client’s expectations, improving the environment and elevating the ability of the instructor to teach.
Explorations in eco- efficient glass studio practices
Could making glass art cost you less?
(how to best use energy, time, money, materials?)
Join us at PRATT Fine Arts Center to learn tips for use of renewable energy, recuperation benefits, alternative fuels, and optimal energy efficiency in a glass hot shop.
-Chuck Lopez Pratt Shop tech that modified our local community hot shop to operate more efficiently. In Decemeber 2009 Pratt made some major eqipment changes in the Hot Shop that resulted in signaticant energy savings up to $1500 per month. As well as efficiently serving a greater part of the glass community with its open rental studios.
-Meet Recuperation Guru Hugh Jenkins, renowned Hawaiian glass art educator, artist and expert in glass studio efficiency. Here in Seattle building recuperation systems discussing the benefits of recuperation and innovative alternative fuel sources.
-Julie Conway, founder of BioGlass.org a discussion of how world-wide glass heritage and culture are threatened, and what innovative steps are being taken by creative individuals such as Christian Thornton in Mexico, the Durk Valkema in Nederlands, Recycled glass programs in Kenya and British Virgin Islands and more.
Saturday June 8, 2013 4:00-6:00 pm
Pratt Fine Arts Center
1902 Main Street
Seattle, WA 98144
For more information, please contact Chuck Lopez: firstname.lastname@example.org 206.328.2200 Julie Conway: email@example.com
Explorations in efficient glass studio operation
Could blowing glass cost you less?
Join Hugh Jenkins and Mary White at the Crucible in Oakland, CA for an evening Potluck and discussion of recuperation techniques and the use of solar panels that offset the costs of operations at the Crucible Fire Arts Center.
Learn tips for use of renewable energy, alternative fuels (reclaimed cooking oil) and energy efficiency in a glass hot shop.
Meet Hugh Jenkins, renowned Hawaiian glass art educator, artist and expert in glass studio efficiency.
Friday May 31, 2013
7:30-8:30 Hugh Jenkins presentation
8:30-9:00 Q&A Discussion
1260 7th Street
Oakland, CA 94607
For more information, please contact Mary 510 847-4916 or firstname.lastname@example.org