Contains 50kg of clear molten glass. We fill it up with fresh glass ‘batch’ most nights. To cook the glass overnight the temperature is increased from a working temperature of 1060 degrees to 1220 degrees. We keep the furnace on 24/7 apart from when we need to replace the pot or suffer a powercut.
Is for heating up the blowing irons, bit irons and pontils. They must be ‘cherry red’ before they can be used to gather glass from the furnace.
Is a chamber used to reheat the glass. As soon as molten glass is gathered from the furnace it starts to cool down, so reheating in the gloryhole allows the glassmaker more time to work the glass. It is fuelled by a combination of gass and air from the furnace.
Is an oven used to slowly cool down the glass that we produce. During the day it is held at 510 degrees. When the last piece of the day has gone in, we set the temperature controller to slowly cool down in the lehr overnight. The following morning the items in the lehr are still warm to the touch but cool enough to remove. if we don’t anneal the glass in this way it would shatter.
Knocking off area
This is where finished items are detached from the iron before going into the lehr. On most pieces we melt in the pontil scar with the on-propane torch, this softens the sharp edges and removes the stress at that point.
We incorporate colour in just about everything we make. It comes from a supplier in Germany in ‘rod’, ‘chips’ and powder form. There are over 200 different colours, chemicals and oxides, such as; gold, copper and cobalt are used in the making of coloured glass.
When seated the glassmaker rolls the iron back and forth along the arms of the chair – keeping the glass ‘on centre’ whilst using a variety of tools to manipulate and shape the glass on the end. The tools used to produce hand blown glass have hardly changed since Roman times!