Sunday, October 12, 2008

Making a Rivergate at the bench lately

Pictures here are courtesy of Joe Spillman of Novato, California. Micheal Nourot is making a "Rivergate" piece in these shots. His assistants are Nicholas Nourot (white shirt) and Reeven Rosen (blue shirt). The furnaces are up and running at this time, so come on down to the shop to see some exciting glass making.

The use of the large rosebud tipped torch is a common site when making large scale works. There used to not be much you could do really over 20 inches without it. The emergence of the new American glass masters in Seattle with their fondness for huge wonky works has brought this technology down the coast to us. The largest "glory hole" at the Nourot Studio is about 26 inches in diameter but the back side of the piece on the finishing rod is actually blocked from the heat by the girth of the piece. The torch adds the necessary heat on the side nearest to the glass maker to keep the whole thing right. There are other uses of the torch, too, depending on the process necessary to create a certain piece or with certain additions of hot glass to the original form that take time out of the 'Hole" and so the piece needs to be reheated in a piecemeal way; each part getting the added heat it requires.
Notice the bench and the 'glory hole" have both been lowered to make the working of these heavy large works more ergonomic. Every little innovation that we adopt is for a reason. Here you see the marvering table has had it's legs shorn shorter also.
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