Bob Meyer

Bob is currently the only glassblower working out of our studio. He started lessons in 2003, and started the business in 2005. He's the one that makes the Shades, the Floats, the Memorial Orbs, etc.


Furnace

The furnace is one of the most essential pieces of equipment. This entire style of glassblowing relies on the availability of molten glass, and there really are no other practical ways to provide it.

The furnace is maintained, day and night, in a range of 2,000 to 2,200 degrees F., depending on how thick you want the glass. Furnaces use either electricity or gas to create the heat. The molten glass is contained in a ceramic crucible in the furnace.

(photo shows inside of furnace as it's just heating up following a re-build)

Glory Hole

The sole function of the Glory Hole is to keep the glass hot once it's removed from the furnace. Some larger glassblowing factories use the heat of the furnace for the same purpose, but having an independent heat source is more practical for a small shop.

The Glory Hole is almost always gas-fueled (natural gas or propane), and is usually maintained at 2300-2400 degrees F. during glassblowing sessions.

Annealer

The annealer is essentially a standard electric kiln that's used solely to cool the finished blown glass pieces slowly enough to stabilize the glass and prevent it from cracking. The one extra feature it has from most ceramic kilns is a computerized controller that precisely maintains the desired temperature throughout the cooling process.

The temperature is usually set in the range of 900-950 degrees F. to receive the blown pieces as they're made. At the end of the day, a precise cooling schedule is initiated, usually resulting in the glass being close to room temperature by the next day.

Hand Tools

Obviously, a glassblower is not going to want actual physical contact with the molten glass at any point - that's where hand tools come in. The most visible tools will be the blowpipes and punties, which are used to retrieve the glass from the furnace, and be able to serve as a handle for the piece while it's being worked.

But there are a number of manipulations required to create a blown glass item, so jacks, shears, soffiettas and other tools to accomplish it.

Then there are still tools that are not necessarily hand-held, but will be included in this group as necessary for the completion of a blown piece. These tools include optic molds, for instance.