Brett began blowing glass in 2008, and opened Flanigan's Glass Gallery in Lincoln City, Oregon in April of 2012 - around the time he started blowing glass at our studio. His work is also displayed in the Cultural Center's gift shop, in Lincoln City.Brett enjoys experimenting with color combinations, patterns and sculpture. He makes floats, paperweights, marbles, scallop shells, vases, and bowls. Brett resides in Lincoln City, Oregon, and blows glass at Ocean Beaches Glassblowing in Seal Rock.
Patrick has an unusual passion for glassblowing, and it shows in his work. He is our primary source of glass pumpkins, for instance - and he has a wide variety of other extremely popular items.Patrick is also an occasional guest artist at Ocean Beaches Glassblowing, where he shows Bob some of his new techniques.Patrick lives in Tacoma, Washington. As of 2012, he owns and operates his own glassblowing studio - Area 253 Glassblowing - also in Tacoma.
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)
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.
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.
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.