My Glass Studio was a 2-car garage that now has windows, doors, kilns, saws, workstations and a venting system. I work with glass in many ways and therefore have many types of glass and many cool tools! Each type of glass must be kept separate from all others, as they are NOT compatible. Stained glass is the only exception, as I can use any glass for that. So, I have several workstations and they are exclusive to the glass that is used there.
Here is where it all starts. The sheet glass, rods, frits, confetti and other self-created embellishments are kept handy.
This is a cutting station, where I hand cut glass in preparation for fusing it.
After cutting, I grind the piece to remove sharp edges and to create a better fit if necessary.
I use the glass saw for pieces that require tight curves such as seahorse tails.
After cleaning and stacking the glass it is placed in the kiln on special fiber paper and fired.
These are molds that I use for the slumping process. After the piece is fired, it is cleaned and placed on a mold in the kiln and fired again, allowing it to relax or slump into the mold.
These are rods of glass that I use for lampworking, the process of making glass beads at a torch. I can use the fusing rods for lampworking as well, but only if I keep them completely separated from these rods.
This is the torch where the beads are made. I use a propane tank and an oxygen concentrator, a device that actually pumps oxygen into the tube to mix with the propane. This means that I don't have to buy huge metal tanks filled with oxygen and chain them to my walls.
This little red metal case that looks like a tool-box is actually my bead annealing kiln. When the bead is finished in the torch, it is placed in the kiln and held at a high temperature until I finish all my beads for the session, then it ramps up to a higher temperature and cools down very slowly, making the glass as strong as it can be. Beads that are not annealed in this way are much more likely to break over time.
These are the Mandrels, metal rods that are necessary for making the beads. They are dipped in a clay-type solution and the molten glass is wrapped around the rod, forming the bead. The rod creates the hole, which is cleaned out after the bead comes out of the kiln and is cool.
Here are the powdered enamels and tools that I use to create my copper enamel pieces. The sheet copper is cut to size, cleaned thoroughly, and then the enamels are sprinkled over the surface using sifters and other powder-control devices.
The piece is placed on a kiln trivet and goes into the kiln for less than 2 minutes, during which time it is watched carefully to keep the enamel from burning out. It is removed, cooled, and the process is repeated multiple times until the piece is complete. Both sides of the copper receive enamel, and there are numerous firings before the piece is finished.