When the furnace is down and all plans change…

… this is where if you were new to glassmaking you would learn about the fact that once in a while each ceramic melting pot, sitting inside the furnace, will develop a crack, due to erosion and unforeseeable factors.. Once the crack deepens it either causes molten glass to leak or an effect takes place that is best described as ‘cords’ developing in the glass, which float on top of the molten glass and can appear in the blown glass pieces as raised cord like areas.. This is rendering the molten glass a lower quality and hence creating an unworkable situation.

This is when it is time to face the challenge and begin a 10 day process of cooling the furnace and molten glass slowly (several days), changing the ceramic crucible (ceramic pot that holds the molten glass) and bringing the furnace and a new batch of glass back up to temperature. The entire process takes somewhere around 10 days.

Of course this can throw a real spanner in the works when multiple glassmakers all booked time to create glassworks, when students lined the doors to take classes… We got lucky and Jason is able to continue teaching his glassblowing classes at Glass Hand Studio, a Glass studio on the lovely island (which originally was a peninsula) Alameda, just down the road from Oakland. Jason had met the owner Prax recently at a Jeff Mack, goblet making workshop that Jason assisted at. We are really happy that Prax can host Jason’s classes!

Jason just received a whole batch of bookings for glassblowing classes through #Verlocal and we are pretty excited about meeting these new students who will be coming for individual short sessions. The first few classes will be at Glass Hand Studio in Alameda before we relocate back to Glow Glass, where Jason usually works with fellow glassmakers, creates his own glass and teaches…

#BayAreaGlass

flashback: A day in the studio in August

spending the day developing project ideas and making more of the blown glass table set items.. drinking glasses, bowls and functional vessels will be ready soon!

The process benefits tremendously from teamwork. Good communication, a sense of humour a steady hand and years of skill are all requires from both the gaffer (Jason) and his assistant; today Evan Kolker who is an incredible glassmaker, on other days Jason assist him in the making of his intricate and highly technical skill requiring glass art objects! It is a real stroke of luck that Jason found this glassmakers community. Where many colleagues also have very high skills levels. There is also Alex Abajian, the studio owner and another outstanding glassmaker. A series of glassmakers rent the studio and there are a lot of fantastic projects happening here. You wouldn’t know what you are missing until you see what these people make out of molten glass..

these are the tools of the day…

#teamwork #jasonstropko #glassblowing #glowglassstudio #glass

working with Glass Artist Jess Wainer at Glow Glass Studio…

Yesterday Jason assisted Jess Wainer creating her beautiful luminescent large glass lampshades for a client commission. In the light these shades virtually glow and diffract colour into these gorgeous washes of green, yellow, red.. When not hit by direct sunlight the shades are a warm golden honey yellow with a whitish fog over towards the rim.

The picture shows Jess’s work straight from out of the annealer after their overnight controlled cooling process; before the items are cold worked and finished, hopefully we can show her final pieces, too.

Each lampshade will sell for $1000, 3 were ordered.

Lampshade designed by Jess Wainer, created with assistance from J.Stropko

Jason adds a very special new product to his collection of handblown glass! #3

pattuto drinking glass
Battuto drinking glass, made by Jason Stropko

A very special drinking glass, a style of which not many exist anywhere (because it requires time consuming multiple work steps to great and there is no other way of creating it..)

The process is called battuto. The glass is first blown into a mould to create ripple lines, blown a little thicker than usual. Then annealed overnight. Then the glass is ground with special glass grinding wheels, a process that in total take around 2 hours in the hands on making + the annealing time. THEN the glass is hot torched to soften the ground glass edges and sandy appearance. Then the glass is once more annealed and finally examined to check if the desired affect was achieved.

The total time worked and equipment used accounts for the uniqueness and price of this luxury, special occasion item! We are thinking about developing a full table set of these battuto glasses to offer at gallery price to the right person.