Studio Stuff

***Updated January 3, 2004*** Proper ventilation in your studio is vital to your health. The metals inherent in glass and the silver and gold we use as foil or in fuming are toxic and exposure to these should be minimized. Therefore you need both clean air coming in and an exhaust system of some sort to take the bad air out.

Here's the NEW store studio... I have a 7' x 7' workbench and a 6' x 6' vent hood.

This is a tight shot of my work area... notice the new kiln from Mike Crowley of The Glass Hive on the workbench, and also the CBS (Corina Bead Stamper) which I just got and have been using for 2 days. I love the lentil shapes it produces.

We also have 5 other torches and we are working on getting some of the big names in beadmaking here this year. So far, Larry Scott and Kate Fowle are coming, and I will have details soon on the schedule. I'm working with Pati Walton and others to see if they can fit us into their busy schedules!

Here's the home studio... since we opened the store in April 2003, we've pulled this studio out and it is now a guest room for our visiting teachers! I'll have some pics up soon of the new system in the store, which is equipped with 6 torches. The vent hood here is for sale if you're local... It works great, and is $125.00.

The fan is 300 c.f.m. and is routed outside through an 8" vent overhead. The aluminum flashing that hangs down below the vent hood re-directs the bad air coming from the torch area up to the fan, instead of allowing it to push past.

The kiln was custom made for me by Mike Crowley of The Glass Hive. It's 4" high x 14-1/2" wide x 19-1/" deep (front to back) inside and I can slump and fuse!

The kiln has a digital controller, which is in my opinion, a MUST. I'm getting a second kiln this week so I can fuse in this one and use the smaller kiln to make beads. I'm on the torch almost 7 days a week, so this makes sense, energy-wise, and I love fusing! Talk about multi-tasking!

Keith built me this great tool holder out of peg board.
The red bar is magnetic.

SUPPLY LIST -- updated 11/13/03
Students often ask me how much a lampworking setup will cost. Of course there are variables such as your torch model, ventilation system, whether you're a tool hound (guilty). But I chose to put together this list to help you get a fair idea, and it includes some money saving tips as well.

From your local welding supply company:

Mandrels. Buy the stainless steel welding rods at your welding supply place and cut them.
The stock comes in many sizes. The three I use are:
1/16" <------------------- for spacer sized and smaller beads
3/32" <------------------- for medium to large beads
1/8" <------------------- I use these for vessels and hollow beads or if the designer uses cord or hemp.

The rods come in 44" lengths but need to be cut down to about 13" or so each. Instead of paying $8 for 10, you'll get probably 10 times that many for the same price if you cut them yourself... with a bolt cutter. They're sold by the pound. Also from the welding supply: a Harris propane regulator... cost is around $90 but they last much longer.

Oxygen concentrators. Oxygen concentrators take room air and turn it into 95% pure oxygen. Originally intended for home health use, you can find reconditioned units for much less than a new unit. I use a concentrator for all my soft glass (Moretti, Czech).

Later if you want to go into borosilicate glass (which is more expensive but gorgeous), you can pick up an oxygen tank and regulator, an oxygen generator, or better yet, HOOK TWO CONCENTRATORS UP TOGETHER! Check out the link to Paulette's site below.

For now you will be spending about the same for the concentrator as you would for a regulator and O2 tank but the advantages are:
Save $100 - $200 a month on O2 by using the concentrator because you don't have to pay for refills.
You don't have to cart the tank back and forth to the welding supply.
You never run out of oxygen.
They're portable... they roll on casters.
You don't have to chain the tank to the wall.
You don't need an oxygen regulator.
Here's where I get concentrators: Suncoast Beads.

Paulette currently has concentrators for $215 + s/h. I ordered one from her, and ... it's GREAT!!! Tell her Mari sent you!

Here is a basic purchasing list I've compiled from Arrow Springs.
Stock # Item &Price; 1138 Oxygen/Propane Hoses $20.00 1662 Flashback Arrestors $49.00 2276 Economy AUR-92 Protective Glasses $79.00 ......OR: Rose Didydiums for $35 1440 Graphite Paddle $13.00 1633 4 pc Tweezers Set $13.00 1627 BEADS OF GLASS, by Cindy Jenkins $30.00 (I'm on the last page!) 1007 Glass Rod Nipper $15.00 215505 Blank New Moretti Sample Rod Chart (use a 1/2" piece from your sample pack of Moretti and fill in the spaces! You save $40!) $6.00 3657 Deluxe Beginner Moretti Assortment - 41 tagged 13" rods $35.00

Total: $216 + s/h

So, to summarize:
Torch (Bobcat or Minor) $160 - $195
Fire Extinguisher - $50 Kiln w/digital controller - $765 + s/h Mandrels - $8
Propane tank - $30
Propane regulator (Harris) - $90
Ventilation $100 - ??
Arrow Springs tool order - $216 + s/h
Concentrator - $215 + s/h
Total: $1634.00 - ?

Arm Rests - Go get the ones I use... they're fabulous.. Leah Fairbanks sells them at Gardens of Glass. Tell her Mari sent you! All of the information on this page is my humble opinion and based on my personal experience only. You decide what works best for you, of course. I just hope this helps you to make your dollars work for you, I didn't have much of this info when I started, but did appreciate what I learned from visiting other artists' sites, in particular... Karen Bye of Bye Beads! THANKS KAREN!

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