I am raising funds to purchase a new, 90 lb glass melting furnace for my glass blowing shop, so that I can do the historically inspired and geeky glassware I love!
My first goal is to raise $4000. This will cover the cost of buying and shipping the 90 lb glass melting furnace and crucible (manufactured by AIM Kilns), the materials, manufacturing and shipping costs for kickstarter rewards, and all of the fees and taxes associated with running a kickstarter campaign.
I also have stretch goals of $5000 and $9000.
With $5000 I will also have the funds to re-build my reheating furnace.
With $9000 I will also be able to purchase a new annealer.
I already have a shop, all I need is enough glass to work with.
I have a glass shop that is fully outfitted with it's own 220 electrical, a custom built bench, small annealing oven, small reheating furnace, and a very small glass melting furnace. Right now I have 7 lbs of molten glass to work with. That's enough to practice with, and at most spend a couple of hours making some really small items. A 90 lb glass furnace is large enough to do consistent work out of all day, for several days, and will allow me to work out of my shop rather than renting time at other studios. This will allow me to make the work I've been dreaming of, as well as take on more of the commissions that come my way. This means me doing what I love, and you getting more historically based and unique geeky art glass!
I want to teach!
I love teaching, and having a larger furnace will mean that I can take on students. I plan to offer small classes and one-on-one instruction in glass blowing, concentrating on areas like historical glass techniques.
I want to research, experiment, and re-discover lost historical techniques of glass working.
Because of my interest in glass history, my work is often experimental in nature. I do things like making pre-16th century glass mirrors by pouring molten tin inside of a freshly blown glass sphere. This is the kind of experiment that is difficult to do in a rented glass studio. My current furnace isn't up to the task of continuing these experiments. Working with small amounts of glass means that the glass often has a lot of impurities, things like inconsistent glass texture that forms ropey and uneven forms, excessive amounts of bubbles in the glass, and little impurities or “seeds” that have to be cut out. All of these things mean that my current furnace just isn't sufficient for this sort of work. Having a large enough pot of molten glass will mean that I can continue my experimental archeology projects, refine my process, and be able to bring my new research and products to my customers!
I started blowing glass in 1998 through the extended studies program at Pacific Northwest College of Art. Since then I've taken classes and workshops at Firehouse Glass in Vancouver, WA, Eugene Glass School in Eugene, OR, and the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY.
My area of special interest is in historical glassware, especially medieval and renaissance glass. To this end I've also obtained degrees in Art History and Sculpture, and I've pursued specialized knowledge in museum work and historical glass techniques. I've traveled extensively throughout Europe, visiting many museums, I participated in the Roman Glass Furnace Project in Thruxton UK, and I was a teaching assistant for William Gudenrath's Venitian Glass Techniques class at the Corning Museum of Glass. I also have attended several conferences such as the Medieval Glass conference at CMOG and the Byzantine conference at Dumbarton Oaks. I have interned in both art conservation and rights and reproductions, first at Pacific Northwest Art Objects Conservation in Portland, OR, and then at the Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. I act as a consultant on Viking era glass and art objects, do living history demonstrations at museums, and have been employed as a professional research assistant. I was an artist in residence and now teach various crafts at Chehelam Parks and Recreation in Newberg, OR.
All of this means that I have over sixteen year of hot glass experience, plus well over ten years research, teaching, and other hands-on arts and crafts knowledge.
Now that I've tossed down those credentials... here is what really matters. My passion is in discovering more about historical glass making techniques. We have forgotten so much, the best way to re-discover it is by observing, researching, then trying things. This is where it's helpful to have access to travel, museums, publications, and then adequate facilities to try things out in real life. This means being able to make mistakes and do things that seem a bit crazy, like spinning around hot metal inside of glass spheres, in the privacy of my own shop where I can be prepared with splash guards and a leather apron, and no public distracting me. Then I can share what I figure out with you, both through demonstrations, pictures, and unique products. This is why what I do is unique! I love it, and you should too. :)
Everyone who contributes to my kickstarter campaign receives an invitation to the studio's open house / opening day party! And a signed thank you note from me!
Note, I will ship items over-seas, but I will have to charge UPS shipping rates for places that exceed the included shipping fees. I have also noted which items I can get done before the holidays. I'll be hand calligraphing lovely promissories for any rewards that will be filled after the holidays in case they are intended as gifts.
$15 Reward: Small Art Print – receive a signed copy of one of my 8x8” or 8x10” art prints!
Medieval Style Beer Funnel – this is basically a glass funnel, like that pictured in the Luttrell Psalter. You too can wander around medieval events doing psalter reenactments!
Glass Slug – Just what you've always needed, a glass slug decoy (or mascot?) for your garden or mantle piece! Choose from a variety of color combinations.
Set of Five Holiday Jackalope Cards – because nothing says Christmas like a jackalope! Send out these unique cards for the holidays, or include them with gifts.
$25 Reward: Viking Glass T-Shirt – get your own t-shirt with my original viking glass drawing printed on it! These are available in both mens and womens sizes as well as plus sizes.
$30 Reward: Glass Linen Smoother – Choose from green, blue, or amber/brown. These historically based items are some of the original irons / fabric burnishers, used from the viking era onward.
Blown Glass Pumpkin - choose either a traditionally colored orange and green pumpkin or between my other color combinations such as red & black or purple & white.
Blown Glass Dalek Ornament - Choose from several colors (black, red, blue, orange, and possible custom colors).
Sculpted Glass Bird Skull – each one is unique!
Early Medieval Drinking Glass - Choose between several colors of early medieval "bag beakers."
Medieval Style Prunted Beaker
Bird Skull Necklace – delicate little blown glass bird skull with metal findings and chain
Invitation to Exclusive Glass Blowing Demonstration with Reception and Refreshments for Patrons
Bird Skull Decatur
One hour private glass blowing lesson for you (or another) at my studio.
Custom Glass Vase, or Custom Deluxe Drinking Vessel such as an Anglo-Saxon claw beaker or painted Islamic or renaissance style glass.
$200 Reward: Unique Illuminated Bird Skull Sculpture. These sculptures, or lamps, are all one of a kind. We'll discuss color preferences for LED's, and you'll have your choice of blown glass components for the glass heads.
$300 Reward: Unique Deluxe Illuminated Bird or Dragon Skull Sculpture. In these deluxe original illuminated sculptures or lamps, you can choose what original components you'd like included in your sculpture. It could be based around a dragon skull with teeth, an owl skull with wings or horns, or something we dream up together!
$400 Rewards: Four Hour Group or Private Lesson for up to four people at my shop OR Half day demonstration and studio tour for you and up to eight people
$1000 + Reward: Weekend / Two Days of Glass Blowing Lessons - Come out for two four hour days of glass blowing lessons, some simple but tasty meals, and if you are traveling from out of town I will drive you around. I even have a guest futon if you don't mind cats and can climb a ladder.
Risks and challenges
As mentioned, I already have a glass studio, so the major risk involved in this kickstarter is that of time. I've already begun making some of my rewards, and the delivery time of my furnace and crucible will mostly effect the larger reward items. I plan to have the smaller items and hand-calligraphed promissory certificates for larger rewards, classes, and experiences shipped in time for the holidays.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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- (30 days)