Today’s post comes from John Cowden, a retired supervisor and narrator of the Hot Glass Show. John works with special projects at the Museum, and is supporting the new Hot Glass Show Innovation Stage construction project. John will be reporting on the progress of the project on an ongoing basis.
Construction on the new Hot Glass Show Innovation Stage is making good progress. The stage is sufficiently completed to accept the new melting equipment. The equipment was built in Seattle, WA by Spiral Arts and shipped to Corning. The owner of Spiral Arts, Fred Metz, came to Corning to make some final adjustments and troubleshoot the installation.
Working in the Museum while it remains open complicates the construction process for the contractors. Having construction on-site complicates operations for the Museum. The Museum has restricted some construction processes to after-hours. For example, most construction deliveries are scheduled outside Museum hours. Any paint which produces odors is applied after hours. Also restricted are noise making and dust producing operations. As a result, there are people working on the new Hot Glass Show Innovations Stage twenty-four hours a day. Some people are working five 8-hour days a week. Some are working four 10-hour days a week. Some are working four 12-hour days a week. A few are working five 12-hour days a week.
There are a lot of signs that the project is coming to the end. The scaffolding which was erected to work on the ceiling has been dismantled and the ceiling is nearly complete. There is a painter doing touch up which you can see in the foreground of the picture of the equipment. The cooling equipment has been installed under the stage. The walls are finished. You can see the new paneling behind the exhaust vents.
The furnace was turned on last night and it is performing very well. The initial temperature rise is slow to get the moisture out safely (perhaps as slowly as 15° F/hour). Any initial firing of a glass furnace produces odors. The first trial of the ventilation system removed all of the initial firing odors. It will soon be time to add the glass to the furnace.
Join us in celebrating the opening of the Hot Glass Show Innovation Stage Thursday, July 26 at 10am. Drop by (no reservations necessary) and watch as a procession of glassmakers make their way through the Museum (with much fanfare!) and transfer molten glass to the new furnaces using a hot glass torch.