Sunday, July 31, 2005

All-State Game

Linda and I and our family unhooked over the weekend to attend the All-State Football game in Tulsa. Our son, Micah started and played extremely well as Linebacker #44. He played on the "West" team and the "West" team defeated the "East" team 23 to 10. Everybody there played well, but we of course were extemely proud of Micah. He's 5'11" and 220 pounds of solid muscle.... Just like his dad... more or less, kinda / sorta.

Linda had found on the internet some months ago a glass studio in Tulsa called, Tulsa Gathering Place, so we stopped by there on Saturday and were warmly greeted by Jody and Sharon. They have a very nice place there and we look forward to going back and visiting again. We told them we came out of Andy Boatman's Blue Sage Studio. They were familiar with it and spoke well of Andy and his crew there.

We had a good time in Tulsa. Many thanks to Ryan, Jeremy, Adam, & Daniel for filling in and helping while we were gone. It's great to have great friends!

It's possible I could light the fire sometime toward the end of the week or the first of next week. Looking forward to making my first $8,295.00 piece!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Man, It's Been Hot!

I've been real busy and it's been real hot. Haven't gotten much done.
Having said that I did get my gas line started today and have one more electrical outlet to install which also got started today.
It's entirely possible that I could light my fire by next Thursday. No promises.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Little by Little

Yesterday I met with Larry @ Federal Corp. He's very knowledgeable and has helped me figure out a way that will save me a little money and maybe I can get going a little quicker than what it looked like day before yesterday. It's amazing what a new day can bring. Sometimes good and sometimes ... better.

Also, yesterday Micah and I moved the behemoth furnace (now affectionately referred to as "Scriv" onto the new concrete pad and made more room inside the studio. Micah and I got a little more work done in the studio. Looking better.

Looking forward to good things.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

3 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back - What's Bella Forte?

I am waiting the 7 days for my concrete pad to cure before moving the 2,000 pound plus furnace and glory hole on it. I was thinking I could get all the gas hookups done during that 7 days. Not working that way. Looks like I am going to be out a few more days and a thousand or two dollars getting all the controls and stuff to get everything operational. Hey, it could be worse. Looking forward to making my first piece in Bella Forte.

Speaking of Bella Forte. Some have asked what that means. It's Italian. "Bella" means "beautiful", "Forte" means "strong" it also means "loud" or "with emphasis", like in music. So, Bella Forte Glass Studio indicates that it is "Beautiful" and "Loud or Strong" in glass design. Glass with class. Glass with emphasis. That's the plan at least. I'll keep you posted as to the progress.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

More Progress, Photos, and Friends

3 more big days for Bella Forte Glass Studio.

I got a call from Barbara at Powder Coatering Plus. They got my equipment ready a couple days earlier than expected. I was so excited to have my glass blower's bench, my rolling yoke and my rolling heat shield all looking sharp and bright red! Powder coating is the way to go. The folks at Powder Coating Plus really treated me great. Barbara, Jim, Bob and the staff did a great job. The other day, Jim gave Micah and I a tour of the facility and showed us some of the things they do. Among the things we saw were some really nice ornamental gates and a bunch of neat stuff. I recommend these guys. They are at 513 N. Indiana in OKC, OK. (405) 232-5707 .

Kim and Krista made huge improvements on getting the studio and surrounding area all cleaned up so we could get ready to pour concrete on Saturday, They exceeded my expectations! Great job girls.

For the benefit of the folks reading this that aren't glass blowers, I will explain what some of the things are and what they do.
The "Rolling Yoke" is what you use to bring the vessel you are working on in and out of the Glory Hole in a very steady manner. It runs on tracks and allows you to go in and out of the glory hole without touching the sides of the doors and damaging the piece you are working on.

The "Heat Shield" helps shield you from the intense heat from the glory hole. Some time you have to stand in front of the Glory Hole for prolonged periods of time and the heat can get very intense. The rolling heat shield protects you a little bit. I'll post the heat shield picts later.

The "Bench" is what you sit at and lay your blowpipe or punty across it's arms and there you "work" your piece. My bench consists of 2 parts. The sit down part and the tool part. The tool part is were you rest your tools and have them ready to go when you need them.

Micah and I rolled out of bed at about 7:15 am and got ready to pour at 8 am. James with Premium concrete got there about 10 minutes early and we started pouring concrete for the pad that the furnace and glory hole are going to set on. Thanks also to John for bringing the extra wheelbarrow. I put that massive quanity of muscle on Micah to work. He wheelbarrowed nearly all of the concrete to pour the 11 x 16 pad by himself. I was screeding it off and leveling it. By Noon we were finished and cleaning up the tools. On a scale of 1 -10, based on our experience and skill level, Micah and I did about a 9.75. The pad looks great! We exceeded our expectations!

Sunday was a great day. Randy Moore came out and looked at everything. I was glad to get to show him what I've built "ever since he told me that I really needed to buy that expensive welder…". Also, I've been looking forward to Andy and Angela of Blue Sage Studios coming out and seeing what I've been up to for some time now. Linda and I were so glad to see them. The picture that has 4 people in it going from Left to right is Angela, Andy, Micah, and Anna. The other picture with 3 in it has me with Andy and Angela. Not only do Andy and Angela have Blue Sage Studios, they also have Lottinvilles Restaurant in Edmond. I'm going to have Andy be the first one to make something in my new studio when it gets operational in about 2 - 3 weeks. Again, I appreciate all the help, advice, teaching, and moral support that Andy has given me in glass blowing.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Another Step In The Right Direction

I wasn't expecting my 2 remaining major pieces of equipment (annealer & glory hole) to arrive for another week. They got here at about 2 pm today! Micah, Anna, and I uncrated them and Micah and I moved them to the Studio. They are not hooked up yet ,but as soon as I pour my concrete pad on Saturday and let the concrete cure for 5 or 6 days then BAM! I'm ready to hook'em up. Here's some pics of the new equipment.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Things are happening!

I talked with Denver Glass Machinery this morning and found my 2 remaining pieces of equipment was shipped yesterday! I am looking forward to getting them. Once I get them, I anticipate about 3 weeks in getting them hooked up and operating to a limited degree. We'll see how fast that all happens. I found out my equipment at the powder coaters won't be ready until next Monday. In the mean time I have concrete lined up to pour this Saturday for my furnace and glory hole to set on. I will post some pictures as soon as I get time to take them and download them to my computer.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

My First blog

Greetings to all interested parties!

Many have expressed an interest in how the glass studio set-up is going. Yesterday Micah and I set up the forms to pour the concrete pad for the furnace and the glory hole to set on. Hopefully one day this week we will get to pour the concrete. My annealer and glory hole was supposed to be loaded up and start their journey from Englewood, Colorado to central Oklahoma by Tuesday, July 5th. If you want to see what my annealer looks like go to: To see the glory hole, go to: I got the GH-18. I'm guessing it will take about 2 weeks to get here once it ships. I completed construction on the glass blowers bench, rolling yoke, and rolling heat shield last week (My new Lincoln Electric 215 MIG Welder is awesome!) and delivered them to Powder Coating Plus to be powder coated. I will try to get some photos posted later of all the equipment. I wanted to acknowledge Andy Boatman of Blue Sage Studios in my first blog simply because without him I don't know how I would have gotten into glass blowing. Andy is a great and patient teacher of glass blowing and an even better guy. My life is richer because of him, Brent and Drew are great also and I have enjoyed my time and what I have learned from them. Hats off to Andy and his crew at Blue Sage Studios!