From the Ground Up
The Hot Shop Amphitheater, housed in the 90-foot-tall stainless steel cone, includes a hot glass studio, cold glass studio and accomodates over 200 visitors. The cone itself is 100 feet in diameter at its base and narrows to a 15-foot opening at the top.
We keep molten glass in 2 large furnaces which run 24 hours a day. Each furnace holds approximately 1,000 pounds of glass and reach temperatures up to 2,400° Fahrenheit.
As artists blow and shape hot glass objects, they must continually reheat them in one of four glory holes where temperatures range from 2,100-2,300° Fahrenheit. This reheating process keeps the glass malleable.
A total of five annealers, which are insulated boxes similar to electric kilns, are designed to cool glass slowly at a specified rate. Glass will crack and shatter if left to cool on its own at room temperature, so annealing ovens are very important to the glassmaking process.
The Cold Shop is adjacent to the Hot Shop. There, as part of the finishing process, cooled artwork is ground, polished and/or cut to add surface details and remove imperfections.