The Hot Shop
Every year, MOG partners with a mix of internationally-acclaimed and emerging artists in our Hot Shop to explore new possibilities in glass. Our team of glassblowers support these Visiting Artists in creating pieces that represent a diverse mix of culture, style, focus, and technique. As you watch, our Hot Shop emcee will walk you through the process of turning molten glass into beautifully-crafted vessels and sculptures. These live glassblowing demonstrations will offer greater context to the unique exhibitions and collections you will see here at Museum of Glass.
Looking around the Hot Shop, there are several key pieces of equipment worth taking note of. The furnace, which is filled with 1,000 lbs of clear glass, maintains a temperature of 2,100°F. Glassblowers begin with a dip of a blowpipe into the furnace to gather glass for shaping. As the piece progresses, you’ll see the Team continuously returning the end of the pipe to the Glory Hole, ensuring the glass stays pliable. After knocking the completed piece from the solid steel rod, known as a punty, it is placed in an annealer, where it gradually cools to room temperate to avoid cracking. Once cooled, it heads to the Cold Shop, where the shape and surface of the glass will be finished.
Our Hot Shop is open and operating during Museum hours. The Team typically enjoys a lunch break from 1-2pm, weekdays and Saturdays, and 2-3pm on Sundays.
The Cold Shop
What’s a fully functioning studio without a cold shop? Incomplete, that’s what! In addition to our state-of-the-art Hot Shop, we have a matching Cold Shop tucked behind the furnaces in the cone.
The process of making glass doesn’t end when the piece is put into an annealer. Enter the Cold Shop, where all the “finish work” happens, including grinding, polishing, cutting, engraving, gluing, and sandblasting. Our Coldworker is here to help each artist achieve their vision, from simply removing the mark where the punty was attached during the glassblowing process, to hours of precise manipulation and assembling.
If a polish is desired, much like sanding wood, we start with a coarse grit, transition to a finer grit, and end with a polish. A typical process may start at 60-80 diamond/grit followed by 120, 220, 320, 600, then cerium to polish. Depending on the style and desired finish, pieces may be left at a 600 grit finish, giving a more “satin” feel instead of high gloss.
Equipment in the Cold Shop is extensive, allowing our Coldworker to tackle some big jobs. When looking around, you’ll find three Bohemian Machines lathes, three Bohemian Machines flat mills (two grit, one diamond), a 20” MK diamond saw, a Sommer & Maca belt sander, and multiple hand tools with diamond accessories.