How to save the World (and Money)

March 15, 2016

by Ed Colberg

 

 

I have always marveled at the amount of waste heat that is blown to the atmosphere in many of the hot glass studios I have visited.  It seems to me that studios have been slow to adapt with changing times.  The equipment in some studios seems like fossils from the early days of the studio glass movement – a time when energy efficiency was not the urgent concern that it is today.

 

It seems a safe prediction that the move towards energy efficiency and green energy sources on a global scale is set to increase exponentially in the near future.  The recent agreement negotiated at the Paris Climate Conference likely means some form of new taxation on energy consumption to encourage energy efficiency and to help fund investment in green energy.  Those of us who make our work in a hot shop need to look for ways to reduce our energy use, both for environmental sustainability and for the financial viability of our studios.

 

Lucky for us, the technology to make this shift is already being used.  One long-standing and relatively simple means of reducing energy consumption is through recuperation.  Recuperators are air-to-air heat exchangers that capture some of the waste heat from the exhaust gasses going out the flue and transfer that heat to the incoming air that will be mixed with the fuel gas.  In large-scale glass industry it has long been standard to use recuperators on melt furnaces to recycle waste heat back into usable energy.

 

Furnaces and glory holes operate in a state of equilibrium to maintain a constant temperature within the furnace – they lose heat to the surroundings at the same rate that heat is introduced.  In a typical furnace the exhaust gasses leaving the furnace are close to 2000℉ and are vented straight to the atmosphere.  If you give a furnace, preheated 1000℉, air, you only need to supply fuel to heat the air another 1000℉ to achieve working temperature.  This greatly reduces the amount of energy needed to bring the combustion air up to operating temperature.

 

Recuperation is a positive feedback system.  The more efficiently one aspect of the system runs, the more efficiently the rest of the system runs.  By increasing efficiency through better insulation and better door fit, you greatly reduce the amount of gas needed to maintain equilibrium, thereby causing the exhaust to move through the recuperator more slowly.  As the exhaust exits more slowly, the intake air also moves more slowly, giving the exhaust and intake air more time in the recuperator to exchange heat.

 

Hub Consolidated recuperators will work well with lower temperature burners in the 300-800℉ range.  A Hub recuperator designed to work on a furnace of 150,000 – 250,000 BTU costs $930.  A highly efficient Correll recuperator/burner system, capable of recouping from a 1200℉ burner, costs $2950 for a 200,000 BTU furnace.  Though recuperators are somewhat expensive, fuel savings of 30-40% are quite common.  Depending on usage and fuel costs, a recuperator can quickly pay for itself and continue to return that investment for years to come.

 

How much is your monthly gas bill?  Wouldn’t it be nice to reduce it by one-third, all while dramatically reducing your carbon footprint?  Unless you’re a climate denier who doesn’t like saving money, it seems like a no-brainer.

 

Ed Colberg was first introduced to working with hot glass in 2005. He has studied glass blowing and glass sculpture with many prominent artists in the Canadian and International glass art community. He graduated with Distinction from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2014.  Ed currently lives in Toronto, Ontario where he is a full time Artist-in-Residence in the glass studio at Harbourfront Centre. Ed is greatly influenced by nature and intangible aspects of human experience.

 

 

 

Comment sauver la Planète (et de l’Argent)

par Ed Colberg

 

 

J’ai toujours été perturbé par la quantité de chaleur gaspillée dans les ateliers de soufflage que j’ai visités. J’ai le sentiment que les ateliers ont mis du temps pour s’adapter aux évolutions de notre époque actuelle. Le matériel dans certains endroits est digne des fossiles des tout débuts du verre en atelier, du temps où les économies d’énergies n’étaient alors pas une priorité.

 

Tout porte à croire que cet élan vers une énergie verte sans gaspillage va rapidement prendre de l’ampleur à l’échelle mondiale. Les récents accords de la Conférence sur le Climat à Paris visent à l’instauration d’une nouvelle taxe sur la consommation d’énergie pour inciter  à économiser l’énergie et favoriser les investissements dans l’énergie renouvelable. Ceux qui parmi nous travaillent dans un atelier de soufflage devront se renseigner sur les moyens d’économiser leur consommation d’énergie, tant pour des raisons environnementales que pour des raisons financières.

 

Fort heureusement, il existe déjà des technologies pour y parvenir. L’un des moyens les plus simples et les plus connus de réduire la consommation est le principe de la récupération. Les récupérateurs sont des échangeurs d’air qui captent la chaleur des gaz d’échappement sortant des conduits et la transfèrent à l’air entrant pour être mêlé au gaz du combustible. Dans les grosses usines de production de verre, cela fait longtemps que les récupérateurs ont été installés au dessus des fours à pot pour recycler la chaleur perdue en énergie utile.

 

Les fours et les creusets doivent maintenir une température constante à l’intérieur, ils équilibrent chaque fois la chaleur perdue en extérieur. Dans la plupart des fours, les gaz qui s’échappent approchent les 2000°F et sont ventilés directement à l’air libre. Si vous nourrissez un four avec de l’air préchauffé à 1000°F, vous n’aurez besoin que de fournir l’énergie pour 1000°F de plus avant d’obtenir la bonne température de travail. Cela réduit par beaucoup la quantité d’énergie nécessaire pour atteindre une température suffisante.

 

Le système de récupération n’apporte que du bon. Plus un paramètre est efficace, plus le reste du système fonctionne bien. En améliorant l’efficacité par une meilleure isolation et de bonnes jointures, vous réduisez largement la quantité de combustible requis pour maintenir cet équilibre, la chaleur s’échappe alors plus lentement par le récupérateur. Comme elle sort plus lentement, l’air aspiré circule plus lentement, ce qui donne au gaz d’échappement et à l’air introduit plus de temps dans le récupérateur pour s’échanger la chaleur.

 

Les récupérateurs Hub Consolidated fonctionnent bien avec les brûleurs de basse température entre 300 et 800°F. Un récupérateur Hub conçu pour un four de 150 000 – 250 000 BTU coûte $930. Un récupérateur hautement efficace du type Correll système récupérateur/brûleur, capable de récupérer d’un brûleur à 1200°F, coûte $2950 pour un four de 200 000 BTU. Bien que les récupérateurs soient relativement chers, ils permettent en général une économie de combustible d’environ 30 à 40 %. En fonction de l’utilisation et du coût du combustible, un récupérateur peut se rentabiliser rapidement et continuer à rapporter durant les années suivantes.

 

Combien coûte votre facture d’énergie? Ne serait-ce pas agréable de pouvoir la réduire d’un tiers, tout en réduisant de beaucoup votre empreinte carbone ? A moins d’être climato-sceptique et de ne pas vouloir économiser d’argent, cela a tout l’air d’une bonne affaire.

 

Ed Colberg a commencé à travailler le verre à chaud en 2005. Il a étudié le soufflage et la sculpture du verre avec de nombreux artistes reconnus dans la communauté du verre canadienne et internationale. Il a obtenu son diplôme avec Mention de l’Alberta College of Art + Design en 2014.  Ed habite actuellement à Toronto en Ontario, où il est artiste en résidence à plein temps dans l’atelier verrier du Centre Harbourfront. Ed puise ses influences dans la nature et les aspects intangibles de l’être humain.

Share

Book Review of New Technologies in Glass : Speaker at Calgary GAAC Conference

February 14, 2013

By: Jamie Gray

Cover photo from New Technologies in Glass

Cover photo from New Technologies in Glass

When Vanessa Cutler sent me an email as part of a mail-out to let me know of her newly published book, New Technologies in Glass, I emailed her back straight away, saying, “Fantastic!  If you’d like to send me a copy, I’d love to review it for our magazine, Contemporary Canadian Glass.  It could whet people’s appetite for your upcoming lecture and workshop at the GAAC conference in Calgary.”  She had a brand new, shiny copy of her book at my doorstep within a couple of weeks.  It was a good sign, in my opinion.  Clearly, Dr. Cutler is on-the-ball and thinking forward.

When I cracked the cover of this beautiful book, the first thing I noticed was the great number of photographs, all in colour and excellent quality.  Almost every page has at least two images of artists’ work and the equipment used to make it.  Words are essential, of course, but I find that we visual thinkers tend to particularly appreciate good, descriptive photos.
The text itself is detailed and concise, simple to read and follow.  Technical terms are explained simply but thoroughly.  At only 123 pages, it’s an easy half-day read.  Techniques, once read about, are easy to locate again for more in-depth study.  The book is basically broken down into six chapters on techniques:

1.  The chapter on Digital Tools deals with the variety of ways to transfer ideas from paper into computerised form.
2.  Water-jet Cutting describes the use of high-powered water/abrasive mix to cut or carve complex internal and external shapes efficiently and accurately in singles or multiples.  This technique tends to work best for thick sheet glass.
3.  The Laser Cutting and Engraving chapter details how this tool of the optical industry can provide finely polished edges.  It’s a technique that’s extremely accurate and particularly good for cutting very thin glass.  Also in this chapter is info about sub-surface laser cutting, which is engraving below the surface of the glass.
4.  Multi-Axis Machining is a process that allows large pieces of solid glass to be accurately cut, abraded, polished and milled into intricate forms.  This includes profiling and drilling and can be used not only for glass but also on mold-making materials such as graphite, quartz and wood.
5.  The chapter on Rapid Prototyping deals with processes used to develop designs and prototypes in 3-D print settings.  It’s good for advanced mold making because any shape can be produced, including those with undercuts, overhangs and internal cavities.
6.  The final chapter, Vinyl Plotting, is about creating designs and cutting complex shapes in vinyl for deep resist sandblasting, enamel applications and masking for painting.  This is particularly good for large-scale work and pieces, which require a high degree of accuracy (lettering, for example).

The things I liked most about the book overall were the artist-examples of work (which included personal statements about process), and the large number of high-quality photos.  I also appreciated the extensive list of suppliers at the back of the book and the complete glossary of terms.  When doing a review, I always try to find at least one thing I don’t like so that I can give as complete a picture as possible but, honestly, I couldn’t find fault.  I was intrigued by the innovative techniques, presented in such a clear manner.  Though it is something of a textbook (being a technical manual, after all), it has more of an easy-going, welcome-to-my-studio kind of tone.

In the book, Dr. Cutler says working in these techniques has given her, over time, a greater and greater understanding “of the intimate relationship between art and engineering.”  Those aren’t always two easy disciplines to combine, especially to write about in conjunction with each other, but she does it very well.

Dr. Vanessa Cutler, Photo credit:  Graham Henry, WalesOnline

Dr. Vanessa Cutler, Photo credit: Graham Henry, WalesOnline

Many thanks to Vanessa Cutler for providing this book, hot off the presses, for review; I highly recommend it.  You will next find her doing a talk and a workshop at our conference in Calgary in May.  I’d suggest that you sign up early for her class as I believe it’s going to fill up quickly with people intrigued by the new technologies in glass about which she will be teaching.

 Dr. Vanessa Cutler is a glass artist and educator, specializing in using abrasive water-jet cutting creatively, and exhibits her work around the world.  She has presented at numerous conferences, including the International Water-jet Conference in Graz, Austria, the Society of Glass Technologists Annual Conference in Cambridge and the European Ceramics Context symposium in Denmark.  She is a lecturer at the Swansea School of Glass at Swansea Metropolitan University.  Dr. Cutler will be both lecturing and teaching at the 30th anniversary conference of the Glass Art Association of Canada in Calgary this May.

Share

Setting Up Shop in Mennonite Country

May 1, 2011

By Steven Tippin

My name is Steven Tippin and I am a glass artist that has recently moved to a small community just west of Waterloo, Ontario. I have the great opportunity of setting up my own kiln-working studio exactly how I want. The only problem is I have no idea how I want it to be set up. I have a basic idea of what I want and need but I do not want to try to reinvent the wheel when we have the GAAC website as a resource for such a discussion. I also have a limited budget with which to make these changes so I would love to learn from the mistakes of others before I make the same ones myself. I have decided to enlist all members of G

AAC to help me through this process. I guess I should thank you all in advance…

The Studio as I first saw it.

Through the next few issues, I plan to inform you on the details of the space and ask, possibly beg, for your input and suggestions. My goal is to utilize the online format of the GAAC website to set up a cross-Canada dialogue between its members and create a possible resource for others considering setting up a studio. I hope to hear from artists that have set up their own studios, those working in studios that are not their own, glass studio technicians and possibly an expert or two from outside the glass community. Please do not think that I am limiting this discussion to only these people. I want to hear from anyone with an opinion, suggestion, comment or warning. I want to know what works well in glass studios and, more importantly, what does not.

I make kiln-fired work primarily (see my GAAC portfolio and bio here) so the space will primarily be used as a kiln studio with a small coldshop. I will use it occasionally for sandblasting, painting, welding and basic woodworking. I want to make sure that the studio has a few different zones to keep the spaces (and their mess) from running into each other. For example, I do not want my sandblaster located in the same area that I paint in.

In order to get this discussion started, I should tell you a little about the space. Here are the details of the studio:

Basics:

The studio is a detached workshop located on the property of my new house. The roof and the outer walls are covered with metal. The interior of the studio measures 21’ wide by 31’ long, with a door and a 10’ wide garage door at the narrow north end that leads to my driveway. The shop has five windows spaced throughout, a furnace suspended from the ceiling rafters and a floor made of poured cement. The walls and roof have been spray-foam insulated but the studs are still exposed for me to build on. The ceiling rafters are also exposed and measure 10’ above the concrete floor.

The studio as seen from the garage door (facing south).

In one corner there is a storage shelf (my English brother-in-law insists that it is called a mezzanine) that is 6’ off of the ground and measures 8’ wide by 19 ½’ alongside the long west wall. I have a love/hate relationship with this suspended storage area (mezzanine!). I am six foot tall and so is the bottom of the oversized shelf. This means that the space under the shelf is not usable for working more than a few minutes and the space above the shelf has about 3 ½’ between the shelf and the rafters which is not really useful for anything other than storing my dusty blow pipes. On the other hand, I think that I will find the storage really helpful but at the moment I am not willing to give up a third of the space to storage. I think that I may cut it back to 8’ x 8’ so that it ends just shy of the first window. Please see the diagram of the building. Feel free to print it and make suggestions based on it.

Utilities:

Water

The building has a buried cold-water-only line running from the house to inside the building. It is a semi-flexible plastic pipe so I will not be using it for drinking from. It will be for coldworking and cleaning only. I will be utilizing the French-style drain located in the centre of the space to drain the water after catching the sediment in an interceptor.

The current studio residents.

Gas

There is a gas line that runs underground to the building’s ceiling-mounted heating furnace. The furnace is about seventeen years old but hopefully will hold up for as long as I need it to. Why not be foolishly optimistic, right?

The studio (facing north).

Electricity

Currently it has a buried line running from the house to a 60-amp service panel with some empty spots as extendible potential for the panel.

I have a feeling that this will be a great place to make into a studio. The photos show a wet floor because the old owner dropped by to pressure wash the floor (that doesn’t happen in Toronto!!). Don’t worry, the shop does not leak. My concern is whether or not there will be enough power to run my kiln and a sandblaster.

Please feel free to comment below the article or email me directly with questions, comments and suggestions at steve.tippin@gmail.com.  I will mention a few suggestions in the next instalment when I discuss the electrical part of the studio but feel free to comment on layout, lighting, equipment, or whatever you want. In order to avoid the obvious comments on decoration, please note that I have already removed the racecar posters.

The Utilities enter in this corner. Gas, Water, Electricity.

 

Créer un atelier en contrée Mennonite

Par Steven Tippin

Mon nom est Steven Tippin, je suis artiste verrier et je viens juste d’emménager dans une petite communauté à l’est de Waterloo en Ontario. J’ai la chance de pouvoir installer mon propre atelier verrier exactement de la manière dont je le souhaite. Le seul problème est que je n’ai aucune idée de “comment” je souhaite vraiment le faire. J’ai bien une idée de départ sur ce que je veux et ce dont j’ai besoin, mais je me suis dit que le site Internet du GAAC serait l’endroit idéal pour tenir ce genre de discussion. J’ai aussi un budget limité avec lequel je souhaite effectuer ces changements donc j’aimerai beaucoup apprendre des erreurs des autres avant de les perpétrer moi-même. Je fais donc appelle à tous les membres du GAAC pour m’aider dans cette quête et je vous en remercie tous par avance…

Le Studio comme je l'ai vu la première fois.

Au travers des quelques prochains paragraphes, je vais tenter de vous fournir les détails concernant l’endroit et de vous solliciter, voire supplier de m’apporter vos suggestions et votre contribution. Le but étant de tirer parti de la version en ligne de la GAAC pour établir un débat inter canadien entre les membres et créer ainsi un outil potentiel pour ceux qui souhaitent ensuite créer un atelier. J’espère que les artistes qui ont déjà conçu leur propre atelier interviendront, ainsi que tous ceux qui oeuvrent dans d’autres ateliers que les leurs, les techniciens d’ateliers verriers et si possible un ou deux experts en dehors de la communauté du verre. Bien sûr, la recherche ne se limite pas aux personnes énoncées ci-dessus. Je suis ouvert aux opinions, suggestions, commentaires ou avertissements de tous.  Je voudrai connaître ce qui fonctionne bien dans un atelier verrier et surtout savoir ce qui ne marche pas.

Je travaille principalement avec une arche (cf. mon portfolio et ma biographie GAAC ici), l’espace sera donc essentiellement dédié au travail à chaud incluant un petit endroit pour les process à froid que j’utiliserai occasionnellement pour le sablage, la peinture, la soudure et le travail du bois. Je tiens à ce que l’atelier conserve différentes zones, afin de délimiter les espaces et éviter qu’ils se chevauchent (ainsi que leurs bazars). Par exemple, je ne souhaite pas que ma sableuse soit dans la même pièce où je peins.

Pour amorcer la discussion, je vais vous en dire plus concernant l’endroit. Voici les détails de l’atelier:

Données de bases:

L’atelier se situe à l’écart de ma maison sur ma nouvelle propriété. Le toit et les murs extérieurs sont recouverts de métal. L’intérieur du studio mesure 21 pieds de large par 31 pieds de long avec une porte et à l’extrémité nord une entrée de garage large de 10 pieds donnant sur mon allée. La pièce possède 5 fenêtres espacées, une chaudière suspendue aux poutres de la toiture et un sol en béton. Les murs et le toit sont isolés par une mousse mais les clous sont toujours visibles, permettant de construire par-dessus. Les poutres du plafond sont elles aussi apparentes et se situent à 10 pieds de haut.

Le studio vu de la porte de garage (côté sud).

Le long du mur ouest, il y au coin un espace de rangement (mon beau-frère anglais tiens à utiliser le terme de mezzanine) surélevé à 6 pieds du sol et mesurant 8 pieds de large sur 19,5 pieds de long. J’aime et je déteste à la fois cet espace de stockage suspendu (mezzanine!). Je mesure 6 pieds tout comme le dessous de cette étagère démesurée. Ce qui signifie que cette hauteur sous l’étagère ne me permet pas d’y travailler plus de quelques minutes. L’espace disponible au dessus de l’étagère est d’environ 3,5 pieds de haut, ce qui n’est pas vraiment suffisant non plus pour y ranger quoique ce soit à part quelques cannes à souffler poussiéreuses. Il est possible que cet espace me devienne très utile un jour, mais pour le moment je ne me sens pas prêt à accorder un tiers de l’espace juste au rangement. Je pense probablement le raccourcir à 8 x 8 pieds pour que le bout s’ajuste à la première fenêtre. Voici un schéma du bâtiment, n’hésitez pas à l’imprimer et à l’utiliser pour vos suggestions.

Commodités:

L’eau:

Le bâtiment possède une arrivée d’eau froide uniquement qui passe sous terre de la maison à l’intérieur du bâtiment. C’est un tuyau en plastique semi flexible et je ne compte donc pas l’utiliser comme eau potable. Elle ne me servira que pour le nettoyage et le travail à froid. J’utiliserai un écoulement à la française qui se situe au centre de l’espace pour évacuer l’eau après avoir au préalable récupéré le dépôt à l’aide d’un intercepteur.

Les habitants studio actuel.

Le gaz:

Une arrivée souterraine de gaz ravitaille la chaudière suspendue au plafond. La chaudière est vieille de 17 ans mais elle devrait pouvoir encore tenir tant que j’en aurai besoin. Soyons naïvement optimiste!

Le studio (côté nord).

L’électricité:

Pour l’instant, une ligne tendue sous terre de la maison rejoint un compteur de 60 ampères qui possède des parties encore vierges pour un agrandissement potentiel par la suite.

J’ai l’impression que cet endroit pourrait faire un atelier idéal. Sur les photos le sol est humide car le propriétaire est passé laver le sol au karcher (ce n’est pas à Toronto qu’on verrait ça!!) Pas d’inquiétude donc, l’atelier ne fuit pas. Ce qui me préoccupe plutôt est de savoir si j’aurai suffisamment de puissance électrique pour faire fonctionner à la fois arche et sableuse.

N’hésitez pas à commenter directement en dessous de cet article ou en m’envoyant un email à steve.tippin@gmail.com pour des questions, commentaires ou suggestions. Dans le prochain épisode, je vous ferai part de quelques idées concernant la question de l’électricité dans l’atelier, mais en attendant, n’hésitez pas à me parler de l’agencement, de l’éclairage, de l’équipement ou de ce qui vous passe par la tête. Dans le but d’éviter les commentaires évidents concernant la déco, je préfère vous informer d’avance que j’ai déjà enlevé les posters de voitures de course.

Les services publics entrent dans ce coin. Gaz, eau, électricité.

Share

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition versus One of a Kind: A guide to two popular art shows

February 1, 2011

By: Emma Gerard

Drawing on my experience in art shows over the past few years, I have compiled the following guide to compare the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (TOAE), and the One of a Kind Show (OOAK) in Toronto.

When you first start participating in art shows, there is a lot of stress of the unknown.  Things like booth design, what to expect on setup day, and even the application process, can be overwhelming.  My hope is that this guide will serve as a reference for emerging artists as they familiarize themselves with the professional art world.

Lots of heat and sunshine at Toronto Outdoor, July 2010, photo: Emma Gerard

Application Process/Notification

TOAE: Applications open mid December and close March 1.  The date you apply has no bearing on the success of your application, but it will dictate your preference when selecting a booth location.  TOAE does not have a waiting list and they do not accept late applications.

Notification of acceptance arrives end of April/early May, which leaves roughly two months to prepare for the show. This lack of preparation time, I would say, is the most frustrating part of the show.

OOAK: The deadline for the Christmas show is around the end of March (this year it’s March 25 for the first round of jurying). However, unlike TOAE, they continue to accept applications past the deadline.

OOAK gives exhibitors a re-sign form at the show, which allows you to sign another contract to come back again the next year, without needing to submit an application year after year.  This guarantees your size of booth as well. Tip: five foot depths are highly coveted, as are corner booths.

Notification for OOAK depends on which deadline you apply for (they have many; check their website for more details, but they generally give you a lot of time to prepare for the show. When I applied for the Christmas show (March deadline) I was notified at the beginning of June, which gave me five months of preparation time.

Again, unlike TOAE, OOAK has a priority waiting list, which means that even if you are not accepted, there is still a chance to participate.

Something to consider: the exclusivity clause.  This clause in the contract means that for 30 days before and 30 days after the show, you cannot exhibit your work in any other show within a 50 km radius.  A few exceptions apply (ie. one day shows with fewer than 40 vendors), but they are pretty strict about it.

Visual Art section at the One of a Kind Show, Christmas 2010, photo: Kelly Grace

Setting Up

TOAE: The best word to describe setup at TOAE is: chaos. There are 400 artists converging on Nathan Phillips Square at the same time.  You are given 4.5 hours to setup, regardless of weather conditions.  Since you may not be able to park to unload your display near your booth location, bring a dolly and someone to help you.  Keep in mind that cube vans are not allowed in the underground parking garage, so plan accordingly.  If you plan to park underground during setup, don’t rely on the elevators working; you may end up taking the stairs.

OOAK: Even though there are 800 vendors participating in the show, there is enough space and enough time that it is never chaotic. There are two days for setup rather than a only few hours, and there are several options when it comes to bringing your work into the Direct Energy Centre.

Booth/Display

TOAE: The most important thing about your display for TOAE is that it needs to be easy to transport and set up since you have to do it quickly – and sometimes in the pouring rain.  Almost all of the booth spaces are 10’ x 10’  and most people just buy or rent a 10’ x 10’ tent.  My advice:  if you plan on doing more than two outdoor shows, invest in your own tent.  For the cost of renting a tent two or three times you could have your own.

OOAK:  Lighting is the most important part of your booth at One of a Kind. You want your booth to be bright to draw visitors in.   Signage is also important; you want people to know who you are — especially so they can find you again in the sea of 800 vendors.

It’s important that your booth look full, but not cluttered.  This is why storage is also important to consider when designing a booth.

Theft/Security

Theft is the sad reality of any art show, especially if you have small work. Make sure you can see what is happening in your booth at all times.

Both shows have security, but in different capacities.  Since TOAE is outside, they have security guards who monitor the grounds.  It is strongly recommended — and in your best interest — to take your work with you each night.

At OOAK, they lock up the hall and have security monitoring it.  Some jewellery makers still bring all of their work home with them, but security in the hall is quite good.  However, you should stick around for a few minutes after closing to allow any customers to depart who may still be in the hall.

Lots of White Tents in the Early Morning Sunshine at Nathan Phillips square, July 2009, photo: Kelly Grace

Cost

TOAE: Even though the cost of participating has gone up by $50 this year,  it still pales in comparison to OOAK.   All things considered, it is still a fantastic price — especially when you factor in the price-to-attendance ratio at many other outdoor shows.  The show is well-attended and well-advertised and worth every penny. Go to the TOAE website for pricing details.

OOAK: There are many different pricing options for booths at this show. Most people have a full booth for the full (11 days) duration of the show.  I found the full booth to be really beneficial.  It was great to have the added space that I didn’t have in Rising Stars section.  More area to display work means more exposure, which ultimately leads to more sales.  You can also choose to participate in half of the duration of the show, which does save you a bit of money. A new initiative this Christmas is the Share a Booth program where two artists can share a 10 x 10 space.

Rising Stars is an open-concept, emerging-artist section that allows you to rent space by the square foot.  You can only be a Rising Star once at Christmas, and once at Spring, then you must commit to a full booth and it is highly competitive to get into, but a great way to test the market.

A new option for this year’s Spring show is the Craft Community of Canada Section, where art organizations sponsor the booth of an emerging artist, The Glass Art Association of Canada is one of the sponsoring organizations.  Applications are closed for this year, but  next Spring’s application information should be available over the summer.

Some of the additional costs, above and beyond just the booth price, include: electricity, phone line, internet, carpet rental, lighting rental, and parking passes.

OOAK has a New Artisan Scholarship Fund, as well as a New Artisan Travel fund to help offset the costs.

For residents of Ontario, the Ontario Arts Council has a fantastic Exhibition Assistance program that has helped me a lot for the OOAK show.

The Rising Star Section at the One of a Kind Show, Christmas 2009, photo: Emma Gerard

At the Show

TOAE: No admission charge means lots of visitors to TOAE.  People who visit, generally have a great appreciation for art and all things handmade and are very enthusiastic. Gallery owners visit TOAE to find new work and to network with artists they represent.

Tip: bring a notebook for a mailing list and bring lots of business cards! It’s easy to go through 1,000 cards at this show.

Conversely, no admission price also means that you can meet quite the cast of characters at the show.   The likelihood that you will run into the woman predicting the apocalypse or the man in the petticoat is pretty high.

OOAK: They charge admission to come to the show, but there are still thousands of visitors each year.  The crowds at the show can be overwhelming, especially on the weekends.

Eleven days is a long time, especially when those days are eleven hours long.  The day opens at 10 am, which means fighting rush hour traffic in the mornings.

It’s critical to have people help work your both during the show, to prevent burnout. You will be there for lunch and dinner, so plan your meals ahead of time to make sure you are eating well during the show.  Make a pot of chilli, or soup beforehand and bring it with you.  There are fridges and microwaves in the exhibitor’s lounge.  Bringing food comes with the added bonus of saving some money, as food options at the show are rather expensive especially for the portions you receive.

Credit Cards

TOAE: Optional, but not necessary depending on your price-point.  Most visitors bring cash to outdoor shows and there are ATMs closeby; but, there is the potential to miss out on a few sales if you don’t have a credit card machine.   Patrons are more forgiving with students, but once you are a full time artist people expect you will accept credit cards.

OOAK: You will lose a lot of sales if you don’t accept credit cards at this show. Fortunately, one of the services offered by the Direct Energy Centre is the rental of a debit machine, where you can sign up to use it for the length of the show or opt for a longer term vendor’s agreement

Weather

TOAE: Weather seems to make or break this show, but the weather can affect more than just attendance.  Wind is your biggest enemy on the Square.  You must make sure you have weights for your tent, since you are not allowed to use spikes on city property.  Ideas for weights include: sandbags, concrete blocks, PVC piping or old paint cans filled with cement, or large water jugs.   If you are concerned about your artwork moving in the wind, use museum gel or a similar product to keep your work firmly in place.

Sun and extreme heat can also be a problem; make sure you stay hydrated.  Bring a cooler filled with cold drinking water.  Wear a hat and sunscreen and try and stay in the shade as much as possible.

OOAK: Weather affects this indoor show more than you might think.  At the past Christmas show, we had surprisingly low attendance on the first day because the weather was rainy and miserable.  Likewise, the weather on the weekend of the Spring show was beautiful, and people spent that time outside in the sunshine rather than at the show.

Tearing Down

TOAE: Teardown for TOAE is as chaotic as setup.  Furthermore, this is when exhibitors seem to stop being considerate to one another.   They park on the street before teardown even begins, often leaving others around them miffed.  There is not much you can do except relax, take your time, and know this process will take longer than expected.

OOAK: You can use a loading dock, or drive into the adjacent hall, but first you need to have your entire booth packed up and someone from the show must verify this and give you a pass to what they call the Marshalling Yard. Getting to the Yard can take a very long time. Once you get there, you will be given another pass, allowing you to use to the loading docks or to drive into the building.  This system may seem chaotic, but it provides a great system that avoids people from pulling their vehicle forward before they are ready to load (unlike the TOAE).

Helpful Links

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition:

http://www.torontooutdoorart.org/

In the fall of 2010, a number of GAAC members who exhibited at TOAE sent us their tips. Read the article Outdoor Art Shows: Advice from Artists.

{http://mag.glassartcanada.ca/whatshappeningandreviews/outdoor-art-shows-advice-from-artists/}

GREG HOLMAN

Exhibition Coordinator

Phone (416) 408 – 2754

Email  greg@torontooutdoorart.org

One of a Kind:

http://www.oneofakindshow.com

CATIA VARRICCHIO

Manager of Exhibitor Relations & Recruitment
Telephone: 416 960 4511
Email: catia@oneofakindshow.com

VALÉRIE ROY

Manager-Bilingual Exhibitor Relations & Recruitment
Telephone: 416 960 4514
Email: valerie@oneofakindshow.com

Share

Stop wasting time on your website: How to write for the web

By: Kate Tippin

Having a website in this day and age is critical. If you don’t have one, stop reading this article and go get one. If you do have one, chances are you are spending a lot of time trying to figure out what to put on it.

Since most artists are not trained writers, even if you do have a great looking website, you may be losing web traffic, potential buyers, or gallery gigs because you are not effectively writing for the web.

Writing for the web and web magazines is very different from writing an essay for school, a proposal for funding, or a marketing brochure. To help ensure readers will actually read what you’re putting on your website, or your GAAC web magazine article, here are 10 tips to better web writing:

  1. 1.      Know your audience

One of the first rules of good communications is to know your audience and to write specifically for them.

Before you created your website, you probably thought about the type of audience with which you were trying to engage (e.g. people with an interest in glass art, people with an interest in stained glass art, wholesale buyers, etc). Keep this in mind when you write a news item, bio, artist statement, etc. for your website.

Regardless of who you created your website for, you should also know who is frequenting your site. If you haven’t signed up for Google Analytics yet, do it now. This handy website tells you who is visiting your site, in which country and city they live, and so much more. Best of all, it’s free.

 

  1. 2.      Write a catchy headline
    This is your first opportunity to: (1) interrupt,  (2) engage, (3) educate, and (4) provide an opportunity for the reader to discover more information. 

 

You need to interrupt the reader for a split second – just long enough to notice your headline. Your headline then needs to engage readers long enough that they read the entire headline. Next, your headline should provide new information to the reader, or educate the reader. Lastly, it needs to provide an opportunity to get more information (e.g. URL to the gallery opening, URL to an article with more information).

 

Consider writing a sub-headline as well. This gives you the opportunity to be more creative with your headline and provide more information in your sub-headline. Here’s an example from Macleans magazine:

http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/01/12/grandma-uncle-frank-peter-mansbridge/ 

 

            The main headline is:

Grandma, Uncle Frank and Peter Mansbridge

 

                                And, the sub-headline is:

CBC tackles the big questions of 2011 with an exclusive panel made up of my relatives

 

This headline employs all four of the basic elements of good marketing, mentioned earlier: (1) it interrupted me long enough to (2) engage me and make me want to read more. (3) The sub-headline educated me, letting me know what the main headline was talking about and (4) the Macleans magazine website gave me a link to the article, allowing me to discover more.

  1. 3.      Use bullets, numbered lists, italics, bold, or subheadings to break up text.

If you are writing an article, bio, or artist statement that is longer than 500 words, it is critical to break up the text into smaller chunks; this will make longer pieces of text much more readable.

Using bullets, numbered lists, italics and bold helps break up your text and make it seem like fewer words.

Including subheadings in your longer articles will help readers see that you were thoughtful of their time and of their tired eyes and will encourage them to keep reading.

  1. Use the inverted pyramid for your news items

Have you ever noticed that when you read a newspaper article, you can often read the first two paragraphs and know what the article is all about? This is because journalists use a style called the inverted pyramid.

The inverted pyramid style places the most important information in the first paragraphs of the story. This includes the: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

This simple writing convention allows your readers – some of whom may not have a lot of time to spend reading your entire article – to quickly understand what you are trying to tell them.

  1. Include links to other sources.

The Google search engine likes when websites link to other websites. It seems to tell Google that your website is more relevant in the world and increases your rank in Google when people search for you (for the next magazine, I’ll write an article about how to increase your Google ranking – and why you should care about this).

The best way to do this is to embed the link directly on the “keyword” to which you are linking.  See the hyperlink used in this tip and in tip #4 for an example.

Never use “click here for more information”. This clutters your site, insults savvy web users, and can count against you in Google rankings.

  1. Write like you talk (and start talking like a writer!).

The benefit of web writing is that it tends to be less formal. A common rule of thumb for web writing is to write like you talk. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use accurate grammar and spelling.

Furthermore, you should always use best practices in writing, such as using the active voice. However, you can have more fun with web writing and web magazine articles. Add your personality and have fun.

Examples:

Passive
This newest line of artwork was made by a Vancouver-based glass artist who attended Sheridan.

Active

A Vancouver-based glass artist and graduate of Sheridan made this new line of artwork.

Passive

The 2010 RBC Award for Glass was awarded to Rachael Wong.

Active

Rachael Wong receives the 2010 RBC Award for Glass.

Tip: Active writing follows the following formula: subject of sentence acts upon something (whereas in the passive voice the subject is being acted upon). Typically, the active voice also uses fewer words.

 

  1. Keep it short.

How long is your attention span when reading something on your computer screen? While computers are getting better, computer screens cause eyestrain and fatigue in a similar way to reading a small-print book in low light. Not to mention, most computer users have a fairly short attention span. We want small chunks of information and we want it to be easy to read. So, why would you put something on your website, or write an article in any other way?

For web writing, aim for 500 words or less. Use short paragraphs with one idea per paragraph, one or two sentences long. If your article is longer, please read tips #3 and #4 to help make your longer article more readable.

If you copy and paste this article into Word and go to Tools > Word Count, you’ll notice it certainly exceeds my own suggested word count. However, using subheadings, bold, italics, and a numbered list, it doesn’t feel like 1,392 words, does it? That is four full pages in Microsoft Word.

  1. Double-check everything.

Sure, the web can be changed immediately; but, this doesn’t mean you should make mistakes. There’s a website called the Wayback Machine that keeps a snapshot of your website (try it! Enter www.glassartcanada.ca and have a look at the past GAAC websites).

The more mistakes you have on your website – spelling, grammar, factual errors – the less credibility you will have overall.

  1. 9.      Websites are not a one-way communication tool.
    If your website doesn’t invite your readers to engage with you in some way, you are making a mistake. Website visitors want to interact and engage with you in some way.  Here are a few examples: link to your professional Facebook page or Twitter page, enable a comments feature on photo albums of your artwork or on videos that you post.

 

10. If you have relevant images and videos, include them!

There’s no excuse these days for not including a relevant image, video, sound clip, photo album, or something that helps make your article less flat. No one wants to read a 500-word article without relevant images on an artist’s website.

Including relevant images, videos, sound clips, etc. might take a few minutes of thought, but it will be worth it. You’ll provide a much more rich and engaging experience for your readers.

Share

Focus on Fenestration

September 1, 2010

By Brian Burton

The author stands in front of the Toronto’s Direct Energy Centre which boosts a 30-storey wind turbine producing 1 million kilowatt hours of energy per year - the first of its kind in North America and the first permanent turbine in the City of Toronto. It is also home to a permanent educational exhibit which explores energy use and the environment and features interactive displays showcasing sources of energy and methods of energy conservation.

The standard textbook definition of fenestration, which finds its roots in the Latin word for windows fenestra, refers to the design, arrangement and portioning glazing component systems within a building.  However, the topic involves much more than merely glazing design and placement.

In fact, in the field of building science we typically apply the term to any “controlled” aperture in the building envelope that permits the passage of air or light or serves to enable entry and egress of occupants. As such, fenestration components are considered a key element of façade engineering. In addition to a huge list of glazing materials, the elements include internal & external shading systems, skylights, clerestories, roof monitors, light pipes, and tubular daylighting devices. Doors are included in the list because they are operable and allow entry or egress and many have glazing components.

Although it is a highly technical and complex subject, I can assure you it is also an art form.

In Canada, where the citizens are 80% urbanized and typically spend over 90% of their time indoors, obviously these components also play an essential role in our well-being. We spend more money on construction per capita than just about any other country in the world and fenestration components are generally considered the most expensive element of the building envelope.  Global demand for fenestration products will reach the $125 billion mark in 2011.

These components act as a filter of conditions between inside and outside and play a significant role in achieving quality of life and comfort in buildings by bringing in natural light, solar heat, and fresh air.  They also serve as a physical and/or visual connection to the outdoors.

They are subject to all the elements of the outdoor environment including freeze-thaw cycling, UV radiation, driving rain, snow, heat stress, wind loads, impact, dust, acid rain, impact, forced entry and deliberate abuse. These components are also exposed to conditions on the interior including humidity, condensation, temperature variations, and the effects of occupancy.

In addition to controlling heat flow, sound transmission, solar radiation, air and rain leakage, fenestration components are expected to transmit light without causing glare, allow entry of fresh air without causing drafts while preventing entry of insects, to be airtight but easy to operate, and to bring in solar heat in winter while preventing solar heat gain in the summer. As I like to point out – we should probably be thankful that fenestration components are rarely called on to perform all of these functions at the same time!

Also often overlooked is the important function these components play in comfort and safety of the occupants which buildings scientists consider to be one of the most important functions provided by the building enclosure.

We all know that the ability to control fenestration components is very important to the occupant. Technology has granted us the means and we have come to expect more control over nearly everything in our environment that affects us, including the elements involved in fenestration.

I have been involved in a longstanding debate with several academics involved in the field of building science who insist the specialty should be called building “physics.” However, I know quite well that psychology is a major component of fenestration and, as a result, the use of the term physics is not appropriate. In actual fact it is part of environmental psychology, which examines the interrelationship between “built” environments and human behaviour.

Even though we have been manufacturing glass for thousands of years, the full potential of modern fenestration products has not been fully exploited to date. One architect I spoke with did point out, however, that it took us 2,000 years from the time we discovered “blown” glass before we were able to manufacture glass strong enough to safely fabricate windows. However, once we had mastered the art we did not look back. The use of glass in buildings is so popular that it appears close to dominating construction.

The use of glass in buildings is increasing and innovation in fenestration products is altering the way we live our lives. Glass is widely used in almost every aspect of our daily lives:  in our homes, offices, cars, computers and telephones.

Glass technology has its own language. When I visited the web site for the Corning Museum of Glass it listed 817 words that were unique to the glass industry. Glass innovations such as computerized control systems, coating techniques, solar control technology, and the integration of micro-electronic and mechanical know-how to create “smart” glass (able to react and respond to external forces) are constantly evolving. I have also noticed over the years that many innovations and inventions incorporate glass components almost routinely, perhaps because it is “invisible.”

We may take it for granted; however, glass has managed to gradually transform agriculture, horticulture, architecture, transportation, medicine, science, art and even our culture. The earliest form of glass that was discovered by mankind was that of the natural glass called obsidian. Obsidian is a natural bi-product of volcanic eruptions and it was prized by prehistoric societies the world over for its colours, sharp edges and workability. It can be fractured to produce weapons, tools and arrowheads. It can also be polished to create mirrors. Because of its scarcity it was traded around the world for centuries to, among others, the Native Americans, who prized this unique substance. Also on the list of natural glass is fulgurite, created when lightning strikes sandy soils under the right conditions, and tektite, which is created from meteorite impacts – extraterrestrial glass!

The story I hear repeated very often as told by the Roman historian Pliny tells us that Phoenician traders noticed that a clear liquid formed when the nitrate blocks on which they placed their cooking pots melted and mixed with sand from the beach. The tale makes for interesting reading, but I for one am highly sceptical that it is true. I suspect that, as with many other inventions, it is a case of man “mimicking” nature; in this case observing what occurs during volcanic action or lightning in direct contact with silica sand and then experimenting in an attempt to duplicate the phenomenon.

There are nine primary uses of glass.  These include:

  • As a medium for art.
  • As a substitute for precious stones/jewellery.
  • For vessels and vases, which eventually led to the invention of the glass bottle.
  • Glass and glazing used in windows, fenestration components, insulation and construction products.
  • Glass used for mirrors.
  • Lens, telescopes, eyeglasses.
  • Scientific and medical instruments which created an interest in optics during medieval times.
  • Cameras, television, computers (e-glass), appliances, automobiles, telephones, and many more electronic devices.

There are some ways glass is used which are miscellaneous, esoteric and unusual.  To list only a few, these include items such as glass clothing, glass bullets, fire grenades, glass furniture, liquid crystal windows, suspended particle devices, glass pavements, apotropaic glass, Libyan Desert Glass, witch balls, uranium glass, neodymium glass and, my favourite, glass slippers.

Brian Burton was recently appointed to the Personnel Committee for the CSA’s Fenestration Installation Technician Certification Program. Brian is a Building Science Marketing Consultant for Kleinfeldt Consultants Ltd and can be reached at bburton@kcl.ca or visit www.kcl.ca

Share

Day Tanks vs. the Free Standing Crucible Furnace: Current Considerations

June 1, 2010

By John Chiles

In a glass making studio often one of the largest operating costs is energy, and the largest energy user is the furnace.  There are two types of furnaces commonly used in small studios: day tanks and free standing crucible furnaces. (For a number of reasons, an invested crucible furnace is considered a day tank). In most of the world, the most common type of furnace used in art glass studios and factories is a freestanding crucible furnace.

Here are a few points to consider when making a decision about what type of furnace to use:

  • Insulation of tank furnace walls fail progressively over the life of the furnace. In a day tank or invested crucible furnace, the refractory lining that is in contact with the glass is also the furnace wall. A typical day tank insulation schematic starts with the glass contact refractory, backed up with super duty castable and insulation bricks on the outside. Eventually the lining cracks and glass starts to migrate through the cracks and into the backup insulation, washing stones and cords back into the tank every time the furnace is worked down. Because hot glass is so corrosive, cracks get bigger and the problem steadily gets worse. The glass seeping through the cracks also eats away the brick behind the lining and will eventually saturate the entire insulation layer. As this happens, the insulation layer stops working as insulation and becomes a heat sink. The brick behind the glass contact lining in every day tank I have ever taken apart has been completely saturated with glass.
  • Free standing crucible furnaces can be insulated to a greater extent than day tank furnaces. In a free standing crucible furnace, the glass is not in contact with the furnace wall and therefore it is possible to insulate furnace walls to the maximum.
  • The expected life of a free standing crucible furnace is much longer than that of a day tank. The typical life of a day tank is only five to seven years. Over a day tank’s lifespan the glass quality steadily gets worse and the energy bill steadily climbs higher. In the end the combustion system and furnace get torn down and most of it is thrown away. With routine maintenance and repair the life of a crucible furnace is measured in tens of years. Many of the furnaces we have built are over 20 years old and still producing glass every day.
  • Maintenaning a free standing crucible furnace can be simple and easy. In a well designed furnace the floor or sump under the crucible is sloped to the front for easy draining and cleaning while the furnace is hot. Traditionally the front face opens for easy access to the inside of the furnace and for changing the crucible. It should never be necessary to pound out the glass, or dismantle the burner system.
  • Free standing crucible furnaces use less energy and are quieter. Because it is possible to use more insulation and the crucible is heated from all sides, a smaller capacity burner will melt the same amount of glass in a shorter period of time. In Europe, where energy costs are typically two times higher than in the US, most glass factories and schools use free standing crucibles. This practice is driven by a need to be as efficient as possible. A smaller burner will also reduce the noise level in a shop significantly.
  • Free standing crucible furnaces consistently provide better quality glass. Because the crucible is heated more evenly there is better glass circulation in the furnace, which leads to a reduction of cords. Replacing the crucible when it wears out eliminates the problems associated with a cracked lining – fewer cords and stones.

 

  • Round bottom crucibles have more accessible glass than square sided day tanks. Because the shape of the crucible allows more complete access to the glass, a  500 lb. crucible is similar in useable volume to a 700 lb. day tank. For instance a 700 pound day tank with three inches of glass in the bottom will contain 175 pounds of glass. A 500 pound crucible with three inches of glass in the bottom will contain less than 30 pounds.

Fifty years ago in Toledo it was demonstrated that it was possible with very little knowledge to put a small day tank furnace together with bricks, stick a burner in it, and melt glass. With the development of fused cast refractories, building a day tank got even simpler and more accessible. These are technologies that were originally developed for very large furnaces and scaled down so that they could utilized by artists with very little technical experience. There was very little information available about crucible furnace design and operation, and initial attempts at using crucible furnaces in the small studio were frustrating.

The most common concern about crucible furnaces is that the crucible will break in the middle of a busy production schedule or school session. This fear of unexpected down time has lead to the use of day tanks in this country. During the last 50 years the cost of energy has been low enough in this country that the higher operating cost of a day tank was justified by the fear of a crucible breaking. Our experience is that crucibles rarely crack.  In 30 years of building furnaces I’ve seen crucibles fail from cracking very rarely, and in most cases the failure can be traced back to the initial heat up. If a crucible is not heated slowly and evenly stress will be introduced as the temperature is raised from room temperature to red heat. This introduced stress may cause the crucible to fail right away or after several months.

In a properly designed furnace the crucible can be heated evenly and slowly. Recommended heat up for a crucible is 25 degrees F and hour to red heat. Once it is above red heat the crucible is relatively ductile, not brittle. I have tried to break an old crucible while it is still hot in the furnace and it took a pretty hard hit with a ladle before it failed. If you leave a crucible in the furnace long enough, it will develop pinholes or wear through. We recommend changing the crucible yearly but we regularly hear from customers with crucibles that are 2 or 3 years old and still going strong.

The second most common concern is “We need a lot of glass–a day tank or continuous melt furnace is the only type that will fill our needs.” Large volumes of available glass can be achieved by using multiple furnaces. Using multiple furnaces also allows flexibility to meet demand, as furnaces can be turned off when not needed. This is the way that it is currently done everywhere except in the United States.

Here are some additional suggestions for reducing energy usage with your furnace:

  • Turn the furnace down when not in use, weekends and nights. During longer turn downs of more than a week turn the furnace off. Our practice is to turn the furnace down to 1600 if we are not using it for a couple of days and 1800 overnight if we are not charging.
  • Use a stopper and insulated cover on the furnace door when not in use.
  • Install a damper on the flue and use it to control the pressure inside the furnace. Glass furnaces should always be operated with a slight positive internal pressure. A flue damper does not have to be more complicated than a piece of kiln shelf on top of the flue.
  • Use a temperature controller or at the very least use a temperature indicator.
  • If the furnace has a forced air burner, use a variable speed blower and turn the glory hole blower off when not in use.
  • Use a recuperator to preheat combustion air with exhaust gas after it has left the furnace.
  • Examine your melting cycle. In many cases it is possible to melt at lower temperatures for a shorter period of time without affecting glass quality–in fact it may be possible to increase quality because you decrease the likelihood of cords caused by the fluxes in the glass batch attacking the glass contact refractory.
  • Install an operating system on doors so that they are kept closed unless being used. We installed an additional door operated by a foot pedal on a 6 1/2” diameter opening in a furnace front. The result is that the furnace was able to maintain the same operating temperature with a lower input equal to 3 gallons of propane per day. That’s 660 gallons operating 5 days a week for 44 weeks.
  • Keep track of your energy usage. If you are using electric or natural gas you already have a meter. If you are using propane, have a meter installed.

The chart below summarizes a section of a report on the business practices of a mid sized glassblowing studio.  Since equipment and energy are major costs of running a glassblowing studio this comparison was central to the report

 

From an economic stand point there is no doubt: a Free Standing Crucible (FSC) Furnace will save you money over a Day Tank  (DT) furnace.  Further a FSC furnace fitted with a recuperator promises a further fuel reduction of 10-20%.

At the time the report was written this studio ran a 700# tank furnace and a 350# Invested pot tank, and seven glory holes.   The equipment section of the report focused on furnace comparison cost estimates of the existing 700# tank to a 500# FSC furnace.  Using a conservative estimate for FSC furnace life (10 years) and a conservative figure for gas saved over a day tank of similar size (20%) one can see that the FSC furnace provides significant savings over the life of the equipment.

This chart is based on projections from a specific scenario; it is shown here to illustrate the potential savings from building a Free Standing Crucible furnace.

10 year equipment cost FSC Furnace Day tank Furnace
Purchase cost* $27,800 $15,000
Life Estimate 10 yrs** 3 yrs
Crucible cost 1 per yr 10 yrs $15,000  
Cost after 10 years $42,800 $50,000
Natural gas costs FSC Furnace Day tank Furnace
Per Year $44,479*** $55,598****
Cost after 10 years $444,787 $555,984
10 yr cost equipment and energy FSC Furnace Day Tank Furnace
10 Year subtotal $487,587 $605,984
Yearly Cost $48,759 $60,598
Monthly Cost $4,063 $5,050

Total yearly savings = $11,842

Total savings after 10 years = $118,397

The payback period for a new FSC furnace is 2.35 years.

*Purchase cost includes recuperator, Burner, and crucible.

**With proper maintenance a FSC furnace can last twice this long or longer.

***Twenty percent saving is based on proven fuel savings with FSC furnaces.  This does not consider the saving of 10-20% gained by recuperation.

****Based on actual natural gas used in 2000 @ $1 per therm.

John Chiles runs Hub Consolidated in Orwell, Vermont.  You can email John at john@hubglass.com, or visit Hub’s website at http://www.hubglass.com

 
Share
//