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Richard Golding

at Station Glass
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Saturday 29th May 2010
We arrived at the Station on Saturday morning with high hopes. Had the test pieces survived annealing? How had the lehr worked? Not a good morning. The lehr is designed to heat up using exhaust gasses from the gloryhole and furnace and then cool slowly using exhaust gasses from the furnace on a timed basis. The theory was fine but didn´t work in practice as the lehr would not cool below 240 degrees. In the short term we have improvised by cutting a vent into the lehr and will be fitting an automated fan system shortly.
 
We took the pieces out later that day. They aren´t Richard´s best work but show that we can get glass out of the Combo. When you visit you will find them proudly displayed for all to see as part of our history.
 
Monday was a bank holiday so we decided to play. Richard had turned the temperature of the furnace up to a better working range. A few friends arrived with cake and Richard made glass. We were amazed by how many people came in and watched. Glassmaking is normal to us but many people have never seen glassblowing and can´t believe their eyes. Given the numbers who watched we may have to rethink how we layout the gallery. 
 
Despite the challenges of the lehr Richard managed to get some better glass out during the week. There are several bowls, a couple of perfume bottles, a great blue-green vase with a yellow (snake) trail (which John wants) and  a few paperweights and hearts. He is still limited by equipment as the fuming bay, threading machine and finishing machines are not yet built. The (very expensive) diamond wheels needed for finishing haven´t arrived so we are getting a bit nervous about how to get some glass finished for the opening on the 19th June. Still, timing has worked so far, so we aren´t panicing yet.
 
The glass quality is good. Once we get the cutting machines up and running there will be some amazing cut and iridised pieces emerging. One of the reasons Richard has set Station Glass up is to give him the time and freedom to experiment and push back his art. He is a bit frustrated that he can´t make great glass yet but its only been a week!
 
There is still a lot to do to get the Gallery ready for the opening but at least the Ikea cabinets are now all beaten.
 
We turned the Combo off on the Thursday night as we are on holdiay next week. Mad timing but we need some sleep.