Yeouch!

No, didn’t burn myself, but the voltage regulator on my car went bad. Barely made it to Sears (which was the closest place with a “known” automobile repair facility. At first “we” thought it was the battery, but the battery would hold a charge. Turns out the regulator wasn’t passing voltage back to the battery to keep it charged. <sigh> Looks like around $400 to replace the part including labor…

There’s a challenge going on this weekend on The Glass Haven. Implosions! They can be soft glass or boro, beads, pendants, or freeform sculptures. Post your pictures in the Gallery section of TGH.

I haven’t posted much this week — I’m working on a project for a new friend who has asked me to design a studio from scratch in a given space. I’m starting with a clean slate, and haven’t had this much fun in a long time. I’ll be posting the layout and design “specifications” next week. It’s exciting work, because this is what I love to do. Too bad that my new friend lives at the far end of the US, otherwise I’d be there with my hammer and saw helping get it up and running. So stay tuned!

Are you right handed or left handed? Is your kiln on the same side that your dominant hand is on? Is it behind you? Off to the far side of your studio? Where do you keep your working glass? Your tools? Is your current bench set up working for you or do you spend a long time each session just in setting things up? The next time you sit down behind your torch, stop and think about your layout and the ease of access to your glass, tools and equipment. One important element of safety in the studio is knowing where everything is located, and being sure that there is nothing in the way of what you reach for.

In my current garage studio setup, I’m not totally happy with where my kiln is located. I’ve been used to working in an ell corner (I’m right handed, and like to have my kiln on my right side, with all my main tools laid out underneath it). Right now, it is off to my right side, but not alongside me, I have to slide to the right and reach to put things into it. So this weekend, I think I am going to put a 2 foot extension ell on the bench and see if I can get some more working room. Maybe I will also build a color layout bench behind my work area — I had this in my two commercial studios and really loved it – I could lay out the color rods in ROY G BIV order and be able to pick and choose the colors I wanted pretty much as needed…

Which brings to mind something that has been bothering me for a while: would someone please tell NorthStar (or maybe they are reading this, if so, pay attention!!) ROY G BIV isn’t just a great idea, it is necessary. Please please please, recode your colors so they fit into a decent numbering schema. Glass Alchemy does it, why can’t you? It just plain makes sense! This sequential numbering scheme every time you add a new color is for the birds! It makes it almost impossible to do a decent color palatte with your colors.

And another minor complaint: can’t you make your rod lengths a little more consistent???? I order two pounds of color and the rods range in length from 12 inches to 20 inches. Glass Alchemy and Momka manage to make 20 inch rods, why can’t you?

Don’t get me wrong — I like the Northstar glass. I think they have some excellent colors and since the teaming up with Precision, the colors seem to have gotten a lot more consistent from batch to batch. But for crying out loud, how about if you dump that dumb numbering scheme and start getting more consistency in your rod length cutting!

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