Sunday, October 10, 2010

Open Studio Tour

We are proud to announce that Arson Studios has been selected to be part of the upcoming Artists' Open Studio Tour, sponsored by the Maturango Museum here in Ridgecrest, CA! Buy a ticket, get a map and information about many local artists, then go visit their studios and talk about what they do and how they do it.

A portion of the proceeds from all items sold will go to the museum. In addition, each artist will have an item on display in the museum for the next several weeks. Those items will also be for sale and a portion of the sales price will go to the museum. Our item is a necklace of tiger striped beads, shown below. The center 3 beads are hollow to keep the weight down. All the findings are sterling silver.

If you are in the area, please come see us!

Also, we are planning to be at Maturango Junction on Saturday, Oct 16.

Monday, September 6, 2010

It works!

The studio is finally up and running! All the parts are back from repair and everything is in place. Here are a few photos, sort of a "left to right" pan around - hopefully in each picture you can see an object from the previous picture so you can understand the "panorama"!

Here's the door. Notice the business permits, fire extinguisher and first aid kit (can never be too safe!), a couple cork boards for displaying business cards and postcards of other glass artists, and inspiration and ideas.

A nice table for sitting to make jewelry (there is a cart hidden under the table with lots of drawers for storing all the jewelry bits), a place for the photo tent to be permanently set up, and a bookshelf with plenty of room to expand. In the corner is some shelving to hold all the tools, frits, glass bits, and other items that need to be handy when at the torch. Above the shelves is the vent where cooling from the swamp cooler comes in. Having make-up air here at your back when sitting at the torch helps keep you cool and also helps push any fumes away from you and back into the hood so they can be exhausted. Most days the temperature in the studio is about 20 degrees cooler than outside, so its anywhere from 70 to 90 (which is actually pretty comfortable here in the desert when there is low humidity).

Some posters showing all the glass colors available (to remind Shane that no, I don't have them all yet). The bench with torch and kiln on the right. Attached to the wall is the propane regulator connected to the propane tank outside, along with emergency shut-off.

Next to the bench is the window for additional make-up air. Below is the glass stash.

Of course all studios must have tunes! Below is the oxygen concentrator and oxygen holding tank, and some more shelves for additional storage.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ventilation is Working!

After weeks of work, the new studio is almost up and running! The walls have all been finished and painted, things are arranged, and the ventilation is working.

Here's a summary of the ventilation:

Directly to the right of the bench, not visible in this picture, is a large window where makeup air is currently coming from. Eventually we plan to add ducting from under the bench and directed to the sides between the table and the hood. The weather here is very nice and temp in the studio is generally between 50 and 80F year round, but could get cooler in winter or warmer in summer, especially once the kiln and torch get fired up. So directing most of the makeup directly to the bench should help maintain temperature.

From the hood above the bench, there's a 9" hole in the top, with the vent connected to it. Originally we were hoping at this point to go straight up into the attic above, but it turns out the roof doesn't have a very steep slope, so along an outside wall such as this there is not very much room between the floor of the attic and roof.

So instead of going up into the attic, the vent runs along the ceiling across the studio (from the hood at the right of the picture, towards the left).

Then the vent goes through the studio wall and into Shane's portion of the workshop, where the blower for the ventilation is located.

The blower is located inside the box in this photo. Air comes in from the right of the picture, where the wall to the studio is at, and exits on the left of the box. The blower is currently set on med-high speed, which corresponds to about 1700CFM with static pressure around .6 (its pretty high static pressure due to the length of the run and number of bends). Since the opening on the hood is about 6.6'x3.3', this should be plenty of air movement.

Directly below the blower box, and not visible in this picture, is the incoming air from a swamp cooler.

Ducting will eventually be arranged so that the cooled air can be directed either into Shane's half of the shop, or into the glass studio. Because the swamp cooler sits right behind this wall, we cannot have the exhaust from the hood exit here!

After exiting the box, air continues along the venting through the rest of the workshop (again from right to left).

And finally exits the workshop! Total length of the duct run is 25'. This puts the exhaust vent over 12' from the swamp cooler intake and over 20' from the window and bench where the main make up air comes in.

Finally, here is an initial smoke test of the ventilation system. For this test, we set off 2 smoke "grenades" on the bench, let the hood and bench area fill up with smoke, then turned on the blower. The video starts just after the smoke has maxed out, and the blower is turned on about 2 seconds into the video, so you can get an idea of how quickly it is sucked out.

Torch problems!

What is going wrong here? This GTT Lynx has the propane set to 5psi and the oxygen concentrator at 10psi. The volume control on the concentrator is set to around 9 lpm. However, the flame is slightly reducing, and as the oxygen concentrator goes through its cycle, the flame grows longer candles and is even more reducing. Turning up the oxygen knob on the torch results in more noise and hissing, but no improvement in the flame.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Glass Storage

So, now that the studio is starting to shape up, I need a place to store all those glass rods. Keeping them in the cardboard boxes isn't going to work so well when its time to actually find what I want to use!

Inspired by others online, I chose to use fence rail. I called around to several fencing places in the area, but no one had what I was looking for until one guy finally said "oh, you want vinyl 3-rail horse fence. Of course we have that!" Not only that, but he had scrap chunks of it that he was willing to sell for about half price.

After a couple trips to see him, we finally had enough fence rail. We got a masonry cut-off blade (local Home Depot was out of all other kinds of cut-off blades) and put it in the table saw (I would recommend using a chop saw, but someone thought it would be easier to change the blade in the table saw so we used that, which worked fine but was more work in the end). It cut the material really well but made a horrible mess with lots of "sawdust" that is actually vinyl and static-y so it sticks to everything, including people! All the pieces then had to get hosed off and dried.

Shane had a cabinet in the garage he was looking to get rid of. The previous owners left it with the house. Its on nice casters and seemed a good size. Amazingly, the fence rail pieces fit PERFECTLY inside the cabinet with no need for shims or other filler, and the whole cabinet is just the right height to sit under the window sill in the studio. Judy put on a quick coat of white paint (it was looking really yucky before that!) We used some boards left over from a destruction project in our master bedroom to make stops at the back of the fence rail so the glass doesn't slide too far in and get lost. The bottom two rows of fencing are cut longer and have a deeper stop so they can hold boro rods (which are longer than soft glass).

All the glass now has a home. Each color has its own slot. Unfortunately, all the slots are now full and I may have recently purchased a few more colors...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Walls in the Studio

Progress on the studio continues. Here's what things looked like not long after the 2x4 framing was done. Dad and I put all the drywall up, and Judy was in charge of joint compound and tape.

The bench and hood are now assembled as well. They will likely end up sitting next to the window, where the white plastic shelving is at in this photo.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Studio Construction

Well, its been more than just a few weeks! But, we are finally here in sunny CA, moved into the new house, and getting started on some projects. The house has a lot of projects actually, so starting the studio had to wait a bit. BUT, its now under construction!

This is our workshop in the backyard.
Its about the size as a 2 car garage that is a little extra wide and maybe 1.5 cars deep. Pretty big. Part of it will be for Shane's woodworking stuff, and part for the glass studio. Because those 2 activities wouldn't live together very happily (open flame+sawdust=fail), it has to get divided.

Here you can see the first stage: the walls have been framed and the door hung. This first picture is taken from just after you enter the workshop through the side door, still outside the studio door.

And this next picture was taken standing just to the right of the door, looking through the wall. The finished wall straight ahead in the back of the studio is where the table and hood will be located. See the table? Legs are folded up and its leaning on its edge against the crate. The hood is on the floor to the left of the crate. There is a window off to the right, you can just barely see part of the edge of it. That's where the make up air will eventually be routed from.

Here is the construction crew. That's dad in white by the door to the studio and Shane in the flannel by the door into the workshop building. Judy is the bit of orange off to the left - she is standing right next to the window.

This was taken while standing over in what will eventually be the woodworking area. The studio door is on the right and you can now see part of the window.

Taken from the same location as the previous picture, just pointing the camera a bit to the left so you can see the back wall of the studio and the other half of the window. The metal frame stuff leaning up against the wall is part of the hood.