View Full Version : cruise glassblowing report

Tom Fuhrman
05-13-2012, 02:09 PM
Just back from 2 weeks aboard the Celebrity Eclipseon a cruise from Miami and ending in Southhampton. Ships has a hot glass studio on top deck. I was very impressed with the 2 daily 2 hour presentations the guys on this ship gave. They were very talented and very good at narrating and fielding all types questions about glassmaking including history, academia, equipment, etc. They never make the same thing twice and each artist designs and then with the help of the 2 others akes the piece. Normally 3-4 pieces in a 2 hour period. They work outside their "comfort" zone on many occasions, making blown ware and sculptural pieces as well. Everything they produce is either given away via raffle or auctioned to support a scholarship fund that the Corning Museum has for students to come to the Corning Glass Studio. Auctions were realizing $5,000 to $10,000/week for about 6 pieces of glass. Studio was built by Spiral Arts and is similiar to the Corning Road Show trailer,but has nothing gas powered. Electric Glory hole that seems to work well even when doing many reheats on some large pieces. Furnace is electric with an invested pot and holds about 175lb. They charge nightly with Spectrum cullet and never squeeze or turn down their temps. Furnace used as secondary GH for lots of bits reheats and other heating and furnace never seemed to loose much heat. Cost of studio estimated to be about $500,000. Nice lighting, good remote PA system and excellent closed circuit TV that switched automatically from different locations for close ups and even had a camera in ther back of the GH so you could see in the GH as a piece was placed inside for reheats. Three or four big screen TVs.The guys on this cruise were Tom Ryder, Dan Alexander and Bob S. ( Bob had spent over 20years working at the Glass Eye and other Seattle studios). A very impressive representation for the overall "glassblowing community". It appeared to be a really good gig if you can devote 3 months to being on ship, eating well, and seeing the world, getting paid decent, and having a state of the art studio to work in. Corning is always looking for new people to fill slots on their 3 glassblowing studios aboard ships.
Had a great cruise and only gained 4 lb. and glass shows were an extra treat.

Franklin Sankar
05-13-2012, 04:47 PM
Did you get a chance to blow? Did you know any of the blowers?

James Ennis
05-14-2012, 10:20 AM
my buddy bob swidergall loves this gig. he was made to do just this....if you go try and hang out with him.

Pete VanderLaan
05-14-2012, 11:21 AM
No fraterinizing with the Cougars though

Tom Fuhrman
05-14-2012, 12:18 PM
Bob was the third person, couldn't remember his last name. seemed they were having a good time and doing some good collaboration pieces. Bob was an old SIU alum from the 70's. We had a few swaps of stories of "Aunt Gladys" back in the early years. I chatted with all of them a few times, but they were busy when they were working with 100-300 people watching most of the time. Tom did a 3 month gig in Murano last year after meeting some of the locals when they were docked there.

Thomas Chapman
05-14-2012, 01:50 PM
Sounds like fun, Tom, good for you!!

Not to get picky or anything, but for curiosity sakes, you mentioned Sprectum was the melt glass. Was it the original (system 96) nuggets, or the "Premium Nuggets" of unspecified coe/lec? Any observations or comments?

Tom Fuhrman
05-15-2012, 07:55 AM
they started with the original but now has I understand have swirched to the new formula. having no serious problems with what they have. not sure how often they get a new batch as when they are all over the world getting new supplies is not an option.