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Ralph Laborde 03-04-2020 03:47 PM

Glass Blowing classes and COVID-19
Thoughts? Should glass blowing classes to the general public be suspended now or should we wait to see what happens.

We have had 8 confirmed cases in San Antonio, TX from people that were brought here by the CDC to be quarantined - none residents of San Antonio.

Pete VanderLaan 03-04-2020 05:08 PM

I'd be aware. I'd have individual pipes for each student. Mark them. Constant Hand washing is wise just as it was in the ER for me thirty years back. No one got sick. . If they sneeze, leave them out . You have an equal risk at the grocery store really.

It's a new mindset. Respect it.

Michael Charles McCain 03-04-2020 08:29 PM

We're a public 'experience' based glass business, and every morning we wipe the pipes down with rubbing alcohol. I even had the boy start q-tipping inside the pipes with alcohol. The first time he did it the q-tip cam out black.
We also have a box of single use alcohol wipes that everystudent must use on the mouthpiece before blowing their bubble. I wash my hands and face in between each thirty minute class with soap and water.
Beyond that, there's not much to be done besides changing the whole business model, and that ain't happening.

Shawn Everette 03-05-2020 08:53 AM

There isn't a ton to be done aside from continuing hygienic procedures that should already be habitual. Shelter in place seems like a really bad business plan. If it's to the point that I fear picking it up from the studio, then they've probably shut down the city.

Honestly I've been amazed at how little disease does runs rampant at glass studios.

Pete VanderLaan 03-05-2020 09:50 AM

Maybe all those people you thought had lost interest died..

Larry Cazes 03-05-2020 02:02 PM

Would you shut down classes for the seasonal Influenza outbreaks we see every year? Standard precautions apply. Im a huge fan of all steel mouthpieces on blowpipes in shared situations for their ease of sanitation.

Max Epstein 03-05-2020 09:41 PM

Just stick the hot pipe in a bucket of water when you're done to steam it. Voila!

But seriously, as I am just submitting plans to finally reopen my shop it's making me seriously reconsider my business model and how well I'll be able to do without make your owns. I really don't want to be sharing this ahit around.

Eben Horton 03-05-2020 09:52 PM

If you clean your pipes with alcohol and donít let anyone sneeze on you, the greater risk to your safety is a student burning or cutting themselves and suing you for damages. Seriously.

Pete VanderLaan 03-06-2020 06:57 AM

I think Eben to be correct.
I think a jar of 90% alcohol where you can just dip the blowpipe end. Then keep the number of pipes for classes isolated. The other concern of course is handling tools, doors, fridge doors.

But it's just a hunch.

Shawn Everette 03-06-2020 08:35 AM

I'm curious how it's going to impact festival attendance. About a 1/3 of my sales come from a singular show that supposedly attracts 500k people to a town of 14k for a week. Talk about close quarters. That's still half a year a way, so I'm thinking either this will blow over or the damage will be done by then.

Either way I've been spending more time trying to expand and experiment should people shy away from the normal production during the money season.

Mark Rosenbaum 03-06-2020 10:24 AM

Wait, y'all are sharing pipes with BYO people??? They are blowing directly through the mouthpiece????? We have not been doing that since the Swine Flu scare....

Shawn Everette 03-06-2020 10:55 AM

They use the hose, which isn't often since most of our byo programming is solid. Last blown option I had was in January.

The pipes are communal for all semester classes, and there's not really any way around that. We have some storage for those that want to buy their own, but not enough for 26 people.

Pete VanderLaan 03-06-2020 11:03 AM

I would think a class requirement for your own students is that they have to purchase a tube and mouthpiece. I forget how the mouthpiece part actually fits into the apparatus. If it's a plug in thing, just buy a bunch for the ornament people and charge for it. They won't complain.

I can't stand the things since I get tangled up in them like a dog with a leash around a lampost.

My interest now is negotiating the grocery store. While there are wipes at the carts, it's not true at the refrigeration sections nor is it at the keypad part of checking out. I carry three or four wipes into the store in my pocket at this point. True for gasoline as well. Wipes are getting rather scarce to buy.

Shawn Everette 03-06-2020 11:38 AM

Considering they're $50 a pop I doubt I'll be able to roll it into a cost of a $80 BYO. The regulars are for the most part taught old school, and get tangled if they try to use them. Resistant to change, so don't know that the fear of disease is going to change the habits. You have to change the way you approach the bench and the hole. I got used to it after years of bad assistants and good production.

I just got q-tips and a jar of alcohol today for them to use inside the pipe between turns, they'll probably adhere to that for a while. They've actually always been good about swiping the outside.

We just got our first case confirmed north of town, someone back from a conference in Boston.

Pete VanderLaan 03-06-2020 11:43 AM

It's easier to retire than to get used to the hose. It gets tangled up with the tin snips.

Some smart soul should look at the fitting and figure out a way to put a disposible piece of hose on it. Make some parts using smooth on silicon rubber.

Sky Campbell 03-06-2020 02:12 PM


Originally Posted by Pete VanderLaan (Post 147116)
It's easier to retire than to get used to the hose. It gets tangled up with the tin snips.

I needed a good laugh today. Iím off to a show on a little island down in the gulf 7 more after that. No way could I produce the amount or quality work that I do without the use of a blow hose. That said I find my days making larger work without the blow hose to be less work and very enjoyable. We all do what works for us. That includes the old tin snips you seem to love. I have adopted some needle nose pliers on my bench so thereís that.

Rick Wilton 03-06-2020 02:47 PM

I remember someone using hookah pipe tips on their BYO shop. I looked up the pieces and it makes sense. You can get 100 of them for $10.00

Pete VanderLaan 03-06-2020 03:14 PM

Thank You Rick! Get to your head shops! I'll bet Amazon has them.

I don't really use tin snips. I was making fun of myself. I have duck billed snips from cutting edge as well as Bansai scissors. I do like my needle nose pliers and while people thought them funny on the bench, people used them and really liked them quite quickly. My tools are rather normal.

. I don't care for the hose but I make so little glass now, none of that stuff matters.

Art Freas 03-06-2020 04:56 PM

We are doing the following.
1) guidelines on not coming in as an employee if you feel sick.
2) relaxing refund/reschedule policies on events with guidelines for sick and at risk to avoid.
3) individual blow hoses sterilized every day and each blowhose has a different tag and tag color to prevent mix ups.
4) Sterilizing pipe mouthpieces with 91% alcohol
5) Wiping down pipes multiple times a day and between customers with Clorox wipes.
6) Fogging with Lysol spray in shop and gallery.
7) Wipeing down surfaces in the gallery with Clorox wipes.
8) 2X purell hand sanitizer.
9) All public events solid forms until further notice.

All disinfectants except for the purell are on the EPA approved disinfectants for this incident.

If there is anything I am missing please let me know.

Max Epstein 03-06-2020 07:09 PM

Sounds like you are doing everything possible and being responsible. Bravo.

Mark Rosenbaum 03-06-2020 10:54 PM


Originally Posted by Rick Wilton (Post 147118)
I remember someone using hookah pipe tips on their BYO shop. I looked up the pieces and it makes sense. You can get 100 of them for $10.00

Yup, been using them for years...
Had my first group cancellation today because their company won't allow them to travel....

Gabriel Greenlaw 03-07-2020 12:27 AM

I learned this week that for disinfecting the 70% isopropyl alcohol is better than the higher percentage because the water slows down the evaporation allowing the alcohol to fully kill the cells. I guess the 90% stuff just kills the outer layer.

David Hopman 03-07-2020 09:26 AM


Originally Posted by Gabriel Greenlaw (Post 147128)
I learned this week that for disinfecting the 70% isopropyl alcohol is better than the higher percentage because the water slows down the evaporation allowing the alcohol to fully kill the cells. I guess the 90% stuff just kills the outer layer.

Yes, 70% isopropyl is the optimum dilution for maximum killing. Lower or higher isn't as effective.

Art Freas 03-07-2020 09:38 AM

I think 70 for bacteria but higher for certain viruses. I will get the citation had my son the met look that up

Max Epstein 03-07-2020 01:15 PM

I think everyone needs to start thinking about your business model without make your owns completely.

Entirely possible we will start hitting epidemic levels across the US, particularly WA, OR, CA, NY, ATL by end of March or April.

Expect mass quarantining/social distancing by then, if our government can get their shit together. All sorts of conferences and travel are being cancelled already.

I'm actually reconsidering opening my shop back up again as I can probably get out of my lease. I could build out my trailer instead and work at home. Might just eat another month's rent and see how it all goes (I know some think I'm overreacting).

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