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Old 03-19-2016, 11:54 AM
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Greg Vriethoff Greg Vriethoff is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: USSA
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Greg Vriethoff is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by Trevor Pierce View Post
Just like running ladles for Steve Edwards, pouring 20 LARGE ladles in a day tears you upů. Steve learned that the hard way and moved to a tipping furnace near the end of his days at Alfred. Then all he had to do was push buttons for winches to pull out molds on carts from annealers and pouring was hooked up the same way. That saved costs and body parts, you don't need 4 or 5 helpers to pour your molds. This Subject of saving your body is one that is often not taken seriously enough in the glass world. Something as simple as working out to maintain the muscles you need helps significantly, as does stretching before you work. In my mind though, a well thought out and tested plan trumps everything.
I would like to resume the type of work I started in grad school, but I currently lack a facility to support it. My pie-in-the-sky vision for my studio would be a setup like Steve has. I had already decided I will need a roll-out annealer, but since ruining my back a few years ago I know I can't handle all the ladling it would require.

There's a lot of good advice here that people are throwing out. I learned the importance of icing the first time I dislocated my knee when I was seventeen. From the time I started working as a teenager I learned the mantra "lift with your knees, not your back." I thought I was being careful. I learned the hard way that there's more to it than that. Core strength, posture, and heredity all factor-in as well.

Spending four years in Seattle lugging around 50 lb bags of batch was a huge part of it. Running a ladle all day at the last factory I worked was the final straw. Life changed profoundly for me with one stupid mistake. I'm grateful that my employer didn't dispute the workman's comp claim. I'm also grateful that I didn't need surgery... yet. The three MRI's I eventually had would have cost me over 3K since Kaiser wouldn't cover that. Otherwise they did a decent job with my care.

Manual labor like this is just going to take its toll eventually. All you can do is preventative maintenance to prolong your working life.
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