Hoist Away- the Final Gear gets Mounted

IMG_3803It was a moment to freeze in time just a bit ago when the final gear got mounted.

No video, because I was working the hoist chain to lift it into place, but some great shots to give you a preview of what it will look like.  IMG_3801

This picture with Dave standing next to it ( he is 6’1″) gives you a sense of real life scale.

The rest of today will be mounting that last piece of glass in place, and then all the final  clean and polish work in prep for the move later this week.    Although the statue is imposing enough at 8′ tall, and 2000 lbs, I like this angle on it as the gears, like Kokomo, reach for the sky. IMG_3804

Pouring the Crescents

IMG_3371We fell in love with Kokomo Opalescent Glass (KOG) quite a while ago.  With our passion for Steampunk, it is a perfect match- Art glass still made the Victorian Way.  Achoo, Christmas and Dinner Time all had KOG inserts in some of the gears. Nan has custom cut circles that get switched in and out of googles, and we used it as inserts for our Steampunk Christmas Ornaments.  When designing this piece, there was no doubt in either of our minds that KOG glass would look just as cool in Stainless Steel gears as it did in Wooden ones. We wanted to do something a bit different than just filling the “spoke holes” with glass, so Dave designed cutouts in two of the biggest gears- at the top and the bottom.  This meant custom designing the molds as well, but finally the time arrived to pour the crescents.

First they have to warm up the pouring table:

Then, the pour itself:

KOG has also done a nice write up with photos that include the crescent after it cooled, where you can see the turquoise blue color.


How to Maintain a Tradition and still Innovate Art.

This hexagonal structure is a furnace that gets rebuilt every couple of years.

It is the furnace where they melt the ingredients for Kokomo Opalescent Glass.  We are incredibly lucky, here in the City of Firsts to have the oldest remaining factory in the US who still makes old fashioned Stained Glass sheet glass.  They have been making art glass on this site since 1888.  The glass comes in a multitude of colors/color mixes and textures that are “printed” into the glass when it is rolled into a sheet.

This glass, that starts its life as what looks like a pile of sand, and gets carried by running men in giant metal ladles to go into the rollers, has ended up in many cathedrals around the world.

The results of combining up to 5 colors of glass at a time and a multitude of textures is a series of rooms of gorgeous sheet glass- each one slightly unique in all the world.

In addition to being shipped globally to repair old stained glass ( a series of batches went out to Japan this summer to assist with repair stained glass in cathedrals damaged in their recent catastrophes), this glass also ends up in new art, like that made locally by Little Town Glass and OgreWorkshop. Look Carefully at glass in the top cog- what do you see that was created by the mixing of the glass?

The KOG factory does tours all week. The day we were there, there were stained glass lovers from three different states and some local folks as well. It made a great Geek Family Outing for three generations of our family that day. You can see more pictures, including shots of the glass blowing section of the factory, in this album: