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MATSE Glassblowing Studio Glory Hole Furnace

Company: PSU MATSE Glass Blowing Studio

Primary: ME
Secondary: MATSE
Optional: IE

Non-Disclosure Agreement: NO

Intellectual Property: NO

The MATSE Glassblowing Studio has been in operation since early 2000's. The COVID pandemic killed the studio, but the studio has been brought back to life! The MATSE Glassblowing Studio 2.0 is also focused on becoming more sustainable. We currently have a batch furnace that holds 200 pounds of glass and two little Glass studio furnaces (Dragons) that hold 30 pounds of glass and contain the Glory Hole furnace all in one unit that is portable and about 500 pounds in size. In Glassblowing, the Glory Hole furnace is a second furnace (first is a batch furnace) where the glass is re-heated, as many times as necessary, to maintain workability of the glass. The furnace generally operates at a temperature of 1080 degrees centigrade to 1200 degrees centigrade. The Dragons' Glory Hole furnace is not amenable to inviting glass artists to visit, teach, or perform demonstrations (as well as limiting our own glassblowers) due to their size. Therefore, we request a team to research, design, and proto-type a Glory Hole furnace for the MATSE Glassblowing Studio. Objectives the team will be asked to complete are 1) research the appropriate shape of the Glory Hole furnace (there are quite a few...), then based on the research, 2) design a Glory Hole furnace, where priorities will be a) miniaturization (18 inch maximum glass piece size), b) heat and fuel efficiency (natural gas, propane, electricity, ???), and c) insulation of the process so that the room in which the furnace resides does not increase in temperature when the Glory Hole furnace is in use (next to impossible). Once the design has been approved, 3) building a proto-type of the designed Glory Hole furnace will begin. The proto-type (size, materials, etc.) will be determined by the pace of accomplishment of the first two objectives. The MATSE Glass Studio will want a finished product of a working Glory Hole furnace, but does not believe this can all be accomplished in one semester. So, there is your brass ring.



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The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802