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Old 12-19-2005, 07:59 PM
JDAdams JDAdams is offline
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Trying to help my father, a glassblower

Hi! I'm brand new to this site (and having a few problems maneuvering around!). I've been searching the web for my dad, for an answer to a problem.

My father is "Larry Williams, Artist in Glass" in San Antonio, TX; he's the glassblower at La Villita. He is 85 years old -- 86 in March -- and still goes and blows glass 6 days a week (usually). He has told my brother (but no one else besides my mother, yet) that he's seriously considering retiring in February, but that he'd like to have a place to store a small amount of glass, his fires, and a propane tank, so that he could still go and make a few pieces now and then if he wanted to. (His glass work is in miniatures, not furnace work.) He was talking about a storage shed, but I really don't think storing a propane tank in a storage shed is do-able...let alone blowing glass in one!

So...does anyone out there know of a place in San Anotnio (preferably; mobility is limited as far as any kind of distance) that teaches glassblowing? I'm pretty sure there are classes offered there somewhere, but I have no idea where. My thought is that maybe he could "rent" space in exchange for occasionally teaching a class there...sort of a guest lecturer.

Any ideas, anyone?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 12-19-2005, 08:42 PM
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Re: Trying to help my father, a glassblower

I think Heritage Glass is in San Antonio...maybe they could help. I think they just have lampworking classes, but perhaps they'd know someone in the area who could help....

Just a thought...janie
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Old 12-19-2005, 08:45 PM
rasbeads rasbeads is offline
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Re: Trying to help my father, a glassblower

Hi, I don't know if we can solve your problem, but thought you might be interested in the fact that your father used to sell his glass to us when we had the shop at Disneyland. Ask him if he remembers Bill Rasmussen. We're pleased to know that he is still working. He is ten years older than Bill who will turn 78 in March. How much room does he have in his yard? You can check our website to see what we have set up as a studio in our back yard. Our shop is 10X16, houses two workbenches and a lot of other stuff. We store the tanks in the yard next to the shop with hoses going in. Maybe a set up like this will work for him.

Please tell him that we say hello and wish him many more years in good health.

Laura and Bill Rasmussen
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Old 12-19-2005, 08:46 PM
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richsantaclaus richsantaclaus is offline
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Re: Trying to help my father, a glassblower

good thought, I was about to suggest the same place - my step daughter lives in texas and I told her and she suggested the same place!...lol
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Old 12-19-2005, 11:57 PM
JDAdams JDAdams is offline
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Re: Trying to help my father, a glassblower

Thanks, Rasmussens! He and my mother moved to a retirement center about 2 1/2 years ago...so the back yard won't work. (He did have a shed in the back yard, though, at their old home.) If I get the opportunity later, I'll tell him you said hi; he doesn't know about my inquiries yet regarding schools, etc. (It seems like I remember your name, though.)

If you think of anything else, please let me know! Thanks!
JDAdams
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Old 12-19-2005, 11:58 PM
JDAdams JDAdams is offline
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Re: Trying to help my father, a glassblower

I'll try them. Thanks, "jms" and "richsantaclaus", very much for your help!
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Old 12-20-2005, 08:12 AM
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NYCindy NYCindy is offline
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Re: Trying to help my father, a glassblower

Good morning!

Best wishes to your father! Wow! 85 and still goes to blow glass 6 days a week! He must love what he does! Imagine all he knows about glass! It's amazing! He's fortunate to have you to support him in his transition.

Here's are some other options, all have hot glass-

Dragonfire Hot Glass Studio
(210) 764-8464
1211 W Blanco Rd
San Antonio, TX 78232
http://www.dragonfirehotglass.com


Southwest School of Art & Craft
300 Augusta • San Antonio • TX 78205-1296
Phone: (210) 224-1848 • Fax: (210) 224-9337
[email protected]www.swschool.org


Good luck!
Cindy
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Old 12-20-2005, 03:42 PM
JDAdams JDAdams is offline
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Re: Trying to help my father, a glassblower

thanks you sooo much, Cindy! Both of those places are not far away from my folks' place. I really appreciate the info!

Judy
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Old 12-21-2005, 07:43 AM
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Re: Trying to help my father, a glassblower

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDAdams
thanks you sooo much, Cindy! Both of those places are not far away from my folks' place. I really appreciate the info!

Judy


No problem, Judy! Good luck and let us know if your Dad retires and how he does.

Cindy
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Old 12-21-2005, 11:48 AM
beadbroad beadbroad is offline
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Re: Trying to help my father, a glassblower

Oh, hey!! Would you do me a favor?

I would love to know your father's perspective on safety, currently and historically. Does he use protective glasses? What kind? If he worked without them for some time, for how long, and has he had any eye problems?

Ditto on inquiry into ventilation. Does he work with hard or soft glass? I'm guessing from the Disney connection that he works boro. Please post either in this thread or one with a relevant title. One person isn't exactly a scientific study, but it's information that is hard to find.

Thanks, and best of luck hooking him up with some local resources. I wish he were here.
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Old 12-22-2005, 12:53 AM
JDAdams JDAdams is offline
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Re: Trying to help my father, a glassblower

I'll have to ask him...probably after the holidays. I'm almost positive he does wear protective glasses, but I have no idea what kind. I can also ask my brother; he does a little glassblowing now and then, and has taught his kids, although I think the only one of the 3 that has shown much interest is his oldest daughter. She and my brother both make ornaments for friends around the holidays, and other things from time to time. I know my dad kind of wishes my brother took it up more...but he's an M.D., and I know Daddy is proud of that, too!

I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
**********
I just called my brother. He says that if Daddy's not using Pyrex or boro, Daddy uses a glass shield (which is on a stand in front of his face) which protects him from the ultraviolet light and flying glass. If he's using the boro, he does use didenium (sp?) glasses. And no, he doesn't work without one or the other. The only eye problems either of us knows of are cataracts, which have been removed...but that's pretty common with people of his age, and probably not attributable to the glassblowing.

As for ventilation, there is nothing special. He does have the shop air-conditioned now [which, many years ago, I remember it was not -- and it was very(!) hot in there], and people go through the shop from outside doors on either side of him. I hope that helps!
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Old 12-23-2005, 12:44 PM
danagirl danagirl is offline
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Re: Trying to help my father, a glassblower

Well, I tried to post this earlier this week and it wouldn't let me post, so I pm'd you. So, I'll try again - publicly! FYI, Heritage Glass is just north of New Braunfels (which is north of SA).



Hi,
Have you tried the Southwest School of Art and Craft - http://www.swschool.org/classes_departments.php.

They have glassblowing classes there.
Also, Diane's Rainbow Glass - a stained glass shop - not glass blowing, necessarily.... but maybe Diane would have other ideas. www.dianesrainbowglass.com

I pm'd this because it wouldn't let me reply to your post..

HTH,
Dana (in Seguin - just up the road from SA)
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Old 12-27-2005, 07:10 PM
JDAdams JDAdams is offline
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Re: Trying to help my father, a glassblower

Hi, Dana! Thanks for your suggestions. Someone else did suggest Heritage, and the Southwest School, although I don't think I had heard of Diane's Rainbow Glass before. I appreciate the info!

Judy
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Old 12-28-2005, 01:14 AM
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Re: Trying to help my father, a glassblower

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDAdams
Hi! I'm brand new to this site (and having a few problems maneuvering around!). I've been searching the web for my dad, for an answer to a problem.

My father is "Larry Williams, Artist in Glass" in San Antonio, TX; he's the glassblower at La Villita. He is 85 years old -- 86 in March -- and still goes and blows glass 6 days a week (usually). He has told my brother (but no one else besides my mother, yet) that he's seriously considering retiring in February, but that he'd like to have a place to store a small amount of glass, his fires, and a propane tank, so that he could still go and make a few pieces now and then if he wanted to. (His glass work is in miniatures, not furnace work.) He was talking about a storage shed, but I really don't think storing a propane tank in a storage shed is do-able...let alone blowing glass in one!

So...does anyone out there know of a place in San Anotnio (preferably; mobility is limited as far as any kind of distance) that teaches glassblowing? I'm pretty sure there are classes offered there somewhere, but I have no idea where. My thought is that maybe he could "rent" space in exchange for occasionally teaching a class there...sort of a guest lecturer.

Any ideas, anyone?

Thanks for your help!

Oh...when I lived in Texas we would bring all of our visitors down to San Antonio and we always stopped in your dad's shop. May he enjoy retirement!! San Antonio will not be the same without him!!!
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Old 12-28-2005, 02:13 AM
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Lewis W Lewis W is offline
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Re: Trying to help my father, a glassblower

This man is up there as a national treasure. He does not go back as far as Bill Rassmussen, but he is trained in one of the most difficult and hardest type of lampworking there is.
He is a master of the cross fire torch. I have known him maybe 15 or 20 years. I met him first when he came into my gallery in Old Town and introduced himself. We have traded pieces about ten years ago.
His torches are six or seven torches in a cresent, then the same on the opposite side. You work with a curved row away from you and the second facing you. The flames cancel each other out and create an "oven like area' in the middle. He uses French and German soft glass. He does many blown designs of animals. Very much in the style of the Lauche hollow animals.
This man knows glass from an era when things took time. He does not deserve to just have studio privilages. He deserves for some one that is a thinker to get a studio built with him in mind, AND CHARGE ADMISSION TO WATCH. Arrange classes to bring lampworkers in and pay as a lecture demo class. He knows things that will not be found in most books or any videos.
Whom ever gives this man a place to work , HAS JUST WON THE LOTTERY. Better than having the Pope come by and say Sunday prayer. Better than having some lame video seller (like myself) come by and do a razzle dazzle. I believe that his O2 source is not tanked but compressed.
Just my 2 cents. Wish he lived close to me.
Lewis C Wilson
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