In the natural gas world, we are used to hot temperatures, our customers like their homes to be heated and their showers to be warm. For our customers like Matt Paskiet, owner and founder of FireNation Glass Studio and Gallery, “hot” has an entirely different meaning.
The studio’s hand-built, natural gas furnace and reheating chambers are heated up to keep the glass between 2,025°F and 2,500°F, so Matt and his team of artists can produce stunning pieces of art for customers around the world.
The furnace is where “batch” (or glass raw materials like silica) is heated to 2,200°F every week. This batch becomes the liquid glass that Matt and his team uses to create their art work.
“Without reliable natural gas, my business cannot operate,” shared Matt, “Anytime there is an interruption [which is rare], it costs my business thousands of dollars in lost revenue and damaged product.”
The reheating chambers are used during the actual glass blowing process, they reheat the pieces as the artists shape them, adds color or add more glass. The reheating chambers are running whenever the studio is being used.
FireNation is just one of the many glass studios in Northwest Ohio, and the area is considered the birthplace of the studio glass movement. Historically, glass work was very secretive and accessible only to certain craftsmen with the right factory for heating and shaping glass.
This all started to change in 1962 when a group of ceramic artists gathered in Toledo for a workshop. As the decade progressed, these artists started to develop the studio glass movement, based on the idea that a few people with a smaller furnace could create beautiful pieces, without the need for a massive factory.
FireNation is open throughout the year for shoppers and tours. The team of artists also hold workshops throughout the year, participants can sign up to make Christmas ornaments, bowls, paper weights, vases and much more.
To learn more about FireNation, visit http://www.firenation.com/.