Cleaning a Wet Tile Saw (Dewalt) after cutting Glass.

by Al Heilman July 06, 2020

My dad taught me a long time ago to clean up after I made a mess in our shop.  If you keep your tools clean they last a long time and save you money on repair bills. If you learn how to take your saw apart and how to clean it, it will work when you need it.    Please leave us some feedback.  If you have and idea for future blogs and videos let me know and I will research the topic it may turn up in a new blog. Enjoy and have some fun in your studio!  [...]

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A Murrini Course in Houston on May 5th and 6th, FAMILY ADDITIONS, & Graduation...

by Al Heilman July 06, 2020

I appreciate your  support of my Blogs and work.  I have been asked to teach a course based on my blogs.  I will be doing the lectures and Cyndi Seeberger will provide help with the facility.  Thanks for the invite Cyndi!!! This should be a fun weekend to connect with friends old and new.I will be expanding on the content of my I wish I knew blogs.  I hope you can make time to fit this into your schedule. hfc_-___advance__murrine_cane_and_the_vitrigraph_kiln_- [...]

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A surprise flight, and a note on studio safety.

by Al Heilman July 06, 2020 4 Comments

Yesterday my wife and I celebrated a wedding anniversary.... with an unexpected surprise flight and a rocky landing. I was working with glass powders in my studio very early in the morning. I was letting my wife sleep in so the lights were dim in the bedroom.I always put a respirator mask on when working with glass powders.  I wanted to record what I was doing with a picture.  My cell phone/camera was in the kitchen,  so I left my respirator face mask on and was "onl [...]

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Art - A Paradigm Shift and Graduation

by Al Heilman July 06, 2020

ART - The Oxford dictionary's definition of Art is: a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the author's imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.When I decided  to become an artist I  never imagined the many new directions, challenges, and finally, joy I would experience.  Yes, there was a big  learning curve; which included lear [...]

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About Al Heilman

by Al Heilman July 06, 2020

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Creating Copies with a lost wax process... casting in Gold and Bronze

by Al Heilman July 06, 2020

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Murrine Glass from a Caldera Kiln...notes on the first firing

by Al Heilman July 06, 2020

After I made the mobile stand and firing shelf for my Caldera kiln the next step was to pull some glass.  Here are some notes on my  first firing.I fabricated a cold rolled steel bottom that was 6 x 6   with a 1 and  1/4 inch hole in the center. Next I cut a piece of kiln fiber paper 1/8 inch thick to the size of the steel base. Wear a mask.1/8" Fiber Paper - 24" X 24"​Next I cut 48 sheets of glass 5 x 5 to fit in square stainless steel kiln boxFilled up the fusing box [...]

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Cleaning the Murrine fusing vessel and the Caldera Kiln

by Al Heilman July 06, 2020

When we finish pulling murrine we need to know how to clean the kiln and the murrine fusing vessel.  Here is a youtube video about my process of pulling murrine and how to clean up the kiln and fusing vessel.  Links to all the tools and equipment I use are included.  Hepa Vacuum I use to clean up glass dust and fiber paper residual.Fein 9-20-28 TURBO II SET Turbo SetWelding blankets  kevlar works to 1200 and black carbon blanket protects to 1800 degrees. Perfect&nbs [...]

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Loss and the Soul Tree of Life

by Al Heilman July 06, 2020

When so much pain and inexplicable loss encompass our lives, how do we make sense of it?  Life is so fragile, and the time we get to experience it, is far too short for too many.

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Vessels and Healing

by Al Heilman July 06, 2020 6 Comments

This blog deals with my journey as a healer and artist producing vessels.  I  discuss how healing can occur thru art. It also relates to the care of our own (vessels) bodies.

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Safety in the Glass,  Enamel and the Art Studio.

by Al Heilman July 06, 2020

As a orthopedic surgeon I have spent many hours repairing people's bodies from accidents or injuries.  It always made me feel bad when the cause of the injury was related to careless accidents.  Such as drug use, alcohol use, sleep deprivation, or inappropriate safety.  Many of  these injuries could have been prevented if safety was the norm.  My motivation in writing this blog was to  collect a great deal of important info, and put in in one easy accessible&nb [...]

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What went wrong with this drop?

by Al Heilman July 06, 2020

This is a problem solving video published for fellow glass artists.

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The Silver Lining behind the Covid 19 Pandemic

by Al Heilman July 06, 2020 3 Comments

Would I ever want to go back to the way things were before?

That's the question I, and so many other friends are asking. The pandemic is reshuffling life if many unexpected ways. No doubt there are  profound negatives but there are also so many positives.

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Black Lives Matter

by Al Heilman July 06, 2020 1 Comment

With the events of the last 2 weeks I have been challenged to really look inside myself. I sat, read and listened so that I could learn and grow. As a white person I cannot imagine what it was like growing up with such prejudice and fear. The challenge is to realize there is so much we take for granted and to learn to appreciate and treat all minorities as equals.

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Changes and The New Normal

by Al Heilman July 06, 2020 1 Comment

It is time to really listen and feel the pain so many have. We need to learn from our fellow humans how we can all work together non-violently. We need to all be treated equally by the police and under our laws. We all have the same rights and needs for safety, respect and a right to be heard.
 
We are capable of change and healing. I hope that those who are in morning can find a way to heal. Having recently lost my Mom, I can offer that this process is not a fast or easy one. To have the violence and issues on top of this is unfortunate and something that is horrible.
 
As an Artist, I work with vessels and healing. I hope this vessel will be a seed for change and healing. Healing is possible in this difficult time. It will take time, reflection and change to forge a new way forward.

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Removing the rim off a drop ring glass vessel using a wet tile saw.

by Al Heilman July 06, 2020

A blog and video of how to remove a  glass vessel from the drop ring using a wet tile saw.

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An article about Al Heilman and his Art

by Al Heilman September 03, 2018

A very nice article published on Voyage Houston , September 2018.

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A simple jig for cutting a larger hole in the bottom of a clay pot used for fusing/casting glass

by Al Heilman August 23, 2018 1 Comment

I use a simple jig to keep the diamond drill centered when enlarging a hole in the bottom of a clay pot used for casting glass or  for pulling larger Murrini glass.

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Making of rectangular fused glass trays from invitations using laser waterslide decals.

by Al Heilman June 18, 2018 7 Comments

When  I received the invitation to a summer wedding I was  intrigued by the special invitation(s).  One was to a wedding in India , and the another to the subsequent American wedding. I decided to make a couple of rectangular glass trays for the newlyweds to celebrate their life  events.  The first step was to scan the invitation into my computer and see what I could do to make this work.

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Cold Working a Murrini Vessel

by Al Heilman May 03, 2018 2 Comments

Cold working glass is an art that can be learned and finishes your work.  I will walk you thru my process.  I am sure there are many other ways to do this on a wet belt sander or by hand but I prefer a wet lap.  After a learning curve it is my go to method. My wet flat lap is a 12 inch variable speed unit from covington engineering.  I had them make the stand higher as I am so tall. Flat laps are a big ticket item but worth it for me as I use it on most of my work. The s [...]

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My Passions and Art, plus A Studio Tour

by Al Heilman May 02, 2018

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The Making of a Murrini drop ring vessel start to coldworking

by Al Heilman May 01, 2018

Here is the process I used to make this  Drop ring Vessel  Side ASide BSo this is how I made this vessel.​I started by pulling Murrini from a Caldera Kiln on a stand. (See my blog about making this stand and pulling Murrini)I collect this info on the back of the sheet to try and keep track of the process.al_firing_schedule_sheet1.pdfFile Size:112 kbFile Type:pdfDownload FileI use this log sheet to record how I stacked the glass and what temp it fired. You can download  it a [...]

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Cutting Larger Murrini Glass (greater than 10 mm) on A (Dewalt)  wet tile Saw

by Al Heilman February 06, 2018 1 Comment

This you tube video describes the process I use to cut larger pieces of murrine into parallel pieces.  I then use these pieces  to fuse a  blank that I use for making drop ring Murrine Vessels.  A list of tools and supplies are in this blog.There are several great wet tile saws for glass.  I like the Dewalt wet tile saw for several reasons.  The first is it is very precise, Second it is easy to clean, Third it has plenty of power, Fourth it has a nice stand and it i [...]

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Making a Drop ring Murrine fused glass Vase

by Al Heilman January 30, 2018

The next step was figuring out what to do with the murrine I had made.  I decided to make a drop ring vase by fusing this murrine into a blank  and then using a drop ring mold to  slump a vessel. ​ I fabricated a 3/4 inch stainless steel rings in my shop then added fiber paper 1 /16 inch to inside ring. Held fiber paper on  w Elmer's glue and then placed on  kiln  shelf paper.  Then stacked murrini in center of  2 sizes of blanks.  Decided [...]

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How to make an Ergonomic Murrine Glass Cutter with a Lexan cut off bin.

by Al Heilman January 23, 2018

When I added making murrine glass to my studio I had to come up with a way: 1. To cut it ergonomically and not stress my wrists and carpal tunnel, 2. To be able to set up repeatable cut lengths, and 3. To capture the cut glass murrine missiles so they did not end up all over the studio. Before you start making murrine take a class.  I took a class for Larry Pile at Hollander glass in Houston.  Also a big thank you to Cyndi who works there for her help and support.  The course will [...]

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Morning reflections, on a snowy cold day, on things I have learned during my growth as an artist.

by Al Heilman January 16, 2018

​This stuff we call art is enticing and exciting but it requires a great deal of very hard work, learning and failure.Sometimes you need to take a class with a master teacher, and other times, with the web searches, and your brain you can figure it out.Your ideas are your stimulus to your work, no ones else. So you have to learn to trust your ideas and not be afraid of failure.Going to look at  art  online, in museums or in a gallery, or on pinterest is crucial to training [...]

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A simple water source/ solution for wet laps and wet belt sanders used in cold working glass and enamels.

by Al Heilman January 14, 2018 1 Comment

When I was setting up my cold working area in my studio I needed a simple way of getting water to my machines without expensive plumbing. Recirculating used water with a pump is possible but you risk introducing grit from previous steps, and thus scratches into your work from the wastewater contamination.​Here is what I came up with and it works perfect.  I started out with a trip to the Lowes.  I am sure any home center will do.​Hook one end of 1/4 inch tubing to your  machin [...]

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Making a  mobile stand for a Caldera Kiln used to  make Murrine Glass.

by Al Heilman January 13, 2018 1 Comment

Murrine glass  is name for the small circles of glass with  patterns inside them. ​"Murrine (singular: murrina) are colored patterns or images made in a glass cane that are revealed when the cane is cut into thin cross-sections. Murrine can be made in infinite designs from simple circular or square patterns to complex detailed designs to even portraits of people. One familiar style is the flower or star shape which, when used together in large numbers from a [...]

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How did you do that? The making of a Eutectic fired Enamel Bowl.

by Al Heilman July 27, 2017

As an artist I have  spent many years learning to look, listen, and feel in order to create my work. Often, I look at an art work and wonder how in the world did the artist make that?  So many times you have to take a course to learn a new process or technique. That can get very expensive when you figure in tuition, travel, lodging, and meals.  I also understand that some techniques in art, like enameling, take years to perfect and learn with inherent dangers of a kiln and t [...]

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Emotional Passages and Life:  Art titles

by Al Heilman July 15, 2017

When I am working on a new piece of art friends always ask me what is the title? For me the title develops at various stages of the work. For me titles  tend to be developed from a much deeper place, from my "emotional passages", or as a hidden surprise to the viewer. Reflecting on  the ways I have navigated thru life, I find there is a fierce internal force burning inside me.  Sometimes is is subtle and other times and it is brutal and knocks you flat on your butt [...]

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