Glassmaker Lessons: Roll or Get Dragged

Annie Morhauser working with glass in the kiln.

Glassmaker Lessons
#1 Roll or Get Dragged

A new series Annie will be sharing

Building a glass factory certainly has its challenges. Learning to adjust as Annieglass grew has been a wild ride at times. 

It seemed like I never had enough *kilns to *slump glass in. Before I knew it, I had 30 of them. Some are very large. They are the work horses packed full of plates daily. Or heated hot enough to melt scrap glass into trays called Elements. Some kilns are round for making bowls. Then there are “The Rock Stars” used for making beautiful large sculptures in varying heights.

There is a tradition of christening a new kiln with a name at Annieglass. The staff takes turns. Some are named for beloved family or pets. Some are just plain silly ones: Blanche, Rufus or Buster. 

Like people they all have their quirks. Some heat unevenly. Some heat too hot or too slow and need adjustment. Sometimes not at all and need fixing.

Some of the best advice I ever got was to keep everything on wheels, especially the kilns. Moving one without wheels is no fun, even if they are empty when we do. After the big earthquake, I was so glad for that advice.

I believe this is a metaphor for real life too. Keep it on wheels. Roll with it instead of over it when life gets in your way. It pays to move over rather than being hard wired to a wall. There’s no need to take everything down with you.

I’m not saying be a doormat. But sometimes you’ll have to put yourself on wheels. The trick is knowing when to roll and how far.




*Kilns are ovens for firing ceramics or in our case, *slumping glass, which is bending it over ceramic molds to get their shape and permanently fuse the 24k gold or platinum to the glass.