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Equipment / Glassworking / Training

Glassworking Training

This page documents the process for being trained on the hot torch and glass kiln to make glass beads, and the list of members who have completed that training.


Training takes place in three main steps:

  • Group Training of 1-4 members, going through the equipment and how to use it (~1hr)
  • Individual Training Task, where an individual member is set a task to complete to prove and improve understanding (~30min each)
  • Project Oversight, where more experienced users oversee the projects being undertaken when cutting (first 2-3 projects)

Training on the Glassworking is run by the Glassworking Owners. The Glassworking Owners are a group of people responsible for maintaining and training on the glass kiln and torch, and hence have been trained to train, and trained to perform the weekly and monthly maintenance on the glass kiln.


Sessions are advertised on

  • For discussing training, or requesting additional slots if needed, use the mailing list thread: Glass Kiln training


  • You can only be trained if you have your name allocated to a slot (groups will be restricted to three at a time, so please don't make up additional spaces)
  • You must do the group and individual training on the same day
  • Until we've cleared the backlog, please consider other members, and only sign up for an induction when you actually have something in mind you want to make in the glass kiln, not just because you want to be trained on and able to use everything (don't worry, you will get trained eventually!)

Trained Users

The following members of Makespace are owners of the glassworking stuff, so are trained to use and teach use of Glassworking:

The following members of Makespace are trained and qualified to use the glass kiln and torch (note, they are not qualified to train others however):

  • David Bebb
  • Roeland Schumacher
  • Hannah Wray
  • Indy Wilkhu
  • J. Antonio Barragan
  • ST
  • Pop Sharma (ST, 09/10/2013)
  • Shareef Jalloq (ST, 09/10/2013)
  • Armando Carlone (ST, 09/10/2013)

Training Cheatsheet

The training structure and prompt sheet. Please note, this is used by the Glassworking Owners as a prompt to ensure training is executed in a consistent and complete fashion is included on this page; this does not constitute and is not a substitute for the training itself.

Group Training

The group training introduction structure, suitable for 1-4 members at a time in a 1 hr session.

Glass Bead making inductions:

Torch: Three taps. Open all three to work with torch. Close all three after you finish. Do not overtighten or you’ll damage the thread. 1st tap: counterclockwise open. clockwise close (arrow embossed in tap) 2nd tap: clockwise open. counterclockwise close (label on tap) 3rd tap: counterclockwise open. clockwise close (direction inscribed in brass tap) For safety, smell for leaking gas in case last person forgot to close the taps. Post online and email owners when gas is running low. Please do not reach over the flame or try to stand up while the flame is still turned on! – Make sure you have everything within reach before you start.

Kiln: Kiln instructions booklet found in box below table. For annealing, use program 1. Be careful not to knock the thermocouple at the back of the kiln. Allow the bead to cool slightly before putting it in the kiln – if very hot glass touches kiln walls/shelf it can stick. In annealing program, kiln cools at 222 degrees C/hr until shut off. Try to be around during shut off time. If you can’t, at least make sure that the kiln has completed its program before you head home for the night. You can add your own program under program 3. If you accidentally change settings for program 1 please re-enter settings for bead annealing as described in instructions book or let us know if you have problems. Using kiln for fusing glass – go ahead if you know how to do it. If not, inductions will come later. Please only use glue suitable for kilns (eg. Superglue contains cyanide and will release cyanide gas). RapidFire Paper/Powders – wear gas masks and clean the kiln shelves outdoors.

Glass: Explain compatibility of glass - COE and viscosity. Bullseye sells glass that is COE 90 compatible and not COE 90 compatible. Smaller brands selling COE 90 will advertise their glass as either Bullseye compatible (they’ve tested it), or just COE 90 (they haven’t tested it, but it’s probably ok). If you use your own glass that is not Bullseye COE 90, please make sure it doesn’t get mixed up with the stock glass.

Demonstrate how to make a glass bead:

Pulling hot glass rods away from the flame quickly will cause long tapers in the glass rod. Round off glass rods before putting them away as thin long ends of glass can snap off and leave a sharp point.

Thermoshock. Heat glass slowly and cool glass slowly to avoid thermoshock. Keep glass pointed away from you when you heat or cool glass. Make sure people watching are doing so far away or are seated behind you. If your rod gets bent while you are working with it, straighten it while it is hot before letting it cool and putting it away. This makes it easier to guess the direction the bits of glass will fly if it thermoshocks. Careful not to let your bead cool too much too quickly when you are working with it or it can thermoshock. – For the most part the penetration force of the bits of flying glass is low, but the glass can be sharp and hot, causing minor cuts and very small third degree burns. Clean any glass shards on floor with dustpan provided.

Cutting glass. Place glass on flat surface. Use even pressure to score glass. Use glass breaker to apply pressure to the middle of the score line. Clean surface afterwards with damp kitchen towel to remove tiny glass shards that may be difficult to see by eye.

Mandrels: Be careful as thin mandrels bend easily.

Safety equipment: Close covered shoes Safety glasses to cut sodium flare Safety glasses to look into hot kiln Gloves for opening kiln door

Costing: See diagram on wall.

Burns: Use cold running water for 20min. If it’s really bad, wrap in cling film and go to hospital.

Useful articles to send to people who have been inducted:

Individual Training Task

The individual task to get familiar, prompt questions and check understanding:


  • make a bead


  • Set individual to work, don't prompt but do answer questions (or pose if needed)
  • Talk through design once done, question/check things etc
  • Proceed through making a bead (watch carefully all steps)

Assuming all ok:

  • Get them to read the health and safety notes about operation and materials
  • Add to the trained member list!