The Hellfire Room
My friend Billy Baldwin, owns sports bars in Albuquerque, and I have been commissioned over the years to provide the artwork for each of them. Visit this page for photos of the Hellfire Room. You can see how this project is translated to glass from the works of Gustav Dure, 15th century, I think. It's always a wonderful challenge to do something like this. I am so fortunate to have had such a diverse blasting career. Also, I love doing sports bars, especially Billy's, since he feeds me and he has wonderful chefs. And; need I mention, Coors Light.
A JOURNEY, NOT A DESTINATION
GOOD DECORATIVE ART SANDBLASTING IS A JOURNEY, NOT A DESTINATION!
1. The pictures here show how the light air hose attaches to the sand hose.
2. Next is how the nozzle fits into the nozzle cap and onto the other end of the air hose.
3. Finally, the last image shows the starter kit that I sell on my online store.
If you love the medium, and truly want to learn, you will never reach the end of the road; but, the journey will be wondrous. I envy those at the beginning, since the joy and satisfaction you will feel will carry throughout your lifetime.
HOWEVER, it is not enough to simply get out there and blast your brains out; you need to understand your equipment, each technique indigenous to the medium, and how each little piece contributes to the whole. Things have changed drastically since I began blasting 33 years ago; yet, I see so many blasters not taking advantage of the tried and true, and trying to reinvent the wheel, which has already been invented. There's been a lot of discussion in the last week or so about nozzles and precision blasting information.. So, I'll put my two cents in, for whatever it's worth. Possibly, with inflation, not much. But, here it is.
JUST HAVING A SMALL NOZZLE ON THE END OF THE HOSE DOESN'T NECESSARILY GUARANTEE PRECISION IF THE HOSE TO WHICH IT IS ATTACHED IS A SAND-RATED HOSE. Here's what I mean. The hose that comes out of your pot is gnarly and reinforced with all kinds of stuff to keep the sharp abrasive from blowing through and creating a sandstorm in your studio. And, that is indeed a good thing. But, that reinforcement makes the hose extremely non-flexible. So, it doesn't really matter what nozzle you have on the end, you can't really do intricate maneuvers with the nozzle. The hose won't let you. So, I make up a light air hose assembly.
Now, I do sell it on my website, but encourage you to make up your own. Some people buy the first one, and since there's two sets of components, they can go out and get everything they need to never buy one from me ever, ever again. I am not a good capitalist. The one fly in the ointment is that the flexible hose is not rated for abrasives and will eventually need to be replaced. But, once you buy the parts, it takes about ten minutes to put a new one together.
To extend the life of the hose, I wrap it with electrical tape at the two bend points. The first is where it attaches to the sand hose, and the second being the hose clamp and below. The smaller the hose clamp, the more comfortable your hand will be. For maximum dexterity, I hold the nozzle cap like I would a pencil. Your fingers are then close to the nozzle and the slightest finger or hand movement will register. I couldn't live without it. Give it a try. I will give any or all information you might need. Just use my personal email, please, since my Facebook time is limited. I'm a busy old bag. Hope this helps, and please let me know if I may be of further help.
02/12/21 UPDATE - A BIT MORE ABOUT THE LIGHT AIR HOSE ASSEMBLY
I received so many responses to this post that I thought I'd better add a few caveats. Please contact me for more parts and hose information. The parts must be bought from a plumbing supply store or me. What looks identical at home improvement or hardware stores will be shorter, and make it possible to blow the sand hose and air hose apart, which is not fun.
Also, the hoses must be rated at 300psi and not what is available at hardware stores. Find a local industrial supply house, or industrial hose shop. Sometimes they will also have the fittings. This is also the type of house from my compressor to my pressure pot since no grit will be going through it. It is never wise to skimp on equipment of any sort when working with air and grit propelled at pressure. Call or write me if you're still confused, and I can make up a little pkg for five bucks with one of everything you will need so you can shop around.
Remember, if you are not at all handy, or don't have time to run around looking, you can buy the 2-hose package already made for you, then take your time buying the individual components. Either option works for me. Again, I want to thank everyone who responded for your interest and support. This light air hose assembly can last up to a year, depending on how often you blast, the pressure at which you blast, nozzle size and grit size.
The Journey - Three Students Interpretations
I thought I'd show you a few more Indians that students have done from that "silo" image. As you can see, each is unique. I encourage my students to feel free to explore their creativity, as long as they stay within the basic guidelines.
Michael Johnson decided to turn the silo on its side, as if the wind was blowing the hair to the left and have the head and shoulders exhibited landscape style. Interesting translation. [photo 1]
Patrice, an incredible student, chose to do hers from the front. It became an epic of gigantic proportion, and then she also wanted to paint and gold leaf. Patrice is that sort of student that if you tell her to do a simple stick figure like in the game Hangman, you would up with an entire city full of observers, a gallows, with a braided rope and buildings and everything you can imagine. She's absolutely incredible. Like Columbo, she always wants to add one more thing. A very inspiring individual. [photo 2]
Kelcey is also a fascinating person, who now lives in New Zealand. She is the sister of Kyle Chandler, an actor, who played the coach on Friday Night Lights. She also lived on a boat for seven years, with her husband and two sons. They sailed around the world, trading fish for produce and other stuff they needed. They fell in love with New Zealand and stayed, so when she came to class, it was quite the event. It was a fun class and her Indian was quite complex and intriguing. So, once again, three students, three totally different Indians. [photo 3]
A Special Thanks - The Journey DVD
I want to thank everyone for the orders and support. It has been wonderful. When you devote five years to something, you hope it will be well received. Since this is a costly DVD to produce, we would like to get a pretty good idea of how many to order. All pre-orders will go out on the fifteenth of February, since I will receive them, pack the boxes and add the tools, popcorn, and whatever else I can find around the house to throw in. So, we do appreciate the pre-orders. The payments are then used to produce more DVDs for the next customers. So, don't be shy. There will be much more tomorrow, so tune in.
Butch and Mike
hip hip hooray. hip hip hooray!!!!!!!!
It's National Kathy Cameron day. She came closest to solving the countdown puzzle and will get a fabulous prize. I'm just not sure what it will be yet, since I don't know her blasting skill level. So, Kathy, my dear, please either call of email me, so we can discuss whether you get a St. Bernard, Great Dane mix puppy, a non-matching set of totally thrashed bald tires for a formula one race car, or your choice of almost anything on the website's online store. Oh, Kathy, you genius, you. Get on the phone or email me to discuss your fabulous options.
AND, CONGRATULATIONS, KATHY, and thank you for participating.
PHONE NUMBER IS 805-286-7575
EMAIL IS "thesandwitch" at "prodigy.net" (all lower case, no quotes)
They said it couldn't be done yet, here we are.
This very old dog has learned a new trick. After being bullied, badgered and beaten into submission by various friends, customers, business owners, students, and even Judy and my dogs who complained that I spent too much time on the phone, I give up. You can now go to our new PayPal online store at the web site, where you can just grab n go, and not have to sit and listen to me drone on and on, because that's what old people do, I guess. I'll miss talking to you but you can still call if you want. Thank you for your past, ongoing and future support.
Oh, yeah. I almost forgot. I will be adding some very limited edition blasted pieces to the inventory, so check back. No two will be alike, but the same basic concept, so each will be an original. Give me a month. My fabulous web genius will alert you to all new inventory.
Blastphemy e-zine back issues:
Later, dudes and dudettes.
AND THE SALE GOES ON!!!!!
The sale continues to move along, and I am adding several more things at deep discounts as supplies allow.
• Cushioned grip knives and pokers, a staple for any blaster or craftsperson, will now be priced at $3.00.
• Luco gold size will sell for $6.00, and Sealer for $3.00.
• And, my favorite go to paint, Color Magic, will be $3.00 a bottle. These paints are wonderful. I am in the process of figuring a price on the several mica powders I have. There are some amazing colors.
Things will be updated on my website and blog, including instructions on applying Color Magic and Mica powders.
I don't have the time to visit Facebook very often, so please contact me DIRECTLY. You can call me at 805-286-7575, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back-issues of Blast-Phemy are discounted to a whopping 50% off! Use the coupon code 50-OFF at check out to take advantage of this deal!
We thank you for your support.
MY BIG FAT LITHUANIAN SALE
If you've read my blog, then you know I'm returning to my original blasting roots, and no longer have a need for a large inventory. Therefore, I am offering the following items at 40%+ off. No, you don't need new glasses! REALLY 40% OR MORE OFF WHILE INVENTORY LASTS. Here are the first three "more bang for your buck" deals.
Full set of my educational dvds for $200.00. (Regular price $360.00)
Roc 1/16" boride nozzles that will last forever for only $98.00. See website for nozzle details. It will be under blasting supplies.
And all rolls of 6 mil resist in 12", 18" and 24" are 40% off. That's $70.00, $109.00, and $148.00 respectively. I have used this resist almost exclusively for 32 years. It is the best. And, it makes superior decals as well. It will hold up under anything you throw at it. More fabulous deals coming in the next few days.
Some items will not last long, so think fast, count on your fingers and toes, and save some money. My starving dogs will thank you. HA!
I prefer that you pay me with PayPal, and you may access my account with my email address, which is email@example.com. Also, any correspondence will reach me much more quickly via my email address than through Facebook.
Happy shopping, and many thanks.
P.S., The next sale items will be posted on Monday, January 13.
MY VISION IS 2020
The first time I sandblasted, I knew that I had found my future. I wanted to be a decorative art blaster; and, in addition, be the best in the galaxy. And, that's how it started. I was a happy blaster, and then someone wanted lessons, and then more someones wanted lessons. So, then I was a blaster and a teacher, until students wanted to buy supplies and the online store was born. I can't remember why I did the videos to add to the lineup, and then I was asked to write a book. And, so on and so forth. One day I realized that I was no longer a happy nozzle jockey. I was spread too thin and didn't really know what to do about it without letting a lot of people down. More and more years passed this way, until I encountered a health crisis that almost did me in. I was determined to come back better than ever, and worked to that end. Then, one day, I had an epiphany. Why was I working so hard to be what I was when I didn't want to be that anymore? Who can follow the seamless web of my mind? I certainly can't.
Therefore, at my ripe old age, I am starting over. I will become a blaster again. I will write some, and I will accept four private students a year. For the most part, the art of sandblasting is no longer an art. It has become a craft, and most people becoming involved, want a quick learn, and use every labor saving device available for instant gratification. But, I know there are people out there who really want to learn, and willing to do the work to rise above what is now the norm. Remember, cream rises to the , so why be lowfat milk when you can be cream? On a slightly different vein, I no longer will be needing 100 nozzles for the online store, or 100 rolls of resist, etc., so I will be having a giant sale, and the prices will indeed be beyond belief.
I will always be available to answer questions, or help in any way possible. I want to save this medium as I know it. It was never for everyone. But, it was indeed for me. Money was never the purpose of my art. It was always a passionate love of the medium, and my relentless commitment to its preservation. And, that will never change.
Mike will continue to work on the mutual projects we have begun, so that we can make that body of work available very soon. His folks have had some medical situations which require him to stay put in Kentucky for the foreseeable future, and will do his work from home.
Gives New Meaning to the Term Skeleton Crew
Just when I thought I was going to have to set the pallet on fire and burn it away, hoping that the kiln would then be on the floor, my neighbor and friend, Earl and his friend, Noel, came over flexing their considerable muscles. Earl, a fulltime Pepsi employee, moonlights three nights a week as a bouncer at a local western dance bar. Rounding out the crew was his stepson, Devin, and brother-in law, David. Earl and Noel each grabbed an end of the kiln, counted to three, lifted it and Devin and David pulled out the pallet. If you blinked, you would have missed it. See! We don't need no stinkin' fork lifts or hydraulic jacks or cranes or Superman. We got Earl! Sweet as I know he is, would you argue with him in a bar? I think not. One small leap for the kiln, one giant leap for Blafuslum. Yay!
View more photos on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nozzlejockey/
New Kiln Arrives for Upcoming Classes
Judy and I gave ourselves, and our students, a kiln for Mother's Day. It's a Paragon GL-64AD, and weighs 1100. There aren't enough Wheaties in the world to make me strong enough to get it off that palette. HELP, I REALLY NEED SOMEBODY. My Beatles years have caught up with me. Seriously, anyone who can give me some guidance will surely be nominated for sainthood. I need to get it on the floor so that I can schedule a class. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!
Recent Las Vegas convention...
Here I am again at the Glass and Bead show with Mark Bolick, CEO of HIS GLASSWORKS, one of the most fascinating businesses you'll encounter. If you're not familiar with them, look them up. In the middle is Susan Hirschthe mega-star owner of Images in Glass, and teacher extraordinaire. Check her out as well. She's an excellent teacher, and it's well worth the bucks to tune in to her webinars.
July, August Classes Coming!
Hello, fellow gritsters. There's an ugly rumor going 'round that we're kind of crazy, and our BLAFUSLUM video does little to dispel this possibility. However, there is one thing we're dead serious about, and that's our teaching. With 31 years of blasting experience to pass on to you, I hold nothing back. Judy will have a guest fusing and slumping instructor so that all students will have personal assistance. Mike will be eye candy when he's not assisting me or doing computer duties. Our classes will start out with only four students until we're sure we can provide adequate individual attention. Never will a class have more than six students. Cross my eyes and hope to die. Our first class will be in late July or early August. In the interim, you will be provided with dates, and some photos of possible projects. There will be fabulous food, good music, cute dogs, and all around frivolity.We have 4 kilns, no waiting.(one is 62" long. Our new Paragon pride and joy.) You will blast in my and Rayzist's creation, the Super Grit Pit, complete with cup holder. You will have fun. That's an order.
BLAFUSLUM IS COMING! BLAFUSLUM IS COMING!
But not to worry. It's a good thing. Actually, it's two things. First, it's a magazine, a brand new shiny online zine, featuring blasting, fusing and slumping. I have been creating projects and products using the three techniques combined for about 16 years, off and on. It's so much fun and so creative that you can't help but get excited. The first issue of the zine will appear in June. Shortly thereafter, we will begin BLAFUSLUM CLASSES. Full details, pictures and class dates to follow, so watch this space. And, as usual, we thank you for your support. Prepare to be amazed.
WHEN THE GRIT HITS THE FAN!
Sorry, all of you loyal gritsters, but I will no longer be selling grit. I had about a zillion pounds of it at the old price, but eventually it flew away. The new price would be pretty much what you would pay anywhere else. And, shipping is a nightmare price wise. So, here’s what I suggest to everyone. Call monument companies, lapidary companies, and if they don’t sell it, but use it, ask them where they get it.
You can also look for abrasives companies. If you have an abrasives company not too far away, it will benefit you to buy it directly from them. If you are a frequent blaster, ask where the price breaks are. If the price is good, and you know other blasters, see if they want to buy some of it. If you live near a fairly large town, you should be in business. Also, some trophy houses do their own blasting, and have grit sources. Since I travel to California fairly often, I buy mine from Rayzist, and just drive it home. Saves shipping and you don’t have to wait for the Wells Fargo Wagon. So, if you live close to a sandblasting equipment company, buy from them. I hope this helps.
I'm Back, Baby!
What a long, strange trip it's been! The summer is upon us and I think I'm finally over my health hurdles that have dogged me since my heart surgery last year. It feels so good to feel like myself again.
I've got a few, fun things coming your way for all you blasters. One of my goals is to make purchasing blasting items a little easier by installing an online store. You'll also be able to purchase some blasted pieces from my shop. I'll have an announcement when our Shopify page is ready to go, and we'll put a link to it on the official Sandwitch web site.
Another addition will be video classes through Vimeo, formerly advertised as Webinars. From a link on the web site, you'll be able to purchase and view one of a handful of video tutorials I've put together with the help of my good buddy, Mike Mudd.
BLAST-PHEMY Ezine To Return?
Well, that's the hope, anyway. I would love to revive my beloved, little ezine, Blast-Phemy, jam-packed with great tips, techniques, glass-artist news and insights, and tutorial projects. We'll see if I can make that happen in early 2019. Until then, you can always order the back-issues from 2015-2016.