X 2

 

What does it take to put together a project like these spheres?

 

First the concept, drawings and sketches, color choices, engineering and ordering materials; but then comes the actual assembly….

 

 

Bellemead Hot Glass, Robert Kuster,Hillsborough NJ 08844
Bellemead Hot Glass, Robert Kuster,Hillsborough NJ 08844

 

 

 

 

Bellemead Hot Glass, Robert Kuster,Hillsborough NJ 08844
Bellemead Hot Glass, Robert Kuster,Hillsborough NJ 08844

 

 

Each sphere is composed of 20 triangular panels measuring  3′ x 3′ x 3′.  Each Panel is composed of 184 separate pieces of steel.  Each of those is cut to length, and then prepped for welding.  112 pieces of steel make up the panel.  Each of these is welded at both ends and then the individual pins to hold the glass are welded on…

Bellemead Hot Glass, Robert Kuster,Hillsborough NJ 08844
Bellemead Hot Glass, Robert Kuster,Hillsborough NJ 08844

This is 296 welds per panel. With twenty panels per sphere and then the welds to attach the panels to each other, it works out to about 6,020 welds per sphere.  All done by Scott after we have emptied the crucible for the day blowing that days allocated assortment of the 13 sizes of Horns in the 4 colors we are working with for this project.

Bellemead Hot Glass, Robert Kuster,Hillsborough NJ 08844
coldworked and ready for sorting…

When the crucible is emptied and we have begun to charge the furnace with raw glass to work with for the next day, Scott begins his work in the metal shop.  Kelly goes to work sorting and labeling the last day’s glass by size, polishing the sharp ends and sorting them into the set which will belong to each panel. Each panel has 72 individual horns and a sphere has 20 panels.  Each sphere will have 1,440 individual horns. Also, each panel will have 1,140 urethane bumpers cast here in the shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bob runs between Scott and Kelly, answering questions, speeding processes along, telling everyone not to worry and worrying about everything himself.  Running the operation smoothly requires someone who understands how to do each step.  Someone has to keep an eye on the overall goal.  And of course, someone has to work with the myriad of contacts required to work on a large installation in a busy construction project…

 

Bellemead Hot Glass, Robert Kuster,Hillsborough NJ 08844
Bellemead Hot Glass, Robert Kuster,Hillsborough NJ 08844

When all of the panels are done, they are welded together into the sphere.  Then the sphere is painted.  As is anything else nearby…

 

 

 

 

 

Once the paint is dry each of the 1,140 pins is sheathed in vinyl and given a bumper and a custom bracket to secure the glass.

Bellemead Hot Glass, Robert Kuster,Hillsborough NJ 08844
Bellemead Hot Glass, Robert Kuster,Hillsborough NJ 08844

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then we reach today…

Bellemead Hot Glass, Robert Kuster,Hillsborough NJ 08844
Bellemead Hot Glass, Robert Kuster,Hillsborough NJ 08844

All of this times two!