I really love this idea. Get a bunch of kids together with a bunch of glass artists and make some magic. I hope I can do something similar with Turnstyle someday. The kids do the drawings and pass them off to the artists to bring them to life in three-dimensions in hot glass!
This is really crazy. Back in 1936, Corning created a 200-inch disk for a telescope. The largest at the time. I've seen the first; failed attempt in person at the Corning museum and it is a sight to behold. It's even more impressive when considering the work that went into it! Some quotes from the article:
"At last, it was time to attempt a 200-inch disk. One hundred fourteen cores were anchored to the mold with steel bolts. A tank 50 feet long and 15 feet wide contained 65 tons of molten glass. Distrusting mechanical pouring systems for a job this big, McCauley intended to fill the mold from ladles suspended from the ceiling on trolleys. Each ladle contained 750 pounds of molten Pyrex heated to more than 2,700 degrees."
Look at that Ladle!!!
"The completed disk was placed in the electrically heated annealer, where it was to remain for the next 10 months. There was a brief scare during the summer of 1935 when the nearby Chemung River overflowed its banks, forcing a 72-hour power shutdown. A small earthquake caused additional worries. But when the disk was removed from the annealer and tested, no flaws were detected."
You read that right: this baby was annealed in a custom oven for 10 MONTHS! This was a true world event at the time. I suggest reading the full article (Link in the Title) and if you haven't been, the Corning museum of Glass is a must-see for anyone with even a passing interest in glass.
The Failed 1st attempt is now on display at the museum.
I found this one on Juxtapoz.com. This entertaining film won an Oscar for best short in 1959. I love it. It shows the contrast between hand-made and machine-made glass really well. My favorite is the guy who manages to blow glass while simultaneously smoking a pipe. In fact, the only real difference between the factories back then and the same ones now is that you'd never see that much smoking indoors anymore! Check it out.