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Furnace Marbles


leroy65
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I beliieve they are the same Leroy. "Furnace" being the name attached to the Champion tank wash marbles of the 90's

From the restored marblealan site:

"Around 1994, Champion Agate produced a style of swirl that has become highly collectible and which for the most part is very rare. Considering the recent vintage of the marble, certain color combinations have fetched nearly $100 for a single marble! Their rarity owes to two factors. First, they were made in very limited numbers and never distributed to the general public. Second, they were made of a glass that easily fractures and therefore mint examples are hard to obtain.

These swirls have been alternately called "Special Run" or "Furnace" marbles. They all possess a transparent base with opaque to transparent swirls, usually of several different colors. Sometimes the colors are highlighted with other colors and the effect is dazzling. The story goes that Champion Agate's glass furnaces were scraped, and the resulting residue was made into these marbles. Unfortunately, as noted, the glass tends to fracture, and examples with no fractures are rare."

David

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A "furnace marble" is a marble made when using a glory hole like a glass blower uses. The base glass is obtained from a crucible using a longmetal punty (like Sammy Hogue uses) rather then a blow pipe.

"Tank wash" marbles come from the adding of a different glass to an oven when one wants to remove the older glass and replace it with the new glass. The resulting marbles from the replacement are the tank wash marbles.

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"The base glass is obtained from a crucible using a longmetal punty (like Sammy Hogue uses) rather then a blow pipe."

This is true if you are not using a furnace, but instead a crucible to gather glass from. The West Virginial glass artists nearly all have furnaces which they gather glass from. Sometimes torch artists use crucibles.

Yes marbleus1 Context is so important.

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Can a newbie jump in here without upsetting anyone?

Maybe because I don't have the experience of most of you here, I saw Leroy's question as something a little simpler.

I thought what he meant was - what is the difference, if any, between a "furnace scraping" marble and a "tank wash"marble.

I didn't think he was asking about "furnace" marbles, meaning the kind that are hand-gathered from a mass of glass heated in a container ( with the definition and description of said container being discussed)

And this would have been my answer if I was asked to give one:

"Furnace scraping" is a description, albeit an inaccurate one, of a certain style of Champion marble. Although the real source of this style marble - Wissmach glass used by Champion for a limited time - has been discovered, the marbles themselves are still often called by the bogus name "furnace scraping"or "champion furnace marble" with the name being descriptive of a color and style rather than a definition of the marble's manufacture. The name has no real relationship to the marble's origin.

"Tank wash" as I understand it, is a name given to certain Jabo marbles which WERE made by the addition of certain glass to the glass tank in order to remove residual glass from one run in preparation for another.

Do I have this right... or am I just another DA?

Stacy

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Boy, I must be a different type of DA (denseass) as I don't recall ever hearing about the story not being true about Wissmach, etc. So, Edna, the following information, posted by Ron Shepherd back in 2002 after talking to Dave McCullogh, was all BS? Here is the post:

-----------------------

More Champion Furnace Marbles Info

Posted by Ron & Paula Shepherd on 12-15-2002 on Marble Addicts Board

After Marvella's Marble Show, we received a phone call from a collector in Canada requesting more information about the Champion Furnace marbles. Because of his previous connection with the Champion Agate Co, I called Dave McCullough (JABO) and asked for any details he might have about these marbles and this is what he told me: In the mid 90's Roger Jones, a very knowledgeable glassworker at Champion, used glass from the Paul Wissmach Glass Co in Paden City, WV to wash out the tanks when changing runs. This was done a couple of time a month. The reason for the fractures is that the marble glass was not compatible with the glass from Wissmach (Wissmach makes plate and cathedral glass). Mr. Jones told Dave that the yellow glass from Wissmach worked best for his purposes and I suppose that is why yellow furnace marbles are the most common color. BTW, this practice would have stopped in 1996 or 1997 when Mr. Jones passed away.

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Al, I don't see a problem with Ron's post or McCullough's remarks.. That's really what happened. What did not happen was scraping the furnace and making marbles from the scrapings. That is the myth. I bought some early in collecting and was told they were furnace scrapings. It's in some books that they are. That myth has caused the confusion. It was a tall tale told by a glass worker. Howard Powell has given me many "furnace marbles", but he knew what they were and were not. This got discussed several years back, but I guess nobody ever wrote in a book what really happened. Many people still believe the myth.

The story about Wissmach is true Al, just like Ron said.

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Thank you for all the information and now I enter the DA catagory for sure as I'm completely confused. If anyone asked me what a "furnace marble" or a "tank wash" is, I will simply tell them they are round and very pretty. ----Leroy----

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I believe the word "tankwash" is also being used by some people specifically in reference to Jabo marbles to define a specific amount of how much glass was put through the machine during a session of marble making. For example, a "run" of Jabo marbles would define a ton or more of glass used in a session of making marbles, a "tankwash" would define 201-1999 pounds of glass put through the machine during a session of making marbles, and a "test" would define 200 or less pounds of glass put through the machine during a specific marble making session. This terminology is not widespread yet, but quantifiable definitions of marble terms specific to Jabo marble making would be benefitial to future Jabo collectors. Quantifiable definitions of all applicable marble terms would be helpful to all collectors and sellers. People jump all over sellers for misusing terms like "rare," "vintage," and "antique" and yet the same people won't put a number to go with a definition.

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Leroy, I was the first to attempt answering your question. I am the DA because I didn't really know what you were asking. I collect machine mades, but my real love is contemporary hand mades. When I saw "furnace" marble I immediately jumped to hand made furnace marbles. I never gave the Champion Agate "furnace marbles" a thought until marbleus1 copied the myth to the thread. Then I was amazed that people still believed that myth and started posting to dispel that story. Then Al posted Ron and Daves remarks and thought I was saying the myth was correct. I can only think that Al didn't read the whole thread. I have been involved in experimental runs at JABO too. So I know what a tank wash is. I also know about tank washes when doing hand made stuff. The glass we know as "milk glass" is the furnace workers scrubbing sponge when doing tank washes. It takes out lots of glass you don't want in your tank. I will conclude with this thought. I guess there's a little DA in all of us.

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Steph, at jabo during the special runs the tank washes were done to remove one type of base glass that was in the tank so another type could be started. Certain things were sometimes added during some of these washes which resulted in some very interesting mibs(PLEASE STOP IT) (LOL)

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