Myself, Bob Russel (Professor) and Erin Austerberry (colleague) cleaning the lathes at Salem College

A clean and organized work-space with the right tools for the job is always helpful to a successful outcome.

This is a distillation aparatus used to extract limolene from oranges. The orange is broken apart and placed in the round bottom flask to heat the distilate, then the vapor travels through the column and condenses  in the alihn condenser that is cooled with cold water, and collects in the graduated cylinder. The solvent is then tested for the presence of the limolene to be used as a solvent.

When working on a large vessel like this flask, preparation is extremely important. The flask is centered, then warmed in with a light flame to reduce stress.

Only after the vessel has been warmed significantly, can it be brought to working temperatures, manipulated, and then brought down to room temperate slowly with a soft flame.

The end result of flaring the lip of the round bottom flask.

This is an example of a sketch of a liquid float trap. All the dimensions are followed with a tolerance of +/- 1mm.

The end result of the liquid trap. The more the merrier, always strive for efficient replication.

Measuring dry materials for a white earthenware claybody I designed. Always be safe and wear a proper particulate respirator! The flutes are some white and red earthenware claybodies that were designed by Jessie Gilmartin, Eric Adams, and myself. I created transverse flutes to test tuning standards, along with the different claybodies, to assess shrinkage, color, and porosity at different firing temperatures.

Mixing dry materials for a white earthenware claybody I designed.

These are some white and red earthenware claybodies that were designed by Jessie Gilmartin, Eric Adams, and myself. I created transverse flutes to test tuning standards, along with the different claybodies, to assess shrinkage, color, and porosity at different firing temperatures.

These are process shots of a small udu drum that I mirrorized during a workshop demonstration led by Andrew Erdos at Jacksonville University. There are a number of chemicals that are mixed and react with each other to create a mirrorized surface on the interior of the glass.

Mirrorizing workshop with Andrew Erdos at Jacksonville University.

Mirrorizing workshop with Andrew Erdos at Jacksonville University.

Mirrorizing workshop with Andrew Erdos at Jacksonville University.


This bronze casting workshop was led by Joe Bigley at Jacksonville University.

  • Molds for bronze casting are made with a fine sand that is mixed with a bonding resin, then packed on top of the object to create a relief. After the mold has hardened, the object is removed from the underside, and the relief is torched with an acetylene to remove any remaining moisture or impurities.
  • Our melting furnace was fashioned out of an old glory hole lined with fiber blanket, and the torch from our garage.
  • After the bronze is melted in the furnace, at approximately 2100 degrees, the entire crucible is put in a cradle to be poured. Immediately before the bronze is poured another team member removes the slag and impurities by skimming the surface with a rake.
  • After all the pours are complete, the molds are left to cool until they can be broken away and we are left with the cast bronze object.

Select members of our teach include:

Joe Bigley, Nick Van Der Does, Matteo Neivert, Jessie Gilmartin, Caroline Smith, Mark Hursty, Elayne Ashley, and Karin Hale

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ElayneAshley@gmail.com | 407.408.6304

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