It's new, it's big, it's electric!

Glassblowing is a traditional artistic craft with roots that go back thousands of years. For the most part, the same materials, methods and tools have been in use for millennia.

New Electric Furnace

Since Lava Glass was founded in 2002, a big self-made furnace took centre stage in the Lava Glass studio. This furnace held 200kg of moulten clear glass and was kept at a constant temperature, hovering near 1000 degrees Celsius, fueled by a continuous stream of gas. It stayed on 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for years at a time. This gas powered furnace and our glory holes burned on average 200 to 300 cubic meters of gas every week.

But this is a thing of the past now. At the beginning of March, the new electric furnace from Wet Dog Glass, USA, arrived at the studio in Taupo, New Zealand. This beautiful new machine will keep Lava Glass' carbon footprint down by firing the oven not with fossil fuels but with electricity from 100% renewable sources. This is a huge step towards our goal to become the first carbon-neutral glassblowing studio in the world.

Our Carbonzero Journey

This new electric furnace is another step on our carbonzero journey. We continue to plant trees -1000 manuka behind the studio in 2019, and  25 ha of pine trees in 2020. Our vehicle fleet is switching to electric with two Nissan Leafs for business use. We are also reducing waste, in particular plastic use. When possible, bubble wrap is replaced by a new product called Geami Wrap Pack which is made of 100% recycled paper. Usually, glassblowing is an art form with a huge carbon footprint but we hope to demonstrate that a sustainable approach is entirely possible.

We are currently working towards an official accreditation by Toitū Envirocare.