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DeWine attends unveiling of 'Baby Dragon' portable glassblowing furnace acquired by Toledo Museum of Art

The governor and first lady's visit is part of the dedication of the hot glass tool, which makes it possible to hold outdoor glassblowing demonstrations and events.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The Toledo Museum of Art has acquired a “Baby Dragon” portable glassblowing/reheat chamber combination furnace and Ohio's top politician will be on hand Wednesday to help dedicate it.

Describe as an innovative hot glass tool, the Baby Dragon furnace makes it possible to host outdoor glassblowing demonstrations and design experiences at the museum and offsite, throughout the community, the museum said.

“The portability of the ‘Baby Dragon’ is very exciting,” said Alan Iwamura, Glass Studio manager at TMA. “We now have the ability to take the art of glassblowing outside of the Museum and into neighboring communities and beyond. The possibilities for teaching, interaction and engagement with the public are greatly increased by the arrival of this special tool. We look forward to the expanded community outreach that it will provide.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine will visit the Toledo Museum of Art on Wednesday afternoon for the unveiling of the new furnace at 1 p.m. WTOL 11 will bring you the event online. 

The “Baby Dragon” can be used to teach both beginner and advanced hot glass students, and functions as a stationary or mobile studio, according to the museum. Powered by propane or natural gas, the furnace is mounted on a heavy-duty base with casters and accommodates a broad range of project sizes. This new furnace will primarily be used offsite at a variety of community locations to be announced later this summer, the museum said.

The unit costs just under $10,000 and is manufactured by Mobile Glassblowing Studios LLC of Georgia. According to the manufacturer, the glassblowing unit moves easily for transport to demonstrations and has a 30-pound glass capacity, which would be enough to make around 30 pint glasses.

The purchase of the “Baby Dragon” was made possible by the sponsorship of Majida M. Mourad, in honor of the memory of her mother, Elham Ellie Mourad, with additional support from O-I Glass, Inc., a news release from the museum said.